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

Monday - June 10, 2013

From: Llano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Texas sage near a granite outcropping from Llano TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have a large granite outcropping near my house. There are pockets that have spring flowers growing in them and is just beautiful in the spring. I want to plant other native plants in and about the granite. What plants do you suggest? Someone told me I couldn't plant anything near the rock because it heats up in the summer and cooks the roots. I love Texas Sage. Would a hedge of Texas Sage be possible?


First, the story that not being able to plant anything near the granite slab because it heats up in the summer and cooks the roots. What do you think about the pockets of spring flowers growing already on that hunk of granite? They don't seem to be cooking. And the roots of plants are in the shade, protection and insulation of the earth, quite safe from the reflection of light and heat from that rock. In fact, the density of the rock probably means it is pretty cool inside, too.

Now, on to the Texas Sage. There are two plants native to Central Texas in or near Llano County with the common name "Texas Sage":

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) - an evergreen shrub

Salvia texana (Texas sage) - an herbaceous blooming plant

Follow each plantt link to our webpages on these plants to learn their sunlight requirements, soil and water needs as well as color and time of blooming. Since you mentioned you wanted to make a hedge, we are going to assume you meant the Cenizo, which is often sold as "Texas Sage." You will note that one of the pictures of this plant from our Image Gallery (below) shows the Cenizo trimmed as a hedge. We prefer it not trimmed too heavily as this removes a lot of the blooms. With some rain, this plant can bloom virtually year-round. And we think it will thrive and be beautiful in front of the chunk of granite.



From the Image Gallery

Texas sage
Salvia texana

Texas sage
Salvia texana

Texas sage
Salvia texana

Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for North Myrtle Beach SC
June 05, 2012 - What plants will do well at North Myrtle Beach, SC that will take full sun with dry soil?
view the full question and answer

Blue plants or flowers in Baltimore, MD
July 27, 2007 - I have a taxi company in the city called Bluecab. The headquarters is in an industrial area and the soil is tough and well, industrial. There will be no watering or maintenance done. Looks like a car ...
view the full question and answer

Native woodland plants for Benicia, California
May 20, 2009 - I am planting in raised beds around redwood trees, Japanese maples and rhododendrons in my backyard. I would like suggestions for native woodland plants to accompany my established plants. The area i...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Villa Hills KY
April 21, 2013 - Hello I have this plant but I don't know what it is. I want to know if it's edible or what it is. I think it's catnip.
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas star hibiscus in Central Texas
August 11, 2014 - Hi there, I purchased a beautiful Texas Star Hibiscus that I want to plant in my yard. Unfortunately, my yard being in Travis Heights, I hit a lot of caliche when digging. To plant some other nativ...
view the full question and answer

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