Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Saturday - October 27, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Small, flowering, evergreen plants for hillside in Austin.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a steep, dry hillside measuring approximately 4 feet high by six feet wide. I want to plant low growing, evergreen, flowering plants across the bed that will flower as long as possible, and thrive in the given conditions. I live in Austin. The hillside receives part to full sun. There is irrigation for water. At the top of the bed there is yellow nandina, a crepe myrtle and rosemary shrubs. Do you have any suggestions, please?

ANSWER:

Here are a few plants that bloom for long periods of time and are mostly evergreen; i.e., they stay green in milder winters, but may go dormant during very cold winters. The first four are a little larger and showier than the last two, but perhaps you could use a mixture.

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia)

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena)

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)

Phyla nodiflora (frogfruit)

If you want something that will stay green all year long, but without showy blossoms, you could consider using one of the sedges. For example:

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)


Chrysactinia mexicana

Melampodium leucanthum

Wedelia texana

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Calyptocarpus vialis

Phyla nodiflora

Carex texensis

Carex blanda

 


 

More Wildflowers Questions

Slope Erosion control for Fairview NC
August 19, 2012 - Please recommend plants to help with soil erosion on a slope. The soil is red clay and area gets full sun. The slope is approximately 12' x 12'. I live in Fairview, NC
view the full question and answer

Dicentra Late in Emerging in the Spring
April 29, 2013 - I have had a bleeding heart plant that has come up for over 50 years. This year it did not come up. Is there anything I can do? Is there a chance that it will come up next year or should I assume that...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Iris native to Louisiana
May 19, 2005 - A friend of mine has discovered white iris growing alongside of a swampy habitat in southeast Louisiana where there are blue, yellow and copper/red irises. We presume it is wild because it is in a na...
view the full question and answer

Planters for wildflower exhibit in Jemez Springs NM
November 28, 2010 - I am planning to have a wildflower/pollinator exhibit at a visitor center located on a high elevation grassland (no trees). I would like advice on the size of the planter boxes.The area is located at...
view the full question and answer

Planting wildflowers on roadsides in Dallas
July 23, 2011 - Am interested in leading Y Princess group in community effort to plant wildflowers along roads in Dallas area. Do you have any advice on how to approach the problem or sources for the seeds?
view the full question and answer

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