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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 01, 2010

From: Petaluma, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Evergreen thorny bush for California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need to find an evergreen thorny type bush, shrub or tree that will grow with about 3-4 hours of morning sun only. Prefer CA native, inland/semi coastal. Purpose: To provide a deterrent for "taggers" that have sprayed my wood fence. Drip system available, good (non-clay) draining soil. Thank you!!

ANSWER:

Well, I can suggest evergreen shrubs or thorny shrubs for your area of California, but I'm afraid that I haven't been able to locate many evergreen thorny shrubs.  Perhaps a dense evergreen will do the trick or a very thorny deciduous one or you could intersperse the two types.  Here is is what I've found that will possibly work for you.

SOMEWHAT THORNY AND SOMEWHAT EVERGREEN:

Rhamnus crocea (redberry buckthorn)

According to Jepson Flora Project the stems are "sometimes thorn-tipped".

Ribes speciosum (fuchsiaflower gooseberry) is very thorny and somewhat evergreen.

THORNY:

Rosa californica (California wildrose) and here are photos and more information.

Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry)

Malus fusca (Oregon crabapple) and here are photos and more information.

EVERGREEN:

Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush)

Carpenteria californica (tree anemone)

Ceanothus impressus (Santa Barbara ceanothus)

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn)

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (blueblossom)

Dendromecon rigida (tree poppy)

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon)

Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron)


Rhamnus crocea

Ribes speciosum

Shepherdia argentea

Artemisia tridentata

Carpenteria californica

Ceanothus impressus

Ceanothus leucodermis

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

Dendromecon rigida

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Rhododendron macrophyllum

 

 

More Trees Questions

What shade trees have non-invasive root systems?
March 03, 2015 - What shade trees have a non-invasive root system? I am in zone 7a. Thank you, Mr. Smarty Plants!
view the full question and answer

Aesculus glabra var. arguta
May 10, 2009 - I am building a trail for the city of Dallas and need 10-5 gal. Texas Buckeye Trees(Aesculus glabra var. arguta). I can not find any in north Texas or the Austin area. Can you help?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting non-native crape myrtle in Scottsdale AZ
May 11, 2014 - When is the best time to transplant dwarf crape myrtle in Scottsdale AZ?
view the full question and answer

Desert willow for Florida?
March 10, 2011 - I, too, am interested in the desert willow tree. I reside in central Florida, 32162. However, Mountain States Nursery does not ship east of Texas. May I have a listing of other nurseries also. T...
view the full question and answer

What will grow under neighbor's overhanging tree in Grosse Pointe Woods MI
May 29, 2011 - My next door neighbor has a beautiful tree that is easily 60 years old and thus not going anywhere. Unfortunately, for me the roots of this tree have extended under a large corner of my back yard. Add...
view the full question and answer

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