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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.

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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.

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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.

 
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Thursday - January 17, 2013

From: Jacksonville, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Hedge shrub for shade in Jacksonville FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Looking for shrub or hedge ( no Azaleas please )to line front of house that is full time shade in Jacksonville Florida ( something different, on the lines of tropical if possible).

ANSWER:

Whether we can come up with "on the line of" tropical depends on what shrubs native to Florida look tropical to you. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow naturally. The reason for this is that a plant in its native soil, climate and amount of rainfall will consume fewer scarce resources such as water, chemicals and back muscles.

Having said that, we will go to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search, select Florida under State, "shrub" under Habit and "shade" under Light Requirement. The designation of "shade" is going to make it more difficult to find anything with impressive blooms and there will be few evergreen, but let's see what's out there:

Shrubs for Shade from Jacksonville FL:

Agarista populifolia (Florida hobblebush) - evergreen, more informantion and pictures from Floridata 

Amelanchier arborea (Common serviceberry) - deciduous

Ceanothus americanus (New jersey tea) - deciduous

Chiococca alba (West indian milkberry)- evergreen

Clethra alnifolia (Coastal sweet pepperbush) - deciduous

Cornus alternifolia (Alternateleaf dogwood)- deciduous

Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf hydrangea) -deciduous

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) - evergreen

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark)- deciduous

Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac) - deciduous

Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto) - evergreen

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry)- deciduous

Viburnum acerifolium (Mapleleaf viburnum) - deciduous

Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to discover its expected height, bloom time and color, preferred soil, etc. You may have difficulty finding native plants in the large commercial nurseries in your area. In that case, go to our National Suppliers Directory and put your town and state or just your zip code in the "Enter Search Location" box. This will give you a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and consultants in your general area. All have contact information so you can find out if the plant you want is in stock.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common serviceberry
Amelanchier arborea

New jersey tea
Ceanothus americanus

Snowberry
Chiococca alba

Coastal pepperbush
Clethra alnifolia

Alternateleaf dogwood
Cornus alternifolia

Oakleaf hydrangea
Hydrangea quercifolia

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Atlantic ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

Dwarf palmetto
Sabal minor

Coralberry
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Mapleleaf viburnum
Viburnum acerifolium

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