Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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
1 rating

Saturday - September 19, 2009

From: Westerville, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Tree to replace non-native Japanese maple in Westerville, OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am wanting to plant a Japanese maple in an area of my yard that probably gets too much sun for this plant. I am trying to figure out what kind of plant I could plant instead to get an Asian feel I am trying to create for our patio area. Are there any native plants that would grow well in Ohio (zone 6) that would provide that type of look that you can suggest?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North American but to the area in which they are being grown. Acer palmatum, Japanese maple, is native to Japan, Korea and China and therefore out of our range of expertise. We recommend native plants because they will need less water, fertilizer and maintenance in their own areas, as well as supporting the birds and butterflies that are accustomed to their own plants.

We don't know exactly what an "Asian" look would be, but we will look for some shrubs or trees that are native to Central Ohio; perhaps you can choose something that suits you from among our suggestions. Follow each link to the page on that specific plant to learn more about it.

Shrubs for Central Ohio: 

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo) -  deciduous, 6 to 10 ft., blooms orange, blue, purple, violet April to June, low water use, sun or part shade

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush) -evergreen, 6 to 12 ft. tall, blooms white, pink June to September

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) - deciduous, 15 to 30 ft. tall, blooms red, yellow, green June and July, low water use, sun, part shade or shade

Salix discolor (pussy willow) - deciduous, to 20 ft. tall, blooms white, green, brown February and March

Trees for Central Ohio:

Acer rubrum (red maple) - deciduous, 40 to 60 ft., blooms red March and April, high water use, sun or part shade

Betula populifolia (gray birch) p- deciduous, 35 to 50 ft., low water use, sun, part shade or shade

Asimina triloba (pawpaw)- deciduous, 10 to 40 ft. tall, blooms white, red, yellow, purple April and May, medium water use, sun, part shade or shade

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) - deciduous, 15 to 30 ft.,  blooms pink March to May, low water use, part shade or shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Amorpha fruticosa

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Rhus typhina

Salix discolor

Acer rubrum

Betula populifolia

Asimina triloba

Cercis canadensis

 

 




 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native Japanese privet from Glendale AZ
December 26, 2012 - We have Japanese privet shrub and they seem to be suffering from a disease, need help.
view the full question and answer

Identity of mystery plant in non-native commercial forage mix
December 17, 2013 - Dear Smart One, I use a commercially prepared, fortified, chopped forage based on a mix of orchard and Timothy grasses. The bags are shipped in from out of State. However, I have been finding short s...
view the full question and answer

Preventing seed production in non-native chinaberry in Yucaipa CA
July 04, 2009 - You were just asked about "keeping almonds from producing" I actually found your site to ask how to keep a chinaberry tree from producing its berries. I am considering renting a commercial property ...
view the full question and answer

Native plant to replace invasive non-native nandina in Houston
February 28, 2010 - I'm just now finding out that Nandinas are an invasive species from our local chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. I have three of them in my front yard and want to replace them. Can you sug...
view the full question and answer

Non-native mimosa failing to bloom in Leitchfield KY
October 29, 2011 - I have a medium size mimosa tree here in KY that usually blooms beautifully; it did not bloom at all this year. It leafed out well, needs a few dead limbs pruned, but seems otherwise healthy. Please t...
view the full question and answer

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