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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - March 22, 2012

From: San Dimas , CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Pollinators, Shrubs
Title: Alternative for Pittosporum limelight
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is it ok to plant a Pittosporum limelight by pool? Don't want bees! Needs to be 6 feet. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Pittosporum tenuifolium (limelight) is native to New Zealand.   The focus and expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are plants native to North America so we wouldn't recommend planting this shrub.  We can offer some shrubs with similar features that are native alternatives:

Arctostaphylos manzanita (Whiteleaf manzanita) and here are photos and more information

Baccharis pilularis (Coyotebrush) and here are more photos and information

Cercocarpus montanus var. minutiflorus [syn.  Cercocarpus minutiflorus] (Smooth mountain mahogany) and here are photos and more information.

Frangula californica [syn. Rhamnus californica] (California buckthorn or coffeeberry) and here are photos and more information.

Most flowering plants are pollinated by some insect or other—many times it will be bees.  This means that your plant, even Pittosporum limelight, will be visited by insects while in bloom—probably, this will include bees.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coyotebrush
Baccharis pilularis

Alderleaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus

More Non-Natives Questions

Failure to thrive of non-native Purple Orchid Tree
March 09, 2009 - We planted purple orchid tree Texas,zone 9 two weeks ago and all leaves turned brown.My husband used root stimulator with enough water as the instructions said.We took all brown leaves off and now it...
view the full question and answer

Hurricane resistant alternatives to crape myrtle
September 02, 2007 - Are there any native small to medium trees (15-25 ft) to use instead of crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia indica)? Crapemyrtles come in many colors and bend with hurricane winds instead of snapping or uproo...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for alternatives for Crape Myrtle in Washington, DC.
July 15, 2011 - What can you recommend as native alternatives to the shorter (garden-sized) crape myrtle cultivars?
view the full question and answer

Deadheading cannas and geraniums
August 17, 2007 - I'm new to gardening. Your help would be appreciated. 1) I think I read that canna flowers can be deadheaded so they will continue to bloom throughout the summer. What part is actually taken off? ...
view the full question and answer

Damage to Yucca rostrata from Nottingham, England
February 26, 2014 - Hi, I have a yucca rostrata which has had its head snapped off in high winds (we live in Nottingham, England) we have left the trunk in the ground, will this re grow?? What is the best thing to do wit...
view the full question and answer

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