En Español

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

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

Sunday - January 06, 2013

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Decorative small evergreen tree for Las Vegas NV
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I need a small decorative tree to be planted among a pine tree background; would prefer evergreen.


Clark County, at the extreme southern tip of Nevada, apparently has a USDA Hardiness Zone rating of around 9b, It but in the moutains in the area it can get colder. It is a subtropical desert climate, typical of the Mojave Desert in which it lies. Since you are looking for something to go with pine trees, it sounds like you might be at one of the higher elevations of the area. However, we will search in our Native Plant Database for small trees or shrubs native to Nevada and then check with the USDA Plant Profile for each tree we find to see if it is native to Clark County.

First, the good news - we found an even dozen trees native to Clark County, some referred to as shrubs, most with lovely flowers and/or foliage. Now, the bad news - only two, Yucca schidigera (Mojave yucca) and Washingtonia filifera (California fan palm) are evergreen, and are really more in scale as shrubs. There are small evegreen junipers and pines native to the area, but they would basically be more of what you already have.

Small Trees Native to Clark County, NV:

Acer grandidentatum (Big-toothed maple)

Aloysia wrightii (Wright's beebrush)

Amelanchier utahensis (Utah service-berry)

Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow)

Cercis orbiculata (California redbud) -more information and pictures

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (Redosier dogwood) - more information and pictures

Parkinsonia aculeata (Retama)

Prunus virginiana (Chokecherry)

Robinia neomexicana (New mexico locust)

Sambucus racemosa (Red elderberry)

Yucca schidigera (Mojave yucca)

Washingtonia filifera (California fan palm)

Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learns its growing conditions, including amount of sunlight, soil type and moisture. At the bottom of that page you can follow a link to Google to get even more information.


From the Image Gallery

Bigtooth maple
Acer grandidentatum

Wright's beebrush
Aloysia wrightii

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Parkinsonia aculeata

Prunus virginiana

New mexico locust
Robinia neomexicana

Red elderberry
Sambucus racemosa

Mojave yucca
Yucca schidigera

California fan palm
Washingtonia filifera

More Trees Questions

What to do with ailing live oak trees
May 04, 2010 - We live in far north San Antonio, TX on a 2 acre lot with many trees.. about 25% oak and 75% cedar. About 15% of our live oak trees have not sprouted leaves yet this spring, or have only sprouted leav...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars on Mountain laurel in Austin
September 11, 2009 - One of our 18+ year old Texas Mountain Laurels seems to be in distress this year. We treated it for caterpillars this Spring but many of the new leaves had been eaten by then. I recently started wate...
view the full question and answer

Possible allelopathic properties of Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)
October 02, 2015 - I want to plant a coral honeysuckle at the base of a mesquite tree. Anything in the mesquite that would inhibit the honeysuckle from growing?
view the full question and answer

Japanese maple in New York
August 15, 2008 - I have a few questions: Do you know what zone Brooklyn, NY. is in? If I plant a Japanese Maple in my backyard, do you think it can tolerate almost full shade (1-2 hours of sun per day)? Also, is it...
view the full question and answer

Trees native to Anza Valley California
February 14, 2012 - What are the best trees to plant in Aguanga, California?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center