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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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Thursday - July 04, 2013

From: Palm Springs, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Privacy hedge for Palm Springs CA
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Pants I have a 6 foot block wall, and my house is elevated, and I need a privacy hedge or tree (even flowering) to create more privacy. I do not want to use Ficus as I hear they can damage the wall over time. What will grow well in Palm Springs, CA. Help Me! New Homeowner

ANSWER:

Since our mission here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes", we wouldn't recommend you plant Ficus sp. since they are native to Asia and the Mediterranean area.  Here are some recommendations that are native to Riverside County, California:

Larrea tridentata (Creosote bush) is evergreen with yellow flowers and aromatic leaflets.   Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery (in Escondido and Santa Margarita) and from Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley, CA.

Atriplex canescens (Chamiso) is a semi-evergreen shrub.  Here is more information from Theodore Payne Foundation and from Las Pilitas

Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow) is a deciduous large shrub or small tree with fragrant beautiful flowers.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas.

Rosa woodsii (Woods' rose) is decidious and not very thorny.   Here is more information about Rosa woodsii var. glabrata from Las Pilitas.

Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) is a gray-green shrub that appears evergreen, but actually loses its leaves but not all at once.   Here is more information from Las Pilitas and from Theodore Payne Foundation.

Washingtonia filifera (California fan palm) will eventually grow to 50 feet.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas and from Theodore Payne Foundation.

Fremontodendron californicum (California flannelbush) is evergreen.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas.

By the way, it's Mr Smarty PLANTS (not Pants)!

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Creosote bush
Larrea tridentata

Chamiso
Atriplex canescens

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Woods' rose
Rosa woodsii

Jojoba
Simmondsia chinensis

California fan palm
Washingtonia filifera

California flannelbush
Fremontodendron californicum

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