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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

What to do about early seedlings
January 16, 2015 - Hello, Over the last few weeks I have noticed that all my naturally occurring poppies and delphiniums have started to sprout up around my yard. Hundreds of them! I imagine it's because of the ear...
view the full question and answer

Black-eyed Susans in potting soil on ground
November 12, 2010 - I would like to know if black eyed susans can be planted in just potting soil instead of mixing it in with dirt from the ground? I don't want to leave it in the pots. I want to plant it, but the grou...
view the full question and answer

Dying blackeyed Susans in new garden in Pennsylvania
August 26, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! I have recently planted black eyed susans in a newly dug garden along with some cone flowers. The other flowers are doing fine but the black eyed susans have all dried up and are...
view the full question and answer

Standing Cypress Plants in San Antonio, TX
June 26, 2013 - I purchased seeds for standing cypress 2 years ago and this spring they look beautiful. What is the best way to harvest the seeds? Also, will the current plants come back next spring or will I have to...
view the full question and answer

Drooping leaves on iris in Phenix City, AL
May 02, 2009 - I had a bed FULL of iris rhizomes so I thinned them out and made two beds. They flowered perfectly but some of the flower stalks and some of the leaves began drooping over. The flowering is over. The ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center