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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.

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Thursday - September 03, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native plants/shrubs to plant under sycamore and redbud trees
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I want to eventually get rid of our front lawn. We have a 40 year old sycamore tree and a young but well established redbud tree in the front yard. What are some good plants/shrubs to plant under the sycamore tree and the redbud tree? I'm interested mainly in low-maintenance and native plants/shrubs. The only watering we tend to do is standard tree watering 2hrs monthly for the health of the trees. The only other water that ends up on our landscape is leftover vegetable cleaning water. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

First of all, you need plants that use very little water and, since these plants will be growing under the sycamore and redbud, you need plants that will tolerate growing in the shade or part shade.  Here are some suggestions:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista)

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle)

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)

Phacelia congesta (caterpillars)

Carex perdentata (sand sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Although these plants require very little water once established, they will need some regular watering until they are well established.  You can see more possibilities in "Plants for Dry Shade in Central Texas" under Special Collections in the Just for Central Texans category.


Callicarpa americana

Nolina texana

Mahonia trifoliolata

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Salvia coccinea

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Calyptocarpus vialis

Phacelia congesta

Carex perdentata

Carex texensis

 

 

 

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