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
1 rating

Saturday - August 28, 2010

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Specimen evergreen for sun in Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm soliciting suggestions for a specimen plant for a new garden we're building. It will be planted in a 3' square raised (18") Limestone bed. It will be full sun, Western exposure, and relatively dry. I'd like an evergreen with strong geometric form, height 3', topping out 10' or less. Hill Country native preferred, but, considering the intense location, would consider desert SW plant. Wife says "No cactus". Here's what we've thought of, so far. Nothing screams "I'm it", but it may give some idea of what we're looking for: Weeping Yaupon (probably too big) A dwarfed TX Persimmon (think giant bonsai) An ancient Rosemary, trimmed to tree form Red or yellow Hesperaloe Thanks for any help.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that the Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca) or its yellow form would be nice.  However, Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon), dwarf or otherwise, is only semi-evergreen.

Here are some other possibilities that meet your general size requirements, are evergreen and love the sun:

Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto) grows 5 to 10 feet tall.

Dasylirion texanum (Texas sotol) has a flower stalk that can reach 15 feet, but the foliage itself is only around 2.5 to 3 feet and Dasylirion wheeleri (common sotol) has a flower stalk up to 10 feet, but the foliage is less than 3 feet.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush or cenizo) typically grows to only 4 to 6 feet, but can grow a bit taller.

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) grows 8 to 12 feet.

Yucca thompsoniana (Thompson's yucca) grows 6 to 12 feet.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) grows 6 to 12 feet but occasionally can reach 20 feet.  There are dwarf versions available, however.

 

From the Image Gallery


Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Dwarf palmetto
Sabal minor

Texas sotol
Dasylirion texanum

Common sotol
Dasylirion wheeleri

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Thompson's yucca
Yucca thompsoniana

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Damage to Agave in New Braunfels, TX
August 21, 2008 - In a flower box, I have an Agave on which the leaves have been damaged. It looks as if a deer rubbed his antlers on it. Is there any animal in south central Texas that would try to eat an agave?
view the full question and answer

Container plants for Arlington TX
February 10, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I just moved to Arlington, TX. I am trying to create a container garden on my apartment balcony. What flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit combinations can I put together that wil...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on bio-security
June 11, 2005 - Hello, My friend and I are summer interns at the Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve Site in Freeport, Texas. Our jobs as the interns is to find a plant that is friendly to the animals around our...
view the full question and answer

Century plant dying after bloom
August 12, 2007 - My century plant is so tall that it is up to the top of the telephone pole top lines that carry our streets electric. I was wanting to know if you knew if I cut the stock off would it save the plant ...
view the full question and answer

Insects on yucca from Ft. Worth TX
April 05, 2012 - I have a plant labeled Yucca Soft Leaf recurvifolia that I planted about 5 years ago,& was beautiful until last summer when it became infested with thousands of fast, tiny, dark insects. I sprayed wit...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center