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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - April 16, 2015

From: Buckannan Dam, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Shrubs for Central Texas that are Verticillium Resistant
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

We need a list of at least a few shrubs in the 6'x3'+ size that are Verticillium Wilt resistant. We have taken out the affected Elaeagnus and would like to replace it with a screen of similar density if possible. We could not find Leucophyllum frutescans that were suitable. Thank you for any help as we need this ASAP. We are zone 8a in Central Texas.

ANSWER:

Verticillium Wilt is a disease caused by a fungi that affects many different species of plants. The Texas Plant Disease Handbook at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has a good description of the symptoms.

Plants first show a wilted appearance. Individual branches or even single leaves may be affected at first. Leaves develop a yellow color, often in V-shaped sectors between the major veins. Leaves eventually die and fall.

Discoloration or brown streaking is often found in vascular tissues. The fungus can be readily isolated from the diseased stems. Diseased plants may die soon after first symptoms or they may sprout at the base after the top dies.

The disease is similar to Fusarium wilt and have some characteristics in common. These are:

  • Both thrive with high nitrogen fertilizer, excessive soil moisture, thin stands, and deep cultivation during the growing season.
  • Both fungi survive long periods in soil in the absence of a cultivated host.

The University of California has published a list of Plants Resistant or Susceptible to Verticillium Wilt of which Elaeagnus is susceptible.

Some shrubs that are native to Texas and are not listed under the susceptible to Verticillium wilt list include:

Ageratina havanensis (Shrubby boneset)

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Flame acanthus)

Dalea formosa (Feather dalea)

Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana) Listed as Resistant or Immune

Malvastrum aurantiacum (Wright's false mallow)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Rock rose)

Philadelphus ernestii (Canyon mock orange)

Senna lindheimeriana (Lindheimer's senna)

Tecoma stans (Yellow bells)

 

From the Image Gallery


Shrubby boneset
Ageratina havanensis

Flame acanthus
Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Featherplume
Dalea formosa

Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Agarita
Mahonia trifoliolata

Rock rose
Pavonia lasiopetala

Shrubby blue sage
Salvia ballotiflora

Lindheimer's senna
Senna lindheimeriana

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

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