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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 13, 2006

From: Flower Mound, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native plants for full sun and low maintenance
Answered by: Dean Garrett


I have volunteered to plant flowers/bushes around a sign at my church. I want to plant indigenous plants so the maintenance is low but I also want attractive plants. The soil is clay and the location is exposed 24/7 to the elements. I thought about the yucca but I don't know what other plants would work with it.


Since yuccas usually grow in full sun and will not bloom in shade, the suggestions here will be for plants native to your region that need a lot of sunlight.


Arkansas Yucca (Yucca arkansana)
Pale-leaf Yucca (Yucca pallida)

Ornamental Bunchgrasses

Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
Lindheimer Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri) - This grass is actually native a bit south of you, in Central Texas, but it should do well in North Texas if your bed is well drained.

Spring-blooming Perennial Flowers

Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa) - pink blooms
Winecups (Callirhoë involucrata) - purple blooms
Foxglove Penstemon (Penstemon cobaea) - pink blooms

Spring, Summer, and Fall-blooming Perennial Flower

Greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium) - yellow blooms

Summer and Fall-blooming Low Shrub

Black Dalea (Dalea frutescens) - purple blooms

Fall-blooming Perennial Flower

Liatris/Blazing Star/Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata) - purple blooms

When you're ready to purchase plants, consult our National Suppliers Directory for native plant retailers in your area.

Yucca arkansana

Yucca pallida

Schizachyrium scoparium

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Oenothera speciosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Penstemon cobaea

Thelesperma filifolium

Dalea frutescens

Liatris mucronata

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Crown rot in Agave americana
June 13, 2007 - My Century Plant's leaves get soft toward the base and eventually fall over and I have to cut them off. What causes this?
view the full question and answer

Selenicereus anthonyanus, Rickrack or Fishbone Cactus
February 28, 2007 - A friend of mine gave me a plant he said was a rick rack plant. I have tried to research it on line with no luck and I don't know the scientific name...any help?
view the full question and answer

Twist-leaf Yucca flowering in Burnet County, TX.
June 16, 2015 - I recently moved to Burnet County and our property is full of twist leaf yuccas which are now blooming, but not all are blooming. Why do some twist leaf yuccas bloom and others don't? Are they m...
view the full question and answer

Reasons to leave a century plant in place in Florida
November 01, 2010 - Can you please list ALL the reasons to leave a century plant (as opposed to cutting it way back or removing it) in the wilds of the sand dunes on the coast of Florida, other than its prominent beauty?
view the full question and answer

How to prune Opuntia ellisiana in Decatur, GA.
August 20, 2009 - Hi Mr SP--How do I go about pruning an Opuntia ellisiana? I have saws, newspaper, heavy leather gloves, goggles, etc. But my question is more about what section of the plant to cut. The base has de...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center