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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - January 25, 2012

From: Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Drought Tolerant, Shrubs, Trees, Wildflowers
Title: Drought resistant flowering plants for Spring, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Pants. I live in Spring Tx. and wanted to plant a garden in my front yard. I'm looking for flowering plants that are colorful, easy to manage, and drought resistant but so far can't find any that have all the qualities listed above. Can you help me?

ANSWER:

Please take advantage of our Texas-East Recommended list (since Spring is in Harris County in that region) to look for plants that fit your criteria.  That list contains 133 native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in your area.   You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to choose various criteria, e.g., General Appearance, Light Requirement, Soil Moisture, etc., to customize your search.  For instance, if you NARROW YOUR SEARCH by choosing "Herb" from General Appearance and "Dry" from Soil Moisture, you will narrow the list to 26 choices.   All these wildflower species are listed as growing in dry soil; however, not all the species have an entry for Drought Tolerance under the Growing Conditions category. The following ones, though, are listed as having "High" drought tolerance:

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed) which is listed under "Growing Conditions" as having "High" drought tolerance.

Echinacea pallida (Pale purple coneflower)

Liatris pycnostachya (Prairie blazing star)

Ratibida columnifera (Mexican hat)

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan)

If you do a similar search using "Shrub" under General Appearance, none of the resulting species has a Drought Tolerance entry to tell us whether it is high, medium or low; but they all will grow in dry soil.  Here are several from that are colorful and easy to grow:

Erythrina herbacea (Coralbean)

Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (Turk's cap or turkscap)

Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac) with dark red fruit and beautiful red/orange fall foliage

Using "Tree" as a search element gives you:

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) listed as "Medium, High" for drought tolerance

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) is listed under Conditions Comments as being drought tolerant.  The female plants produce bright red berries that persist over the winter and attract birds.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Pale purple coneflower
Echinacea pallida

Prairie blazing star
Liatris pycnostachya

Mexican hat
Ratibida columnifera

Coralbean
Erythrina herbacea

Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Turk's cap or turkscap
Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

Texas redbud
Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

More Wildflowers Questions

How do I grow bluebonnets in East Texas?
April 03, 2009 - I live in the Piney Woods region in N.East Texas. I bought a flat of bluebonnets and want to know if they will grow back next year? If not, how do I get bluebonnets to grow back every year in my yard ...
view the full question and answer

Hanging plants for Austin, TX
May 18, 2014 - I'm looking for a hanging potted flower suggestion for Austin. Most locations are shaded under a large tree, but some locations may have several hours of afternoon sun. I'd love to see some hummin...
view the full question and answer

Purchase of Galphimia angustifolia from Austin
June 08, 2014 - I have a Thryallis, Galphimia augustifolia, or Thryallis autustifolia, growing from a limestone ledge in my yard in west Austin TX. I have tried unsuccessfully to buy this native. Do you sell it at t...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Virginia crownbeard
January 29, 2005 - I recently moved to the Hill Country and notice some "weeds" that seemed to into explode into ice formations when the temperature first fell below freezing. Can you tell me the name of this plant an...
view the full question and answer

Is there a variety of bluebonnet called black gumbo
February 04, 2008 - I live in Grimes County, Texas on the eastern edge of the Blackland Prairie. A few years ago my hillside of Bluebonnet seed was harvested. I was told it was a rare 'black gumbo' variety of bluebon...
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