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?

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

Shade tree with non-aggressive roots for next to pool in The Woodlands TX
April 26, 2011 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. We live in Spring, TX and are looking for a full-sun shade tree to plant in a large planter (about 6'x6') next to our pool. We want the tree to provide shade for our full a...
view the full question and answer

Native Texas Plants for a Terrarium
October 08, 2014 - I have a 55-gallon aquarium that I would like to make into a terrarium. Are there any Texas native plants that would do well in the limited artificial light of the tank? The plants should be of varyin...
view the full question and answer

Non-Poisonous, Shade Tolerant Vine for Austin
February 01, 2011 - Hello, I live in northwest Austin and have a very shady wood fence I would like to cover and was thinking about a vine. I have a toddler and a dog so anything poisonous is out of the question. I woul...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for shady yard in Austin
September 04, 2011 - I was looking at your research on native grasses to be used in a yard. I want to plant your native mix of seeds, but worry that there is too much shade in my yard. I live in central Austin and wante...
view the full question and answer

Ornamental shade grasses for Dover AR
April 16, 2011 - Ornamental shade grasses for sandy soil or silt, part shade, or even vines.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center