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
1 rating

Saturday - June 09, 2012

From: The Hills, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen shrub for northwest-facing wall
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can you suggest a tall (8-10') evergreen shrub for a site against a northwest-facing wall which gets no sun in the winter but full sun in the summer? Texas sage got too leggy and viburnum will be too hot. I have a couple volunteer wax myrtles but prefer something denser if possible. Thanks.

ANSWER:

That is a difficult order with no sun in the winter and full sun in the summer, but here are some suggestions.  If you want something really dense, you could use Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar).  Although it can grow into a medium to tall tree, it can be pruned to remain a shrub.  There are varieties that are more shrub-like in size and shape.

Another possibility is Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel).  It will also provide beautiful purple blossoms in the spring.

Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac) is another good choice.  It is not quite as dense as Eastern red cedar or Texas mountain laurel, however.

Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) can be a very thick shrub but will need to be pruned to keep it at the 8-10 foot height you want.  Here are more photos.

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel) is a fast-growing, dense evergreen.  Here is more information.

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) is evergreen but with the denseness of evergreen sumac or wax myrtle.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Lindheimer's silktassel
Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

More Plant Lists Questions

Native Ohio Shubs for Wildlife
July 20, 2015 - Hi, I'm looking to plant shrubs and bushes for in front of our home this week but would like to plant some that are good for wildlife including bees and birds. Do you have any suggestions for norther...
view the full question and answer

Need Plants and Soil for a Green Roof in Buffalo, TX
September 13, 2010 - I'm building a green roof on my cabin in the Buffalo, Texas, area. Would you know what soil and plants would be best suited for that area? I have a lot of sand I could use, but didn't know if that...
view the full question and answer

Perennials in the Family Solanaceae (Potato or Nightshade Family)
August 15, 2015 - Hello, What plants, in the Night shade (Solanaceae) family, are Perennials? Thank you! Kristy.
view the full question and answer

Native trees of Hornsby Bend in Austin, TX
April 10, 2013 - We are looking for a list of the trees occurring along and in the vicinity of the Colorado River at Hornsby Bend circa 1820.
view the full question and answer

Recommended Species List for Nova Scotia.
October 12, 2015 - Hi, I love your site. I am from Nova Scotia and run an "Invasive Plants Cape Breton" facebook page and also "Cape Breton Garden and Botany Lovers". Was dismayed to find no recommended plants for...
view the full question and answer

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