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

Monday - May 28, 2007

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Groundcovers, Shrubs
Title: Coexistence of rubus trivialis and American beautyberry
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I'm growing some rubus trivialis in a 1-gal. pot and plan to plant it this fall. Will this dewberry coexist with American beautyberry, or must it have its own space entirely? If it needs its own space, how much space does it need? If planted along the foundation, will rainfall runoff be enough for it, or does it really need to be in the floodplain? That's where it occurs in Pflugerville. I was thinking of putting it in bright shade/partial sun along the east side of my house, as ground cover around some beautyberry. Alternatively I could put it near the creek in the greenbelt directly behind my house but would have to protect it from the HOA's "mowheads," who have wiped out all the wildlife habitat along that stretch of the creek. It's been in a pot for about a month and seems to be doing fine with the spring rainfall. I rustled a few stems from a neighborhood that has the sense to leave their creekside wild.

ANSWER:

I'm assuming that the Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is already in place on the east side of your house in bright shade to partial sun, and is doing all right. The beautyberry can grow in sun to partial shade, can tolerate full sun with supplemental watering and needs dry to moist soil. Rubus trivialis (southern dewberry) requires well-drained, moist soil, and can grow in semi-shade to full sun, but requires a well-drained, moist soil. So, it would appear they could co-exist in the same bed, with perhaps a little more water than the Beautyberry requires in order to satisfy the needs of the Dewberry. Whether the Dewberry will serve as a ground cover for the Beautyberry is a matter of personal preference. The Dewberry has long, stiff, thorny canes (in the Rosaceae family) and might not be tame enough for a ground cover, per se. Certainly, it appears the Dewberry would do well in the nearby greenbelt creek, and it wouldn't be very easy to mow, but could certainly be damaged if your "mowheads" are determined enough.

 


Callicarpa americana

Rubus trivialis

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Opinion of 5 best native garden plants in Oklahoma from Burneyville OK
September 07, 2013 - What would you say are the 3 to 5 BEST native garden plants for south central Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Native, non-invasive plants for Canaan Valley, WV
April 23, 2006 - I recently purchased a home on an acre of land in the middle of Canaan Valley, WV. The front yard is flat and sunny, the back is on a ridge and is a little forest with a creek at the bottom. The tre...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Banana Shrub from Houston
May 01, 2014 - My 7' beloved Banana Shrub (magnolia) has white dots on top of the leaves and nasty black stuff covering the backside of the leaves. The plant is dropping leaves. What can I do to save it? I has bee...
view the full question and answer

Dogwoods Late in Blooming
May 14, 2015 - We are seeing no evidence of flowers on two dogwoods this year. One usually is in bloom now, the other later on in the spring.
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs in Wisconsin
July 30, 2009 - I live in Hudson, WI, just across the border from Minn/St Paul and would like to create a privacy screen between my front yard and my neighbors yard. Right now it's full sun, but I want to plant a c...
view the full question and answer

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