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?


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

Tuesday - September 21, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Evergreen shrub for part shade in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I am planning a pocket prairie on the north side of my house. Where I am struggling is finding an evergreen shrub that will grow about 6-8', be native and provide semi-privacy in front of a bedroom window. Although the prairie will get full sun, the shrub I need will only get about 3 hours of direct sun. Can you help?


Here are several native evergreen shrubs for the Austin area that will grow in part shade (2 to 6 hours of sunlight per day):

 Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac)

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)

Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) and here are more photos

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)

The maximum size for several of these is larger than you stated that you want, but all of these can be trimmed to size. 

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:

Rhus virens

Rhus virens

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Prunus caroliniana

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri

Sophora secundiflora

Sophora secundiflora




More Shade Tolerant Questions

Evergreen flowering shrub for San Antonio, TX
May 20, 2013 - Need a suggestion for an evergreen flowering bush, 3 ft tall for shady area by front door. Have gardenia bushes there now - did well until we had a hard freeze and have struggled ever since. Ideas ple...
view the full question and answer

Annabelle hydrangeas blossoms drooping to ground in Wilmette, IL
April 10, 2011 - I have a row of Annabelle Hydrangeas that become very heavy and droop over the entire width of the bed. I would like to know what I can use for support so that they will stand up and allow me to plan...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a shrub to provide shade to the west side of a home in Ft. Worth, TX
February 07, 2011 - We are on a corner lot and are looking for a tall tree or shrub to block the west side of our house. There is only a 5 foot area space between the sidewalk and side driveway where we want to plant th...
view the full question and answer

Shade tree for Portland, OR
March 18, 2009 - Looking for shade tree for Portland, Oregon, with non-invasive root system. House will be 20 ft away, with basement.
view the full question and answer

Habiturf for shady areas in San Antonio TX
November 08, 2013 - Will the Habiturf grass mentioned here do well in shady areas too?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center