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

Sunday - November 29, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Prairie wattle for woodland area in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can prairie wattle be grown in a woodland area? It would get part shade, with full sun for at least half a day. The soil is a bit rocky; location is Austin.

ANSWER:

There are two plants in our Native Plant Database with one of its common names being "prairie wattle." The first is Acacia angustissima (prairie acacia). This is a 1 to 3 foot tall ground cover type plant, blooms white June to September, has low water use and grows in sun (6 hours or more of sun a day) to part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day). "Soil Description: Sandy, Limestone-based, Calcareous; Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay; Well-drained"

The second member of the Legume, or pea, family in this genus is Acacia angustissima var. texensis (prairie wattle), which is a taller, more tree-like plant. This plant grows from 6 to 12 ft. tall, has low water use and can grow in sun, part shade or shade (less than 2 hours of sun a day). Conditions comments: "Will do well in dry soil on a north or east exposure, but will need water in the summer on a south or west exposure."

These plants are both thornless, and will die to the ground after the first hard freeze, returning in the Spring. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Acacia angustissima

Acacia angustissima var. texensis

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Hedge border for Boynton Beach FL
September 21, 2009 - Seek recommendations for planting in zip code 33437: 2-2.5' high, dense formal hedge border: minimal care, full sun, sandy, 1-2x/wk irrigation. Is Ficus Green Island Microcarpa suitable? Other rec...
view the full question and answer

Are American Hazelnuts Self-Fertile?
November 06, 2014 - I planted an American Hazelnut a couple of years ago that I ordered from a catalog. Is this plant self-fertile or do I need to plant another one? I have seen conflicting information on this subject.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for shrub in Florida
September 03, 2011 - On our street we have ornamental shrub planted in the median that has small waxy green leaves, produces small fragrant white flowers, and red berries with white pulp and small seeds on the inside. Th...
view the full question and answer

Reducing the Height of a Redbud Tree
January 23, 2016 - We have a very large, about 15-year old, Redbud tree that is growing so tall it's obstructing our view of the river. How and when can we prune this tree back so it does not hurt the tree.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for East Texas
October 31, 2012 - I am looking for a small to medium evergreen shrub (native to east Texas) for a location that receives some sun in the morning but mostly shade. Something that blooms & attracts butterflys & hummingbi...
view the full question and answer

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