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

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

Alternative shrub for Greyowl Juniper from Cincinnati OH
March 28, 2013 - I don't love Greyowl Juniper which our landscaper is recommending for a low planting in front of the house. Can you recommend an alternative? I don't care for the grayish color or the spiky look o...
view the full question and answer

Identifcation of strange orange growth on shrubs
May 04, 2009 - I have found a strange orange ball shape with softer spikes about 1-2 in. growing from it on my shrubs, they grow around the branch. I believe they are Yews. I have never seen them before but now ther...
view the full question and answer

Webs on limbs of evergreen sumac from Austin
May 13, 2014 - We have a mature Evergreen Sumac (Rhus virens) that has spider webs on the end of some limbs. The end of the those limbs have died although new growth is coming on further up the limb. We live in th...
view the full question and answer

Need a shrub that can tolerate high winds in Casper, WY.
October 26, 2010 - I need a medium height evergreen shrub that can tolerate severe winds, extreme cold, and requires little water. I live in Casper WY, which is high-desert, 5,000 foot elevation, zone 4. We have roaming...
view the full question and answer

Native shrub to replace non-native azaleas.
February 10, 2009 - I want to replace my two dozen azaleas this spring (I think they're unattractive once the flowers fall off). I like the multiseason characteristics of weigela (midnight wine, W&R), but want to go na...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center