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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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Saturday - October 29, 2011

From: Abilene, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Plant Lists, Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for shade in Abilene TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Abilene, Texas. I am trying to find the best plants to fill in an area on the North side of my home, which gets absolutely no sun. The area is sprinklered, and stays fairly moist. I really do not care whether they are ground covers or shrubs, what can you recommend?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower has already-prepared lists of plants suitable to distinct ecosystem areas and soils in Texas. These lists can be found under the "Just for Texans" heading on our Recommended Species page. Each list includes a color-coded map of the state, and a description of the location, soil and climate of that area. There is always some overlap of areas, and if you feel we have selected the wrong area for Jones and Taylor counties, you can always visit some of the others. We feel it most likely that plants for the Rolling Plains of Texas would be most suitable for your area. When you follow that link, you will get a list of 189 plants of all types. Mr. Smarty Plants only recommends plants that are native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow naturally. To find the shade-tolerant plants on that list, go to the sidebar on the right-hand side of the page. Click on "shade" under Light Requirements, and Narrow Your Search, which will give you a list of 18 possibilities. If you wish to specify other characteristics, such as Habit (tree, grass, herbaceous blooming plant) this will narrow your selection dowm even more.

You will probably find the lack of sunlight to be the biggest limitation to your choice, but we will suggest a few plants from the list for consideration:

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)

Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac)

Ruellia nudiflora (Violet ruellia)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Symphyotrichum subulatum (Baby's breath aster)

 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

Violet ruellia
Ruellia nudiflora

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Baby's breath aster
Symphyotrichum subulatum

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