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

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Wednesday - April 11, 2012

From: Haltom City, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Winter- and drought-resistant plant for North Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to know is there a good winter and drought resistant flowering bush for my area. I would like something with bigger flowers like azaleas or roses maybe bigger, that will not grow anymore than 4 feet tall and not very wide maybe 3 or 4 feet, flowers a long time is bushier than a rose bush like a shrub no thorns. Is there anything close to fitting these requirements? Low maintenance is a plus. Native plants would be preferred, red pink or orange flowers, something bright.

ANSWER:

Since the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes", we only recommend native plants for landscaping.  However, I'm afraid that I can't think of any shrubs native to your area of North Central Texas that meet all your criteria.  I can recommend several attractive drought-tolerant natives that have smaller flowers or will grow taller than your preferred height. Since they are native to the area, they will be low maintenance.   Here are several:

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) is drought- and cold-tolerant, evergreen and may flower several times per year after rains.

Salvia greggii (Autumn sage) is drought- and cold-tolerant and can be evergreen in mild winters.

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Flame acanthus) is deciduous, drought- and cold-tolerant.

Fallugia paradoxa (Apache plume) is semi-evergreen and drought- and cold-tolerant.

 You can see more possibilities in our Texas–North Central Recommended list of "Commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in North Central Texas."

You can also find recommendations in the list, "A Beginner's List of Plants for a Mixed Border in Dallas and Fort Worth," from the North Central Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas and an expanded "List of Native Plants for Landscape Use in Dallas-Ft. Worth" from the Collin County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

 

 

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