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

Monday - March 26, 2012

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

Edible forest garden for northern Minnesota
March 07, 2014 - I am planning an edible forest garden for northern Minnesota. Can you suggest a list of plants that are native to this area. We are in zone 3a or 3b. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Ilex x attenuata (Savannah holly)
July 31, 2014 - Is it hard to take a savannah holly out of my front yard? Do the roots grow down deep or are they more shallow? I can only take a 36-40 rootball circumference because of surrounding established shru...
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurel having trouble in AZ
June 07, 2011 - A Sophora secundflora (Texas mountain laurel) was planted to an Arizona north faced front yard last year in August under full sun. Starting early this year, I noticed its leaves turn to light green an...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in Pittsburgh PA
April 25, 2013 - I have a similar question to one from SC. I live in Pittsburgh, PA. We have a steep slope behind a newly built in pool. What type of plants can I put on the hillside to hold the soil. It gets a ...
view the full question and answer

Failure of fragrance in Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus) in Illinois
April 30, 2006 - I have a sweet shrub bush that I took from the root of another one. Every year it blooms but never has even a smidgen of fragrance. The bush it came from was very fragrant. Should I do something to th...
view the full question and answer

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