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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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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

 

 

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