Texas Native & Adapted Plant & Trees for Austin Area

Texas Native Trees Plant s

Gardening, “Austin-style”

Our native landscape is the inspiration for this guide to Earthwise plant choices for Austin area gardens. The Grow Green plant list was created to help you select beautiful native and adapted plants that are naturally drought tolerant and resistant to pests and diseases. The less watering, fertilizing, and chemical control required in your yard, the more you contribute to the conservation and preservation of our precious water resources – our streams, lakes, and aquifers.

Native plants belong here; they thrive with minimal care and provide habitat for local wildlife. We have chosen plants you should be able to find without too much trouble. Some non-natives are also recommended, for special situations, like shady areas, poorly drained soils or for their deer resistance. Many plants were included simply for their great beauty.

Some people move to Austin and try to surround themselves with plants they are familiar with from their past homes. These plants are often poorly suited to our climate and soils. By choosing native and adapted plants, you become more knowledgeable about, more aware of, and more connected to the land of Central Texas. Incorporate them into your landscape for a garden-style with a sense of place. We hope you enjoy using this guide to recreate Austin’s natural beauty in your own backyard.

Deer Resistant Plants

Landscaping in Austin can be both enjoyable and demanding. Austin’s distinctive location combines the modern center with the Hill Country of Central Texas. This blend provides the Austin landscape with an appearance and feels that is distinct from the rest of Texas.

With nature and people coexisting, it is typical to observe deer in Austin neighborhoods. These deer can cause serious problems for inexperienced landscapers. It is critical to understand the different types of shrubs and perennials that can be planted to beautify your yard while keeping deer away from your new plantings. While the plants indicated are normally deer resistant, in extreme drought situations, deer will consume practically any plant.

Every landscaping should include a good balance of evergreen shrubs and flowering perennials. As a result, your garden will not look dead in the winter and will be colorful in the spring, summer, and fall. Here are a couple of plants that have worked well for us when landscaping in Austin.

Deer Resistant Evergreen Shrubs:

  • Silver Germander Bush Germander
  • Pineapple Guava
  • Dwarf Yaupon
  • Cotoneaster
  • Upright and Trailing Rosemary
  • Bicolor and African Iris
  • Jerusalem Sage

Deer Resistant Flowering Perennials:

  • Salvia species (Several varieties and colors to choose from–I like ‘Hot Lips’,
  • Mexican Bush Sage and Salvia Greggii)
  • Indigo Spires
  • 4 Nerve Daisy
  • Copper Canyon Daisy
  • Turk’s Cap
  • Bat Face Cuphea
  • Yellow Bell

These shrubs and perennials will vary in height and texture, so be sure to plant in the right location. You don’t want to plant Pineapple Guava in front of a window or an Upright Rosemary too close to a sidewalk–allow for adequate growth. If not, the plants will overwhelm the space and crowd your garden. By planning ahead before you begin landscaping in Austin, you will save valuable time, and money AND keep deer from eating your plants!

Annuals vs Perennials – Why plant both?

Lots of folks ask us what is the difference between perennials and annuals, and whether should they plant both. Annuals are flowers that, from seed, grow, bloom, seed, and die in one growing season. These types of flowers usually bloom between late spring and (for Austin) late Autumn. Perennials are plants that live three years or more, lying dormant during their off-season months (which are usually winter).

So why would you want to spend money on flowers that only live one to two growing seasons? The answer is in the variety and versatility. These plants are usually cheap and in full bloom by the time they are planted. Also, even one type of annual can come in a multitude of colors, whereas a single type of perennial will usually be the same, consistent hue. Think of perennials as anchors of a particular area. These plants are placed to last in an area season after season, but if you are looking to create multiple designs with your landscaping space, we recommend annuals.

