En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - April 24, 2011

From: Brenham, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant
Title: Drought and Fire Resistant Plants for Round Top, Texas
Answered by: Mike Tomme


Dear Mr. Smarty Pants Do you have any advice on plants which are drought tolerant and fire resistant for a central Texas location near Round Top Texas? Thanks


The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a website that makes recommendations on protecting against wildfire in north Texas and Oklahoma that includes recommended plants. Several of the plants they recommend are native to Fayette County. Here are a few:

Large Trees:

Celtis occidentalis (Common hackberry)

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey locust)

Quercus stellata (Post oak)

Quercus shumardii (Shumard oak)

Quercus virginiana (Coastal live oak)

Carya illinoinensis (Pecan)

Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweetgum)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Medium trees:

Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii (Western soapberry)

Diospyros virginiana (Common persimmon)

Cornus florida (Flowering dogwood)

Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud)

Ostrya virginiana (Eastern hop-hornbeam)

Magnolia grandiflora (Southern magnolia)


Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (Common elderberry)

You can go through this list and pick plants that will do well in your specific sun, soil and moisture conditions.

Because these plants are native to your area, they are going to be drought resistant. However, no plant is drought resistant until it is established, so plan on providing supplemental water until you've got it up and going.


More Drought Tolerant Questions

Ilex vomitoria Sufering from Drought?
January 19, 2012 - My Ilex vomitoria has always thrived. It is about ten years old. This fall, a portion of the leaves on the ends of the branches have turned yellow on the edges with green veining in the center. Othe...
view the full question and answer

Low water hedge for Sedona, AZ
August 19, 2009 - I'm looking for a shrub to plant along a 90' property line with my neighbor in Sedona, Arizona (high desert). Ideally, the shrub would grow to about 8' and would not require too much water. What wo...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping from a potted Mesquite
August 11, 2014 - I have a Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean Mesquite) that I purchased at a nursery in Alpine, TX just a few miles away from me. It was a in nursery style black plastic container. The mesquite is perhaps a...
view the full question and answer

Native Trees for Pflugerville TX
September 28, 2013 - I'm looking for suggestions on native, drought tolerant conifers that can be located in a Pflugerville landscape under overhead electric lines. Open to Arizona Cypress, but concerned about the height...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant, drought- and shade-tolerant plant for Pennsylvania
August 14, 2012 - Hello, I need a deer/drought resistant, shade tolerant, rocky soil perennial. I would like it to have some winter appeal. I live outside of Philadelphia, PA. Thank you so much for your time...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center