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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.

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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.

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Sunday - March 25, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen shrub for screening from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is there an evergreen, fruit shrub which grows 8 to 10 feet high, having about 6 to 8 hours of sun which could be trimmed to serve as a screen in front of pool equipment on the side of our house?

ANSWER:

We are not sure what you mean by "fruit shrub." Plants almost all bloom and have some sort of fruit which contains the seed of the plant, necessary to reproduction, as Nature requires. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but, in your case, Central Texas. There are some small members of the Prunus species native to this area that bear fruit, but they don't grow in a form that would provide screening.  These include Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum) and Prunus serotina (Black cherry); neither are evergreen.

We are going to go to our Native Plant Database, select for Texas, and then "shrubs" under Habit or General Appearance, "evergreen" under Leaf Retention, 6 to 12 ft. under Height and "sun" under Light Requirements, and see what choices we can offer you. The selection of "evergreen" will be the most challenging, and most limiting in selection. Follow each plant link to our webpage on it to find out its particular characteristics. You can repeat our search, using other requirements, to see what else you might find that you like better.

Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac)

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)

Sophora tomentosa (Yellow necklacepod)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo)

Mahonia haematocarpa (Red barberry)

 

From the Image Gallery


Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Yellow necklacepod
Sophora tomentosa

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Red barberry
Mahonia haematocarpa

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