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
2 ratings

Wednesday - June 07, 2006

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Native Texas Hill Country nitrogen-fixing plants
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Please help me find a listing of native (TX Hill Country) nitrogen-fixing plants.

ANSWER:

A centralized listing of nitrogen-fixing plants native to the Texas Hill Country does not appear to exist at this point, but there is a relatively simple way to construct one. Since almost all members of the legume family, Fabaceae, are known to fix nitrogen, finding a list of native Central Texas plants in that family would cover most nitrogen-fixing plants in your region. Since you're in Williamson County, this flora of neighboring Travis County would be a good start. Simply go down to the Fabaceae section to get to the leguminous plants. There are many, including some commonly used in landscaping, such as Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora), redbud (Cercis canadensis), Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), and bluebonnets (Lupinus spp.).

Consulting books that cover a broader region, such as Shinners and Mahler's Flora of North Central Texas (which includes most of Williamson County) and the Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (which lists leguminous plants under the older name, Leguminosae), paying attention to which species occur in the Hill Country, can help produce a more complete list. Both books are commonly available in Texas libraries.

In addition to the legumes, there are several other plant genera that fix nitrogen. Central Texas examples of these include Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus), native to the western edge of the Hill Country, and Redroot (Ceanothus herbaceous).

 

More Trees Questions

Can a Texas Mountain Laurel be grown in Drake CO
August 22, 2010 - I live in Colorado, in the mountains near Estes Park, and would like to plant the Texas Mountain Laurel. Can they be grown in this environment. I would be willing to grow them in containers so I could...
view the full question and answer

Trees to hide telephone poles and wires
September 28, 2009 - I am looking for trees to plant between my house and the street to hide telephone poles and wires. My top priority is to add strong, gold color in the fall. Spring flowers would be a plus. Because ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting redbud from field in Edmond, OK
March 30, 2009 - I want to transplant a small redbud from a field to my yard. The trunk diam is about 1.5" and the tree is about 4' tall. What is the best way to do this? Should I plant it in a pot first?
view the full question and answer

Need a tree to grow in the middle of a retention pond in Pennsylvania
June 03, 2010 - I have a shallow retention pond in my yard in South Eastern Pennsylvania. The pond is used for rainwater runoff and also for natural springs that are located below the surface. If I plant a tree in th...
view the full question and answer

Trees for shade in Austin
May 20, 2012 - I live in Austin and I am looking for a good tree to plant under a large live oak I have in my backyard. Something slow-growing of course and, the garden only gets late day sun for about an hour. Filt...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center