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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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Thursday - March 30, 2006

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant
Title: Low maintenance, drought tolerant, native plants for school garden in Round Rock
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Our school is about to plant a memorial garden but need very drought tolerant plants and flowers as the schools water very little during the summer months. What would you suggest? The district does not finance landscaping except to the extent of mowing the lawn.

ANSWER:

Here are some recommendations for drought-tolerant species for your area. If there is some other particular plant you would like to see in your memorial garden, you can check for its drought tolerance in our Native Plants Database by selecting "Growing Conditions" in the menu at the top of the page for each plant.

Trees
Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria), an evergreen
Purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens), an evergreen
Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)
Eve's necklace (Sophora affinis)
Mexican buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa)
Rusty blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum)

Deciduous Shrubs
American beautyberry (Calicarpa americana)
Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica)
Evergreen sumac (Rhus virens), an evergreen
Prairie flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata)

Perennials
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Sundrops (Calylophus berlandieri)
Cutleaf daisy (Engelmannia peristenia)
Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)
Red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)
Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata)
Texas star (Lindheimera texana)
Barbara's buttons (Marshallia caespitosa)
Missouri primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa)
Prickly pear (Opuntia macrorhiza)
Foxglove (Penstemon cobaea)
Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera)
Mealy sage (Salvia farinacea)
Western spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis)
Twisted-leaf yucca Yucca rupicola)

Please note that for the woody plants (trees and shrubs) especially, it may be necessary to do a moderate amount of watering until their root systems are established.
 

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