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?


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

Monday - March 26, 2012

From: rye, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Evergreen Shrub for shade in Rye, New York
Answered by: Mike Tomme


Hello - I am looking for native shrubs for partial/mostly shade in Rye, New York. Evergreen, perennial and no larger than 4' in height. The bed is 68' in front of an elementary school facing south with big trees in front of it that gets sun in winter, mostly shade in summer. Soil is dryish. I prefer low maintenance.


The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally. So, Mr. Smarty Plants is going to set off in search of plants that are native to your area of New York (Westchester County) and meet the requirements you have outlined.

A search of the native plant data base using criteria of native to New York, less than six feet in height, grows in shade or partial shade, and is evergreen, came up with good news and bad news. The bad news is the search only identified one plant. The good news? The search didn't take very long.

The plant the search identified is Gaultheria procumbens (Checkerberry) - this plant has conspicuous fragrant flowers and produces berries that may last into the winter.

According to the USDA, checkerberry native to Westchester County, New York.



From the Image Gallery

Eastern teaberry
Gaultheria procumbens

Eastern teaberry
Gaultheria procumbens

More Shrubs Questions

Shelf life of hawthorn leaves in Florissant, MO
April 30, 2009 - I have a bag of hawthorn leaves that were harvested in 2007. Do you know if they're still effective? How long is the shelf life of hawthorn leaves? Thank you for your assistance.
view the full question and answer

When (and whether) to plant non-native red-tip photinia in Austin
October 30, 2011 - With the current and forecast drought I'm wondering if the usual rules about when to plant might change. I'd like to plant red-tip photinia.
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing American from Chinese beautyberry from Huntsville AL
August 03, 2012 - How can I tell American beautyberry from Chinese beautyberry when trying to purchase strictly native plants?
view the full question and answer

Pool-side ornamentals for south Louisiana
May 07, 2012 - We live in south Louisiana and are re-doing the plants around our pool. What are some low maintenance, small shrubs (flowering) or other ornamentals that would be good in this area?
view the full question and answer

Declining wax myrtles in Katy, TX
August 24, 2009 - My wax myrtle bushes were thick and green except for a few on the NE side 6 months ago when we bought the house. Now they are thin, leggy, and dropping leaves like crazy. They seem to be dying one bra...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center