Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Thursday - March 22, 2012

From: San Dimas , CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Pollinators, Shrubs
Title: Alternative for Pittosporum limelight
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is it ok to plant a Pittosporum limelight by pool? Don't want bees! Needs to be 6 feet. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Pittosporum tenuifolium (limelight) is native to New Zealand.   The focus and expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are plants native to North America so we wouldn't recommend planting this shrub.  We can offer some shrubs with similar features that are native alternatives:

Arctostaphylos manzanita (Whiteleaf manzanita) and here are photos and more information

Baccharis pilularis (Coyotebrush) and here are more photos and information

Cercocarpus montanus var. minutiflorus [syn.  Cercocarpus minutiflorus] (Smooth mountain mahogany) and here are photos and more information.

Frangula californica [syn. Rhamnus californica] (California buckthorn or coffeeberry) and here are photos and more information.

Most flowering plants are pollinated by some insect or other—many times it will be bees.  This means that your plant, even Pittosporum limelight, will be visited by insects while in bloom—probably, this will include bees.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coyotebrush
Baccharis pilularis

Alderleaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus

More Pollinators Questions

When may I remove seed heads from yuccas?
June 07, 2010 - Soft tip yuccas dominate my home's landscape. When is the best time to remove the heavy seed heads after flowering? In addition to being difficult to work around, the pods seem to attract infestatio...
view the full question and answer

Bees knees squeezing
May 28, 2010 - Barbara, Do the knees of bees help them squeeze if they please their wobbly, bobbly, knobbly balls of pollen?
view the full question and answer

Blue-green bees
April 30, 2008 - Over a month ago I sent this query to the AAS Garden Editor. What a waste of time since she exhibited no knowledge and no interest. Finally, she told me to ask you about the green bees that came by in...
view the full question and answer

Live oak trees buzzing in Taylor TX
October 20, 2012 - Is it possible for live oak trees to make a buzzing sound? We have heard this sound under our live oak and were worried it was bees but we don't seem to see any. I also heard the buzzing under my mot...
view the full question and answer

Cultivars off native plants attracting pollinators from Fairfax VA
March 25, 2011 - When trying to create a native garden/habitat- should you avoid using cultivars of the native plant? Nurseries around us keep trying to tell us that using a cultivar of the native plant we actually wa...
view the full question and answer

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