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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.

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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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Sunday - August 22, 2010

From: Troy , NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Soils, Drought Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants for sunny dry soil location
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Do any native plants exist in a highly sunny very dry soil location? (high overhang prevents rain but allows sun)

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants assumes you want something to plant in such an area. The easiest way to find such plants is through our New York Recommended page which lists more than 100 commercially available native New York plants that are suitable for landscaping.  Use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the sidebar and select 'Sun - 6 or more hrs' from LIGHT REQUIREMENT and 'Dry - no signs of moisture' from SOIL MOISTURE.  You can also make a selection under GENERAL APPEARANCE, LIFESPAN, BLOOM TIME or BLOOM COLOR.  Here are several herbaceous perennials from the list that do well in dry sunny areas:

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Anaphalis margaritacea (western pearly everlasting)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Here are three shrubs that also do well in dry sunny areas:

Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

You can find even more possibilities by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database by choosing 'New York' from Select State or Province and making the appropriate choices in the other categories. Here are several possibilities for various types of plants.

Grass/Grasslike:

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Sporobolus heterolepis (prairie dropseed)

Shrub:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil) 

You can find many more shrubs, trees and herbaceous perennials.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Achillea millefolium

Anaphalis margaritacea

Lupinus perennis

Monarda fistulosa

Gaylussacia baccata

Rhus copallinum

Vaccinium angustifolium

Bouteloua curtipendula

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sporobolus heterolepis

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

 

 

 

 

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