Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - March 10, 2010

From: Bergheim, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Plant barrier along fence in South Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I want to put in an attractive, diverse but tough plant barrier to help stop my dogs from running the fence with neighboring dogs. The 5-foot, open-wire fence is far from the house, so the plants need to survive without additional water once established. I'm seeking tough natives for south-central Texas that grow in dry, limestone soil with 4-12 hours of sun per day that the deer will not overbrowse once they are established. (I've learned to fence all new plants!) Spines are fine, flowers are a plus, fragrance is wonderful, usefulness to wildlife is desired. I'd like a mix of vines, shrubs and trees. I have already established Agave americana, sotol and Texas mountain laurel. Other suggestions would be much appreciated. Gracias!

ANSWER:

You've made a great start!   Here are some suggestion for native small trees, shrubs and vines that grow in Kendall County or adjacent counties:

SHRUBS AND SMALL TREES:

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) with lots of spiny evergreen leaves, fragrant flowers and berries for wildlife (and people).

Ehretia anacua (knockaway) with fragrant flowers and fruit for wildlife.

Schaefferia cuneifolia (desert yaupon) is evergreen, somewhat spiny, and with berries for wildlife.  Here is more information.

Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) has fruit that wildlife like.  It is also edible for humans, but rather bland-tasting.

Acacia angustissima (prairie acacia) is low-growing, the flowers attract butterflies and wildlife eats the seeds.

Acacia farnesiana (sweet acacia) is spiny and grows to 20 feet with fragrant flowers.

Leucaena retusa (goldenball leadtree) grows to 25 feet with spectacular sweet-smelling golden flowers.

Parkinsonia aculeata (Jerusalem thorn) grows to 30 feet with thorns and yellow flowers.

Yucca treculeana (Spanish dagger) grows up to 10 feet with sharp spines on tips of leaves and spectacular flowers in spring.

Condalia hookeri (Brazilian bluewood) is a spiny shrub or small tree with edible fruit.

Zanthoxylum hirsutum (Texas Hercules' club) is a thorny shrub with aromatic leaves when crushed.

Leucophyllum frutescens (cenizo) is evergreen and flowers throughout the year.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) with showy purple fruits for birds and wildlife.

VINES

Ampelopsis cordata (heartleaf peppervine) with fruit for birds and other wildlife.

Clematis drummondii (Drummond's clematis) with attractive feathery plumes on ripe seeds.

Clematis texensis (scarlet leather flower) with red showy flowers.

Ibervillea lindheimeri (Lindheimer's globeberry) with large red fruits for the birds.

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) is evergreen with red flowers that attract hummingbirds but have little scent.

Passiflora affinis (bracted passionflower) attracts butterflies.

Vitis mustangensis (mustang grape) with fruits for birds and other wildlife.

You can find still more suggestions on our Texas-Central Recommended page.

Here are photos of some of the plants above from our Image Gallery:


Mahonia trifoliolata

Diospyros texana

Acacia farnesiana

Leucaena retusa

Yucca treculeana

Leucophyllum frutescens

Ibervillea lindheimeri

Lonicera sempervirens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Failure to bloom of one of two Texas persimmons from Wimberly TX
May 04, 2013 - Last year my son planted two texas persimmon trees. One is blooming ok this year and the other is not. It does not seem dead. What can I do or is is in fact dying?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Japanese maple for East Northport NY
August 20, 2013 - I live in NY and I am looking to plant a Japanese maple in front of my house. It would be in front of a window so I'm thinking should I get a dwarf? Or a semi dwarf? I know I want a red color but un...
view the full question and answer

Recently planted Chinquapin Oak with browning leaves in Marlin, TX.
July 31, 2012 - We planted a Chinquapin Oak this in March 2012. As of July 21, 2012, the tips of the leaves on the lower branches are turning brown. We cannot see any insects. There does not appear to be any fungu...
view the full question and answer

Decorative small evergreen tree for Las Vegas NV
January 06, 2013 - I need a small decorative tree to be planted among a pine tree background; would prefer evergreen.
view the full question and answer

Texas fan ash draining sap in Selma TX
May 14, 2010 - I have a 3-year-old Texas Fan Ash tree that has recently begun to drain sap. Should I be concerned? If yes, what can I do to save the tree? Thank You!!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.