En Espa—ol

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

Evergreen that Grows to Three Feet in Michigan
May 22, 2014 - I have searched your site and canít find what I need. I live in the middle of Michigan. I need a shrub that stays green year round and only grows to 3 feet or less.
view the full question and answer

Why do the leaves of my potted Esperanza plant look droopy?
August 13, 2009 - My Esperanza plant leaves look droopy. I have it in a big pot and have for 3 years.
view the full question and answer

Non-native bougainvillea in Beaufort SC
July 06, 2011 - Bougainvillea-Can I grow these in Beaufort SC?
view the full question and answer

Wax myrtle problems from Driftwood TX
September 04, 2010 - We planted 27 wax myrtles on the perimeter of our property last year and were diligent about watering them throughout the drought. They are in very rocky soil (we had to use a jackhammer to dig the ho...
view the full question and answer

Protecting hibiscus from cold in Eastern Washington State
July 28, 2006 - I recently purchased a Hibiscus Brilliant Red. I planted it in an area of my garden that will give it full sun for most of the day. In the Pacific Northwest where I live (Eastern Washington) it can ge...
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