Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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
4 ratings

Tuesday - June 13, 2006

From: Somers, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for shade native to New York
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I am gradually trying to convert my garden to all natives. I am working in a shaded area under a maple tree. Are there any varieties of epimediums/barrenwort or hellebores that are native to the northeast US?

ANSWER:

There are no species of Epimedium or Helleborus native anywhere in the Americas. However, there are plenty of desirable low-growing plants for shady areas native to your region, and our Regional FactPack for the Northeast can help you identify species appropriate for your space.

Keeping in mind that I am not familiar with the specific conditions of your site, here are some initial suggestions for low-growing shade plants native to New York:

Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)
Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)
Heartleaf Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

For additional ideas, contact a local native plant society chapter or a nearby chapter of the Wild Ones, and be sure and consult our National Suppliers' Directory to find out who sells natives in your area.
 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Wildflowers for high canal bank in Florida
May 27, 2009 - My home is on a canal to a natural lake in Central Florida (Orlando area). I am wondering if there is a wildflower that I can grow on a 3' high canal bank that is mostly shady.
view the full question and answer

Shade trees with a tap root
July 31, 2009 - I need a list of shade trees with a tap root system. I would also like the tree to grow at a medium to fast rate. I will be planting near a concrete wall and do not want the roots to do any damage to ...
view the full question and answer

Annabelle hydrangeas blossoms drooping to ground in Wilmette, IL
April 10, 2011 - I have a row of Annabelle Hydrangeas that become very heavy and droop over the entire width of the bed. I would like to know what I can use for support so that they will stand up and allow me to plan...
view the full question and answer

Screening bush for shady area
June 05, 2008 - I need some kind of bush that will act as an air conditioning blind. So far the deer have eaten or destroyed everything planted in the very shady mulch bed. What do you recommend?
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.