En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 01, 2010

From: Petaluma, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Evergreen thorny bush for California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need to find an evergreen thorny type bush, shrub or tree that will grow with about 3-4 hours of morning sun only. Prefer CA native, inland/semi coastal. Purpose: To provide a deterrent for "taggers" that have sprayed my wood fence. Drip system available, good (non-clay) draining soil. Thank you!!

ANSWER:

Well, I can suggest evergreen shrubs or thorny shrubs for your area of California, but I'm afraid that I haven't been able to locate many evergreen thorny shrubs.  Perhaps a dense evergreen will do the trick or a very thorny deciduous one or you could intersperse the two types.  Here is is what I've found that will possibly work for you.

SOMEWHAT THORNY AND SOMEWHAT EVERGREEN:

Rhamnus crocea (redberry buckthorn)

According to Jepson Flora Project the stems are "sometimes thorn-tipped".

Ribes speciosum (fuchsiaflower gooseberry) is very thorny and somewhat evergreen.

THORNY:

Rosa californica (California wildrose) and here are photos and more information.

Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry)

Malus fusca (Oregon crabapple) and here are photos and more information.

EVERGREEN:

Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush)

Carpenteria californica (tree anemone)

Ceanothus impressus (Santa Barbara ceanothus)

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn)

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (blueblossom)

Dendromecon rigida (tree poppy)

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon)

Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron)


Rhamnus crocea

Ribes speciosum

Shepherdia argentea

Artemisia tridentata

Carpenteria californica

Ceanothus impressus

Ceanothus leucodermis

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

Dendromecon rigida

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Rhododendron macrophyllum

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Lilac bush roots dangerous to house foundations
August 06, 2008 - Are lilac bushes dangerous to the foundation of a house? There is a lovely white-blooming lilac that grows against the house outside my bedroom window. My ex-husband said that the roots would destro...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy screen in California
February 18, 2015 - Hello, My family and I just bought a house in Paradise CA. I want to.plant privacy plants that are native to northern California. I would like the plant to be green all year but drought resistant if...
view the full question and answer

Plants for curb appeal from Birmingham AL
June 16, 2011 - My front yard is on a down hill slope. Can you recommend some plants that would be good for creating curb appeal that will be planted up against the house? We need some that are short around 2 feet ...
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurel suffering from Spring freeze
May 12, 2015 - I have a 4 1/2 ft Texas Mountain Laurel shrub in current location for several years. A hard freeze this spring killed every leaf on the tree, but the stems remained green. My other smaller Mt. Laure...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen native shrubs for hedge in Austin
November 20, 2008 - Please help! Looking for an inexpensive, fast growing shrub or tree to plant along 200' fence in our backyard. Lots of sun (southwest side) but I wouldn't call it dry. Hoping for something that k...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center