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Monday - December 15, 2014

From: Merced, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Replacement for waxleaf privet
Answered by: Nan Hampton


i just removed some waxleaf privet due to reading about the invasive and allergy problem to it. Is indian hawthorn blueberry muffin any better? what shrub do you recommend? I want it to grow about 6-10foot along the fence, attracting bees would be cool, too.


Our mission at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

Raphiolepis umbellata 'Blueberry Muffin' (Indian hawthorn) is an Asian native; and, as such, we would not recommend your planting it.   Additionally, it grows to only 4-5 feet tall and I believe you are wanting something that is 6-10 feet tall.  Below are several shrubs that will grow to the height you require and that are native to Merced County.  As natives, they are adapted to the soils and climate of your area and are more likely to thrive.

Atriplex lentiformis (Big saltbush) is evergreen, grows to 8 or 10 feet and is of special value to native bees. Here is the Plant Guide from the USDA and here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery about a cultivar called 'Breweri'.

Baccharis pilularis (Coyotebrush) grows up to 8 feet, is evergreen or semi-evergreen and is of special value to native bees.  Here is more information from California Flora Nursery.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon) is evergreen, usually grows 6-8 feet tall and is of special value to native bees.  Here is the Plant Guide from the USDA and here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Umbellularia californica (California laurel) is evergreen and is a slow grower to 40 feet; however, it usually remains as an erect shrub in dry areas.  Here is the Plant Guide from the USDA and here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Congratulations on getting rid of the waxleaf privets!   You won't be sorry.


From the Image Gallery

Baccharis pilularis

Baccharis pilularis

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Heteromeles arbutifolia

California laurel
Umbellularia californica

California laurel
Umbellularia californica

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