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

Sunday - April 08, 2012

From: Lubbock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Screening Shrub for Lubbock TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I am a landscape architecture student at Texas Tech University and am looking for a drought tolerant shrub to be used for screening a water well area. The location is the northwest corner of a yard with a wood picket fence around it. The shrub will be in full sun, and needs to be able to tolerate the north winter wind due to undeveloped property directly north of the lot. My initial thought was texas sage but the client informed me that they have not had very good success with the sage in the past.

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants thinks the LBJ Wildflower Center has a great design resource that you should add to your tools.  In the "Expore Plants" topic of the webpage is a link named Recommended Species.  If you follow that, there is a link for Native Plants for the Texas High Plains, and also, farther down the page, all of Texas by Ecoregion.

You didn't say exactly where your clients area was [because we have slightly different lists for "High Plains" and "Rolling Plains"] but I expect it is in or near Lubbock, so I used the High Plains Ecoregion list; we can further limit the search by sorting for "Full Sun" and "Shrub".

That returned a list of 5 candidates, ones that are very resilient to your weather and which gives you a bit of choice as to configuration.  Why don't you consider these? [pictures below]:

Verbena halei (Slender verbena)                1-3 Ft.

Acacia angustissima (Prairie acacia)         1-4 Ft.

Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush)                6-10 Ft.

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac)            6-12 Ft.

Cercocarpus montanus (Alderleaf mountain mahogany)     8-20 Ft.

  I looked a little bit into the Salvia texana (Texas sage) that your client said did not do well.  In its plant record it states that Salvia texana is a denizen of limestone soils from north-central Texas south to northern Mexico.  This means that it is likely not well adapted to the weather and soil near Lubbock, so it would need extra care to thrive.  If you have a plant that you would like to recommend for an area, perhaps you should look at the USDA distribution maps.  A link to that is in the Plant Record on the line that says:  

USDA Symbol: SATE3

Hope that helps!     Mr Smarty Plants

 

From the Image Gallery


Slender verbena
Verbena halei

Prairie acacia
Acacia angustissima

Alderleaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus

Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

More Shrubs Questions

Problems with rock rose in Austin
June 10, 2013 - Hi Mr Smarty Pants, We have a Texas Rock Rose which is growing next to our gravel path in Austin, with grass growing under it. In the last week, it has stopped blooming suddenly, and all the leaves h...
view the full question and answer

Need plants for a hedge in Iredell, Tx
August 28, 2009 - I have six Penelope roses that I planted for a hedge about 14 years ago. I need to replace them. Will you please recommend heat tolerant plants that grow between 3-5 feet tall, preferable blooming, ...
view the full question and answer

Looking for native plants for a rain garden in Arlington, TX.
March 12, 2012 - I am looking for native Texas plants that would do well in rain gardens. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for city lot in Longview, TX
March 19, 2008 - Just bought a city lot in Longview, TX and want to put in some plants at the periphery even before the house is built. Can you recommend any that would be from your list of East TX plants that are pa...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for slope in Kansas City
October 08, 2008 - We have a down sloping back yard and patio on the lower area. We need some water absorbing plants near the foundation and some in the front of the house, where water isn't a problem. We are allergic ...
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