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

Thursday - April 06, 2006

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Xeriscapes, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Xeriscaping in clay on a slope in Fort Worth
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Xeriscaping in clay (Fort Worth) on a slope -- Please offer suggestions and publications. Thanks

ANSWER:

Since xeriscaping basically means landscaping with plants that can survive on normal rainfall, plants native to the Fort Worth area would probably do best for you, and there are many plants that do well in Fort Worth clays.

For a slope, grasses would be good because their fibrous roots hold the soil and help prevent erosion. A good regional grass with a great vertical form is Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). For vibrant color against the blue-green of Little Bluestem, try flowers like Greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium), Foxglove Penstemon (Penstemon cobea), and Winecups (Callirhoe involucrata). Local yuccas such as Arkansas Yucca (Yucca arkansana) and Pale-Leaf Yucca (Yucca pallida) would make nice accent plants. A local shrub with attractive fall color is Fragrant Sumac (Rhus trilobata), and the ornamental tree Mexican Buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa) has pink blooms in the early spring.

Additional ideas for landscaping in the Forth Worth area can be found in Sally and Andy Wasowski's Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region. It contains both a Blackland plan (for black clay soils) and a Post Oak plan for North Texas areas dominated by Post Oaks.

For further species ideas, have a look at our Regional Factpack for your area. Our National Suppliers Directory can help you find sources for local plant material.

 

From the Image Gallery


Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Stiff greenthread
Thelesperma filifolium

Prairie penstemon
Penstemon cobaea

Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

Arkansas yucca
Yucca arkansana

Pale-leaf yucca
Yucca pallida

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa

More Trees Questions

Native evergreen for privacy shield in Weymouth, MA
April 28, 2009 - I am trying to find a good native evergreen tree that I can plant in a hedgerow to block noise and light coming from our neighbors property. We would need something that would grow tall because our h...
view the full question and answer

Planting annuals around young oak in Evanston IL
July 30, 2011 - is it OK to plant annuals (i.e. salvias, impatiens or dusty millers) around the base of a young oak tree (2-3 years old)?
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping plants for Sherman, Texas
December 19, 2007 - We are starting from scratch on landscaping our new yard. We live in Sherman, TX and I would like to use plants and flowers that are native to Texas and have a good chance of surviving. What are you...
view the full question and answer

Looking for non-native Chinese Pistache tree
April 23, 2015 - Where in the Austin area would be a good place to find a nice sized Chinese Pistache to plant in my yard?
view the full question and answer

Medium-sized trees for Central Texas
October 25, 2013 - I need some help figuring out what 2 trees to plant to replace 2 trees that are being taken down on Monday. The input we've received from the company doing the tree cleanup is to go with a chinkapi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center