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
1 rating

Sunday - March 15, 2009

From: Gilroy, CA
Region: California
Topic: Drought Tolerant
Title: Drought tolerant plants for Gilroy, California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Gilroy, CA. We want to plant drought tolerant plants native to our area. We already have native sycamores and oak trees, manzanita and snowberry shrubs, and we have a list of local wildflowers that we are working on. Do you have suggestions on other types of plants, such as grasses, other shrubs, and trees? We live near a creek. Temps in the summer are typically 90-103 degrees (can go up to 115). Temps in winter typically go down to 32 for a few weeks and can reach as low as 26.

ANSWER:

Good Job!  It sounds as if you have made a fine start.  Here are several other possibilities:

SHRUBS

Artemisia californica (coastal sagebrush)

Eriogonum fasciculatum (Eastern Mojave buckwheat)

Ribes aureum (golden currant)

Baccharis pilularis (coyotebrush)

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn)

Mahonia nevinii (Nevin's barberry)

Dendromecon rigida (tree poppy)

Fremontodendron californicum (California flannelbush)

Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry)

TREES

Acer negundo (boxelder)

Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii (hollyleaf cherry)

Umbellularia californica (California laurel)

GRASSES

Koeleria macrantha (prairie Junegrass)

Festuca californica (California fescue)

Sporobolus airoides (alkali sacaton)

You can find more recommended plants for Northern California by selecting that area from the map or from the pulldown menu on our Recommended Species page.


Artemisia californica

Eriogonum fasciculatum

Ribes aureum

Baccharis pilularis

Ceanothus leucodermis

Mahonia nevinii

Dendromecon rigida

Fremontodendron californicum

Shepherdia argentea

Acer negundo

Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii

Umbellularia californica

Koeleria macrantha

Festuca californica

Sporobolus airoides

 

 

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Drought resistance of non-native Abelia from Austin
March 14, 2013 - Are abelias drought resistant? I have a spot that is sunny from early morning till about 2-2:30 in the afternoon. Is this enough sun?
view the full question and answer

Drought resistant flowering plants for Spring, TX
January 25, 2012 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants. I live in Spring Tx. and wanted to plant a garden in my front yard. I'm looking for flowering plants that are colorful, easy to manage, and drought resistant but so far can't fi...
view the full question and answer

Range and adaptability of evening primrose from Tucson AZ
August 28, 2009 - What is the natural range of the evening primrose? What adaptations does it have to live in the arid Southwest?
view the full question and answer

Perennial Suggestions for Under Ash Trees in Minnesota
June 12, 2013 - With our house we have inherited 2 ash trees in our front yard with a large amount landscaping underneath. I'm replacing the landscaping but there are tree roots at the surface preventing me from bei...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant Wildflowers for Oklahoma City
April 16, 2012 - I live in Oklahoma City. I'm not in town very often, and am seeking low maintenance plants. I have MANY trees in my backyard, which makes it quite shady. I have raised beds amongst my rock garden ...
view the full question and answer

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