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

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

Trees for clay soil from Charlotte TX
August 25, 2013 - We have an area in our yard that even Esperanzas won't grow. It is near another that does great. Six Esperanzas are planted in a north/south row about with 10' between plants, the southern most plan...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for black walnut near septic tank
March 10, 2009 - We have a black walnut tree growing on the sunny side of our house which provides wonderful shade in the summer but it is such a dirty tree. The leaves drop very early as well as small branches and t...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for privacy screen in Granbury Texas
December 21, 2014 - We need to put an evergreen privacy screen between our barn and our neighbor's new 132' long, unattractive building, which runs along & is just 40' away from our fence line & where they have decid...
view the full question and answer

Shade trees for Tucson AZ
May 25, 2012 - I need to plant some "fast growing" trees or shrubs on my southwest yard in order to reduce the heat in my bedroom. What do you suggest? I live in Tucson, Arizona. Thank you in advance. I'm...
view the full question and answer

Why are the eastern red cedars in Bastrop/Travis County turning brown?
May 11, 2009 - I live on the Bastrop/Travis county, TX line and have many eastern red cedars on my property. About 10 of them are dying and it has happened quickly with the onset of the warmer weather. I noticed d...
view the full question and answer

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