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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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Monday - May 27, 2013

From: Adairsville, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs for area around underground storm shelter
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We want to plant shrubs around our underground storm shelter to divide it from our parking area. Obviously, this is to avoid having someone drive on top of the shelter. What native shrub to North GA (half way between Chattanooga & Atlanta) would you suggest? The roots do not need to go too deep as to not damage the shelter.

ANSWER:

With our Georgia Recommended list of commercially available native plants for landscaping in the state, I used the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and chose "Shrubs" from General Appearance to narrow the list to 81 species.  It occurred to me that you might like to have evergreen shrubs so I used the NARROW YOUR SEARCH again on that list to choose "Evergreen" from Leaf Retention.  This resulted in 18 choices.  Below are seven that I chose from that list.   To be sure that these shrubs grew in Bartow County, I scrolled to the bottom of each species page to the Additional Resources area and clicked on the USDA link.  On the USDA Plants Database for each species there is a distribution map.  By clicking on Georgia on that map you can see a county distribution map for location of species in Georgia.   All the shrubs below occur in Bartow County or in an adjacent county.  They are of different sizes, but most of the larger ones can be pruned to maintain the desired size.  If you are interested in deciduous shrubs or some other type of plant, you can repeat the search on the Georgia Recommended page and enter your own criteria.

Ilex glabra (Inkberry) is evergreen and grows 6-12 feet tall.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) is evergreen and female shrubs have ornamental red berries eaten by birds.  A nearby male shrub is necessary for pollinating flowers that produce the berries.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain laurel) is evergreen and produces beautiful blossoms.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Leucothoe fontanesiana (Drooping leucothoe) is evergreen and grows 3-5 feet tall.   Here is more information from Floridata.

Lyonia lucida (Fetterbush lyonia) is evergreen and grows 3-6 feet tall.  Here is more information from Floridata.

Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba rosebay) is evergreen and grows 6-20 feet tall.  Here is more information for North Carolina State University.

Rhododendron maximum (Great laurel) is evergreen and grows 4-15 feet tal with beautiful blossoms.  Here is more information from Virginia Tech.

 

From the Image Gallery


Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia

Highland doghobble
Leucothoe fontanesiana

Fetterbush lyonia
Lyonia lucida

Catawba rosebay
Rhododendron catawbiense

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

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