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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 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!

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Saturday - April 20, 2013

From: Topeka, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Small shrubs for landscape in Kansas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am intersted in small shrubs for the landscaping in front of our house located in Topeka,KS. Many of the shrubs I looked at are 5 foot in width in height. The plants will receive morning sun.

ANSWER:

Please visit our Kansas Recommended page to find a list of plants that are native to Kansas and commerically available for landscaping.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH feature to search for shrubs of the size you want.   Choose "Shrub" from GENERAL APPEARANCE and the height you want under HEIGHT (IN FEET).  You can choose other criteria as well, if you wish.   I chose shrubs 1-3' and 3-6' and have the following recommendations:

Ceanothus americanus (New jersey tea)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry)

Amorpha canescens (Leadplant)

I also did a search in our Native Plant Database using the COMBINATION SEARCH option and chose "Kansas" from Select State or Province and "Shrub" from General Appearance and the same height and found another one for you.   You should try these to searches yourself to see if you find anything else you like.

Rhus trilobata (Skunkbush sumac)   Here are photos and more information from Western New Mexico University.

 

From the Image Gallery


New jersey tea
Ceanothus americanus

New jersey tea
Ceanothus americanus

Coralberry
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Leadplant
Amorpha canescens

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