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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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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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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)

Shrubs:

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.

 

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