Austin Plant Recommendation List

Plant Type Botanical Name Common Name
Ground Cover Artemesia (Powis Castle) Artemesia
Ground Cover Dichondra argentea Silver Ponyfoot
Ground Cover Rivina humilis Pigeonberry
Ground Cover Rosmarinas officinalis var. prostratus Trailing Rosemary
Ground Cover Sedum sp. Sedum (Stonecrop)
Ground Cover Teucrium cossonii Creeping Germander
Ornamental Grass Bouteloua curtipendula Sideoats Grama
Ornamental Grass Carex perdentata Meadow Sedge
Ornamental Grass Carex texensis Texas Sedge
Ornamental Grass Carex tumulicola Berkeley Sedge
Ornamental Grass Chasmanthium latifolium Inland Sea Oats
Ornamental Grass Liriope muscari Liriope
Ornamental Grass Muhlenbergia capillaris Gulf Muhly
Ornamental Grass Muhlenbergia dumosa Bamboo Muhly
Ornamental Grass Muhlenbergia lindheimeri Big Muhly
Ornamental Grass Muhlenbergia rigens Deer Muhly
Ornamental Grass Nolina texana Basket Grass (Sacahuista)
Ornamental Grass Ophiopogon intermedius Aztec Grass
Ornamental Grass Ophiopogon japonicus Monkey Grass (Mondo Grass)
Ornamental Grass Pennisetum alopecuroides Dwarf Fountain Grass
Ornamental Grass Penstemon baccharifolius Rock Penstemon
Ornamental Grass Penstemon tenuis Gulf Coast Penstemon
Ornamental Grass Penstemon triflorus Hill Country Penstemon
Ornamental Grass Setcreasea pallida Purple Heart
Ornamental Grass Stipa tenuissima Mexican Feathergrass (Wiregrass)
Palm Sabal minor Texas Dwarf Palmetto
Perennial Achillea sp. Yarrow
Perennial Aquilegia canadensis Red Columbine
Perennial Aquilegia chrysantha Yellow Columbine
Perennial Aspidistra elatior Cast Iron Plant
Perennial Aster oblongifolius Fall Aster
Perennial Callirhoe involucrata Perrenial Winecup
Perennial Calylophus berlandieri Calylophus (Square Bud Primrose)
Perennial Calyptocarpus vialis Horseherb
Perennial Capsicum annuum Chile Pequin (Chile Petin)
Perennial Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Leadwort Plumbago
Perennial Chrysactinia mexicana Damianita
Perennial Coreopsis lanceolata Coreopsis
Perennial Cuphea x. (David Verity) Cuphea (David Verity)
Perennial Dalea frutescens Black Dalea
Perennial Dalea greggii Gregg Dalea
Perennial Dietes bicolor (Morea bicolor) Bicolor Iris (African)
Perennial Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower
Perennial Eupatorium greggii (Conoclinium greggii) Greggs Mistflower
Perennial Gaura lindheimeri Gaura
Perennial Hamelia patens Firebush
Perennial Hibiscus moscheutos (hybrids) Perrenial Hibiscus
Perennial Iris germanica Bearded Iris
Perennial Justicia brandegeana Shrimp Plant
Perennial Justicia spicigera Mexican Honeysuckle
Perennial Lanatana x. hybrida (many varieties) Lantana (hybrid)
Perennial Lantana horrida Texas Lantana
Perennial Lantana montevidensis Trailing Lantana
Perennial Liatris mucronata Gayfeather
Perennial Melampodium leucanthum Blackfoot Daisy
Perennial Oenothera missouriensis Missouri Primrose
Perennial Orbexilum sp. (nova) Mountain Pea
Perennial Origanum vulgare Oregano
Perennial Perovskia atriplicifolia Russian Sage
Perennial Phlomis fruticosa Jerusalem Sage
