En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Native Streambank Plants for SE Pennsylvania
July 18, 2013 - I help manage a nature preserve in southeastern Pennsylvania. Along the stream the banks have been beaten down by a large number of visitors for their educational activities such as stream studies. Th...
view the full question and answer

Need shrubs for a privacy screen in Glendale CA
October 30, 2014 - Dear. Mr. Smarty Plants I need to grow a tall hedge 15-20 feet minimum to block a condo complex which overlooks my back yard. I need a fast growing hedge which is non toxic to dogs and one which roo...
view the full question and answer

Identification of spiky red berry in Connecticut
September 25, 2011 - I found an odd berry outside of my school, none of the science teachers know what it is though. It kind of looks like a spiked cherry. It has spikes on the outside, a pit on the insde, and has pinkish...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
October 07, 2013 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a steep slope in New York
June 27, 2010 - We just installed a swimming pool in our back yard, which is at the top of a south facing slope. After the pool was installed the slope is now 3 ft higher and very steep (unmowable). I'd guess steepe...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center