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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Tuesday - December 29, 2009

From: Lake Charles, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants for southwest Louisiana courtyard
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I live in southwest Louisiana,very close to Texas. I would like to remove the grass in my townhome backyard (east sun exposure) and create a courtyard by adding pavers. However I am planning on keeping a few areas unpaved. I am looking for plants requiring low/no maintenance, having vertical roots, resistant to the humid heat and finally having a little bit of volume, airy. Thanks.

ANSWER:

First of all, I'm not sure what size/type plants you are looking for—shrubs? trees? herbaceous perennials?  grasses?—so, I am suggesting several plants of various sizes that grow in Calcasieu Parish.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle).  This shrub/small tree survives well under many conditions and there are dwarf varieties available.

Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto)

Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Iris brevicaulis (zigzag iris)

Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire)

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (common elderberry)

Yucca aloifolia (aloe yucca)

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

If none of these strikes your fancy, you can find a list of Recommended Louisiana species to choose from on our Recommended Species page.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Morella cerifera

Sabal minor

Asplenium platyneuron

Ilex vomitoria

Iris brevicaulis

Itea virginica

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Yucca aloifolia

Cercis canadensis

Conoclinium coelestinum

Chasmanthium latifolium

Muhlenbergia capillaris

 

 

 

 

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