Perennial Phlox paniculata Garden Phlox
Perennial Phyla incisa Frogfruit
Perennial Physostegia virginiana Fall Obedient Plant
Perennial Plumbago auriculata Plumbago
Perennial Poliomintha longiflora Mexican Oregano
Perennial Rudbeckia hirta Black-eyed Susan
Perennial Ruellia brittoniana Ruellia (dwarf)
Perennial Salvia (Indigo Spires) Indigo Spires
Perennial Salvia coccinea Tropical Sage
Perennial Salvia greggii Cherry Sage (Autumn Sage)
Perennial Salvia guaranitica Majestic Sage
Perennial Salvia leucantha Mexican Bush Sage
Perennial Salvia penstemonoides Penstemon Sage (Big Red Sage)
Perennial Salvia regla Mountain Sage
Perennial Salvia roemeriana Cedar Sage
Perennial Santolina chamaecyparissus Santolina (Lavender Cotton)
Perennial Scutellaria suffrutescens Pink Skullcap
Perennial Stachys byzantina Lambs Ear
Perennial Stachys coccinea Texas Betony
Perennial Stemodia lanata (Stemodia tomentosa) Wooly Stemodia
Perennial Tagetes lemmonii Copper Canyon Daisy
Perennial Tagetes lucida Mexican Mint Marigold
Perennial Tetraneuris scaposa Hymenoxys (Four Nerve Daisy)
Perennial Thelypteris kunthii River Fern
Perennial Tulbaghia violacea Society Garlic
Perennial Verbena bipinnatifida Prairie Verbena
Perennial Viguiera stenoloba Skeletonleaf Goldeneye
Perennial Wedelia texana Zexmenia
Rose Rosa (Belindas Dream) Rose (Belindas Dream)
Rose Rosa (Cecile Brunner) Rose (Cecile Brunner)
Rose Rosa (Knock Out) Rose (Knock Out)
Rose Rosa (Living Easy) Rose (Living Easy)
Rose Rosa (Marie Daly) (Marie Pavie) Rose (Marie Daly) (Marie Pavie)
Rose Rosa (Martha Gonzales) Rose (Martha Gonzales)
Rose Rosa (Mutabilis) Rose (Mutabilis)
Rose Rosa (Nearly Wild) Rose (Nearly Wild)
Rose Rosa (Old Blush) Rose (Old Blush)
Rose Rosa banksiae Lady Banksia Rose
Shrub Jasminum mesnyi Primrose Jasmine
Shrub – deciduous Berberis thunbergii (Atropurpurea) Japanese Barberry
Shrub – deciduous Buddleja davidii Butterfly Bush
Shrub – deciduous Buddleja marrubiifolia Wooly Butterfly Bush
Shrub – deciduous Caesalpinia gilliesii Yellow Bird of Paradise
Shrub – deciduous Caesalpinia pulcherrima Pride of Barbados
Shrub – deciduous Callicarpa americana American Beautyberry
Shrub – deciduous Cassia corymbosa Flowering Senna
Shrub – deciduous Cornus drummondii Roughleaf Dogwood
Shrub – deciduous Cotinus obovatus American Smoke Tree
Shrub – deciduous Cotoneaster spp. Cotoneaster
Shrub – deciduous Ilex decidua Possumhaw Holly
Shrub – deciduous Ilex vomitoria Yaupon Holly
Shrub – deciduous Lagerstroemia x. hybrida (many varieties) Crape Myrtle
Shrub – deciduous Malpighia glabra Barbados Cherry
Shrub – deciduous Malvaviscus arboreus Turks Cap
Shrub – deciduous Mimosa borealis Fragrant Mimosa
Shrub – deciduous Pavonia lasiopetala Rock Rose
Shrub – deciduous Philadelphus coronarius Mock Orange
Shrub – deciduous Pistacia texana Texas Pistachio
Shrub – deciduous Rhamnus caroliniana Carolina Buckthorn
Shrub – deciduous Rhus aromatica Fragrant Sumac (Aromatic)
Shrub – deciduous Rhus lanceolata Flameleaf Sumac
Shrub – deciduous Senna lindheimeriana Lindheimer Senna
