En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

A privacy hedge for a shady spot in Austin, TX
July 02, 2012 - What is a good choice for a privacy hedge in west Austin in a predominantly shady area? I'd like it to be 8-12 feet, along the fence, so as to obstruct the view of the neighbor's yard.
view the full question and answer

Yellowing of leaves in Texas Mountain Laurel from Austin
June 25, 2012 - I planted a Texas Mountain Laurel in my Austin, TX yard this January. The tree was good sized (about 5 feet tall) when I planted it. Recently the leaves of the tree have started to turn yellow alon...
view the full question and answer

Low-growing plant for grave in boggy Newfoundland
May 30, 2008 - I am looking for any suggestions on what type of plant I can plant on a grave. It is very boggy (peat)land. I want something that is hardy & not too tall. We have about 8 weeks of summer, July & Augus...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Hedge for Austin
November 28, 2010 - Hello, We live in Austin and have a yard that is almost fully shaded. We have a few burford holly bushes there, but would like to add some evergreen interest. We would love a tall hedge (around 8 ft...
view the full question and answer

Shade Tree for Baltimore Patio
September 11, 2013 - I am looking for a deep-rooted shade tree (or a tall shrub) for near my patio in Baltimore, Md. I desire shade in summer, but with minimum impact to the patio. The tree would be about 20 feet from the...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center