Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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

Sunday - June 21, 2015

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists
Title: Plants for strip between sidewalk and street
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Sir, My name is Brandon. I live in Leander TX (just North of Cedar Park). I have an area that is in the "street strip" (in between sidewalk and asphalt) of my home that I would like to do natives in. I would like something that stays between 2-3 ft (ish) tall so I don't have to maintenance it much. Please keep in mind that the area will have lots of radiant heat between the sidewalk, street and preexisting basalt gravel that I've used as filler. I looked at the Autumn Sage as a possibility because it flowers and the Mrs. loves her some flowers! Plus it's evergreen (ish) in nature. Do you have any other recommendations possibly? And where is the best place for me to locate these plants in Williamson/Travis County. Thank you for your time, B-

ANSWER:

On our Special Collections page, near the bottom of the page, we have an area called JUST FOR CENTRAL TEXANS.  Two of the lists there look as if they could be useful to your selection of plants—Sun Garden Plants for Central Texas (this is an assumption on my part that the area is in full sun) and Drought Resistant Plants for Texas and Beyond.

From the first list, Sun Garden Plants, here are a few suggestions:

Chrysactinia mexicana (Damianita) is evergreen and usually less than 2 feet high.

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena) is low-growing and blooms nearly year round.

Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana) is a spreading shrub that can be pruned to maintain size.

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) grows less than a foot high and blooms over a long period.

Salvia greggii (Autumn sage) is evergreen and is certainly a good choice.

Tecoma stans (Yellow bells) can grow as tall as 6 feet but it usuallly produces a wonderful show of yellow blooms in the Central Texas area.

Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa (Four-nerve daisy) is a low-growing evergreen.

Many of the same plants appear on both lists, but here is one from the Drought Resistant Plants list that should work well:

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista) is evergreen and grows to 2.5 feet.

There may be other plants that you prefer on either of these two lists.

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

 

From the Image Gallery


Damianita
Chrysactinia mexicana

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

Four-nerve daisy
Tetraneuris scaposa var. scaposa

Texas sacahuista
Nolina texana

More Plant Lists Questions

Ground cover for Orange County, California
August 05, 2012 - What ground cover do you suggest for an Orange Co., CA, backyard with a steep slope in 3-4 hours of sun? Needs to grow fast to beat the weeds. Something pretty would be nice! Thanks
view the full question and answer

Windbreak [Dustbreak] for Shelton, WA
May 31, 2013 - I live on a well traveled, dusty, gravel road in the Pacific North West and would like to plant a barrier to help control the dust.
view the full question and answer

New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
May 31, 2013 - Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
view the full question and answer

Strong groundcover for Southern California
March 28, 2012 - Need a strong ground cover. Hard time getting anything to grow. Full sun. Prefer some color. Low upkeep. The soil probably isn't great. It is a small hill within a planter.
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Narrow Fence Line in TN
February 03, 2015 - I have a very specific and difficult planting question. I have a narrow strip (about 2 feet at the widest) between my back privacy fence and a wire fence that marks the edge of my property. It is dire...
view the full question and answer

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