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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - January 06, 2012

From: Palacios, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Trees, Wildflowers
Title: Trees and wildflowers for Matagorda County, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My family has a fish farm in Palacios, Matagorda county. I would like to plant trees and wild flowers on the property. Can you suggest the appropriate kind that can withstand the salt water around and the constant sea breeze. Thanks.

ANSWER:

First of all, I urge you to look at our Texas–South Recommended list.  These plants are: "Commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in South Texas."  To determine their salt tolerance, there are a couple of resources:

  • List 1Salt Tolerant Plants for East Central Florida, from Rockledge Gardens.  This list contains many plants that are not native and some that are native to Florida but not to Matagorda County, Texas.  However, if you compare the plants from our Texas–South Recommended list and find them on the Florida list, you will know the salt tolerance for the plant that grows in your county.
  • List 2Landscape Plant Lists for Salt Tolerance Assessment from Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center.  This list contains many non-native plants.  This publication also lists the spray resistance of plants. You can determine if a plant of interest is native by searching for it (use the scientific name) in our Native Plant Database.

Now here are some choices for you—many are on the Texas-South Recommended list; but, if not, they are plants that have been reported growing in or near Matagorda County.  The designations for List 1 are: Moderate Salt Tolerance or High Salt Tolerance.  The designations for List 2 are: Sensistive, Moderately Sensitive, Moderately Tolerant, Tolerant, and Highly Tolerant.

TREES:

Acacia farnesiana (Huisache)  High Salt Tolerance (1)

Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive) Moderate Salt Tolerance (1)

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) Moderate Salt Tolerance (1) or Moderately Sensitive (2)

Quercus virginiana (Coastal live oak) High Salt Tolerance  (1)

Sabal mexicana (Mexican palm) High Salt Tolerance (1)

Sophora tomentosa (Yellow necklacepod) High Salt Tolerance (1)

Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)  Tolerant (2)

Robinia pseudoacacia (Black locust) Tolerant (2)

Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey locust) Tolerant (2)

SHRUBS:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) Moderate Salt Tolerance (1)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) Moderate Salt Tolerance (1) and Tolerant (2)

Malpighia glabra (Acerola) Moderate Salt Tolerance (1)

Parkinsonia aculeata (Retama) High Salt Tolerance (1)

Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto) High Salt Tolerance (1)

HERBS—WILDFLOWERS:

Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria (Golden tickseed) High Salt Tolerance (1)

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel) High Salt Tolerance (1)

Kosteletzkya virginica (Virginia saltmarsh mallow) Moderate Salt Tolerance  (1)

Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana) High Salt Tolerance (1)

Opuntia spp. (prickly pear cactus) High Salt Tolerance (1)

Phlox drummondii ssp. drummondii (Annual phlox) High Salt Tolerance (1)

Here are photos of some of the above from our Image Gallery:

 

From the Image Gallery


Huisache
Vachellia farnesiana

Mexican olive
Cordia boissieri

Yellow necklacepod
Sophora tomentosa

Texas palm
Sabal mexicana

Black locust
Robinia pseudoacacia

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Retama
Parkinsonia aculeata

Dwarf palmetto
Sabal minor

Golden tickseed
Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella



Annual phlox
Phlox drummondii ssp. drummondii

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