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?


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
2 ratings

Thursday - July 01, 2010

From: Irving, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Shade loving plants with color for Irving, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Looking for shade loving perennials or annuals with color - native and low water. Live in Irving, Texas.


Please visit our Texas-North Central Recommended list to find commercially available plants suitable for landscaping in the Irving, Texas area.   You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select your criteria ('Herb' or 'Shrub' from GENERAL APPEARANCE, 'Shade...' from LIGHT REQUIREMENT and 'Dry...' from SOIL MOISTURE).  Depending on how much sunlight the area receives, you might be able to select 'Part shade - 2 to 6 hrs' (of sun per day) as well as 'Shade - 2 hrs or less' (of sun per day).  Here are a few possibilities, but you can search for more:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle)

Salvia regla (mountain sage)

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:

Aquilegia canadensis

Rudbeckia hirta

Asclepias tuberosa

Echinacea purpurea

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Salvia regla




More Drought Tolerant Questions

Groundcover for Maryland Slope in Deer Country
July 03, 2016 - I have a 20-30% grade hill in Maryland. I am looking for a groundcover plant (for example ivy) that I can plant on the hill. I have the following issues: clay soil, deer, full sun, limited water sourc...
view the full question and answer

Long Island Barrier Beach Plants
April 22, 2013 - I live on the south shore of Long Island on a barrier beach and am landscaping my property as a result of Sandy damage. I am going with a sand base, and I am looking for suitable trees and shrubs for...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Austin thicket underlayer
July 25, 2014 - We live in Austin, west of 183. We are planning to put a thicket in our backyard, where there is no threat of deer. Anchoring the thicket are a clump of live oaks, a Texas persimmon, an Eve's Necklac...
view the full question and answer

Water-saving strategies of drought-tolerant plants
April 04, 2014 - Although "drought tolerant" plants are fairly well documented, it's clear that many different strategies are responsible, such as a huge root system (like Mesquite). I'm interested in learning the...
view the full question and answer

Small native plants to line driveway in Los Fresnos, Texas
March 15, 2010 - I have a 70' driveway. What are recommended drought resistant dwarf (no more than 3 feet) plants to line the driveway?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center