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
2 ratings

Friday - March 20, 2009

From: Henderson, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Replacing grass with xeric plants in Nevada
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

I am looking to xeriscape my front yard - remove all grass! I am thinking 3-4 larger plants: bird of paradise (mesquite??), aloe, and ..?? Also, possibly a Chilean mesquite. Do you have suggestions on plants that would be appropriate/water conserving? I've seen pictures that I like, but it's tough to find plants and their Latin names on the internet, as well as cost estimates for consumers of these plants.

ANSWER:

Congratulations on removing your lawn!  You are sure to save a lot of water - a very precious resource in your desert climate.  Below is a list of trees and shrubs that are native to Clark County, Nevada and should therefore be very well adapted to your conditions.  You'll notice that one of them is Honey Mesquite, which is mistakenly referred to by some as Chilean Mesquite, but is native to the United States.  Since Aloe is native to Africa and not to North America, Mr. Smarty Plants cannot recommend it.  Other resources you may find useful are the Recommended Species page for Nevada and our Suppliers page where you can find information about purveyors of native plants near you.  Good luck with your front yard transformation!

 


Quercus gambelii

Amelanchier utahensis

Juniperus scopulorum

Pinus ponderosa

Prosopis glandulosa

Rhus glabra

Mahonia repens

Fallugia paradoxa

Purshia tridentata

 


Yucca brevifolia
 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Non-native lilacs for wedding bouquet in July in Salt Lake City
May 07, 2010 - My friend's daughter wants to have lilacs in her wedding bouquet, but she is not getting married until July 15th. I realize lilacs are spring flowers, but will there be anywhere in the U.S. that lila...
view the full question and answer

plant labels to indicate resistance to wildfire
November 12, 2013 - I have a group of students researching plants that are more fire resistant. They have learned that keeping home landscaping around a structure will help reduce the risk of a structure catching fire i...
view the full question and answer

Weed eradication in Turfallo
April 18, 2008 - I live in the Texas Panhandle and last June we planted Turfallo in our backyard - we now have lots of weeds - my information says I can use products containing MSM and 2410 to eradicate weeds. I am a...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower Seed Collection Along Public Road in Blue Ridge, North Carolina
September 21, 2010 - I live in North Carolina and would like to plant native wildflowers on a steep bank in my yard. I live on a rural dirt road and most of the plants I want grow wild on the side of the road. Can I leg...
view the full question and answer

Recommendations for a slope in Margaretville, NY
April 21, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, We really love all of your ideas on our 60 degree bank needing plants to keep the topsoil in place. The grasses you suggested are beautiful!!!! They will look incredible against the...
view the full question and answer

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