Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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 - August 19, 2013

From: Point Richmond, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Small shrub for Point Richmond CA
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm looking for a plant that grows 4-6 feet tall, but not too wide (more than 2-3 feet). I'd like it to be flowering (any color but white and preferably not red). It will be located between a salvia plant and lavender. I live near the water but not on the water, in Point Richmond, CA. It will get full sun. Ground will be damp once the plant's roots get deep (clay) but I'll give it plenty of fresh soil initially. thank you! ps: Lupin has been recommended but haven't tried it yet.

ANSWER:

There are many plants that will fit your 4-6 feet tall criteria, but it is more difficult to find a California native that is as slender as you would like.  You may have to resort to pruning to keep the width you want.  Lupinus species do offer several possibilities:

Lupinus arboreus (Yellow bush lupine) grows 4 to 5 feet tall. Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery in Santa Margarita and Escondido CA.

Lupinus polyphyllus (Bigleaf lupine) grows 3 to 5 feet high and 1.5 to 3 feet wide.  Here is more information from Seven Oaks Native Nursery in Albany OR.

Lupinus albifrons (Silver lupine) grows 3 to 5 feet high  Here is information about Lupinus albifrons (Silver bush lupine) from Las Pilitas Nursery.

You can see the Lupinus species available at Bay Natives in San Francisco; at Yerba Buena Nursery in Half Moon Bay

Here are a couple of other possibilities:

Trichostema lanatum (Woolly bluecurls) is an evergreen shrub that grows to 3 or 4 feet high and almost as wide.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and from Yerba Buena Nursery in Half Moon Bay.

Fremontodendron californicum (California flannelbush) can grow to 12 feet tall or more, but with judicious pruning might work.  Here is more information from San Francisco Botanical Garden and Las Pilitas Nursery.

You can find other possibilities for nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants by searching in our National Suppliers Directory.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yellow bush lupine
Lupinus arboreus

Bigleaf lupine
Lupinus polyphyllus

Silver lupine
Lupinus albifrons

Woolly bluecurls
Trichostema lanatum

California flannelbush
Fremontodendron californicum

More Shrubs Questions

Plants for pool privacy from Peachtree GA
March 20, 2012 - We currently reside in Georgia and have a pool surrounded by a fence. However, because our house is located on a hill, my neighbor on the left side can very easily still see my backyard and we can see...
view the full question and answer

Companion Plants for Rhododendron periclymenoides
February 24, 2015 - Could you identify companion plants that work well with the pink azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides)?
view the full question and answer

Lantanas with brown leaves
December 18, 2008 - I have several lantana plants here in Austin, TX. They did extremely well all summer long up until our first freeze. It looks like they have all died. Are they just dormant or are they dead? Their lea...
view the full question and answer

Hedge shrub for shade in Jacksonville FL
January 17, 2013 - 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).
view the full question and answer

Non-native dwarf palm leaves yellowing in Katy TX
March 30, 2013 - 1 month ago we planted dwarf palms, the leaves are turning yellow, does this mean we are over watering them? If so how much water do they require? Is there anything we can give them? We also have a fa...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.