Shrub – deciduous Sophora affinis Eves Necklace
Shrub – deciduous Symphoricarpos orbiculatus Coralberry
Shrub – deciduous Tecoma stans Esperanza (Yellow Bells)
Shrub – deciduous Viburnum rufidulum Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum
Shrub -evergreen Abelia grandiflora Glossy Abelia
Shrub -evergreen Berberis trifoliata (Mahonia trifoliata) Agarita
Shrub -evergreen Elaeagnus pungens Elaeagnus
Shrub -evergreen Ilex cornuta (Burfordii) Burford Holly
Shrub -evergreen Ilex cornuta (Rotunda) Dwarf Chinese Holly
Shrub -evergreen Ilex vomituria (Nana) Dwarf Yaupon Holly
Shrub -evergreen Leucophyllum frutescens Texas Sage (Cenizo)
Shrub -evergreen Myrica cerifera Wax Myrtle
Shrub -evergreen Nandina domestica (Compacta)(Nana) Nandina
Shrub -evergreen Nerium oleander Oleander
Shrub -evergreen Punica granatum Pomegranate
Shrub -evergreen Rhus virens Evergreen Sumac
Shrub -evergreen Rosmarinus officinalis Upright Rosemary
Shrub -evergreen Sophora secundiflora Texas Mountain Laurel
Shrub -evergreen Teucrium fruticans Bush Germander
Shrub -evergreen Viburnum suspensus Sandankwa Viburnum
Succulent Agave sp. Agave (Century Plant)
Succulent B. frutescens (B. caulescens) Bulbine
Succulent Dasylirion texanum Texas Sotol
Succulent Hesperaloe parviflora Red Yucca
Succulent Opuntia spp Prickly Pear
Succulent Yucca pallida Paleleaf Yucca
Succulent Yucca recurvifolia Softleaf Yucca
Succulent Yucca rupicola Twistleaf Yucca
Tree – deciduous Acer grandidentatum Bigtooth Maple
Tree – deciduous Aesculus pavia Red Buckeye
Tree – deciduous Bauhinia congesta Anacacho Orchid Tree
Tree – deciduous Carya illinoinensis Pecan
Tree – deciduous Cercis canadensis var. mexicana Mexican Redbud
Tree – deciduous Cercis canadensis var. texensis Texas Redbud
Tree – deciduous Chilopsis linearis Desert Willow
Tree – deciduous Chitalpa tashkentensis Chitalpa
Tree – deciduous Diospyros texana Texas Persimmon
Tree – deciduous Eysenhardtia texana Kidneywood
Tree – deciduous Fraxinus texensis Texas Ash
Tree – deciduous Leucaena retusa Goldenball Leadtree
Tree – deciduous Parkinsonia aculeata Retama Jerusalem Thorn
Tree – deciduous Prosopis glandulosa Honey Mesquite
Tree – deciduous Prunus mexicana Mexican Plum
Tree – deciduous Prunus serotina var. eximia Escarpment Black Cherry
Tree – deciduous Quercus fusiformis Escarpment Live Oak
Tree – deciduous Quercus glaucoides (Quercus laceyi) Lacey Oak
Tree – deciduous Quercus macrocarpa Bur Oak
Tree – deciduous Quercus muhlenbergii Chinquapin Oak
Tree – deciduous Quercus polymorpha Monterey Oak (Mexican White)
Tree – deciduous Quercus shumardii Shumard Oak
Tree – deciduous Quercus texana Texas Red Oak
Tree – deciduous Quercus virginiana Southern Live Oak
Tree – deciduous Sapindus drummondii Soapberry
Tree – deciduous Taxodium distichum Bald Cypress
Tree – deciduous Taxodium mucronatum Montezuma Cypress
Tree – deciduous Ulmus crassifolia Cedar Elm
Tree – deciduous Ulmus parvifolia Lacebark Elm
Tree – deciduous Ungnadia speciosa Mexican Buckeye
Tree – evergreen Cupressus arizonica Arizona Cypress
Tree – evergreen Juniperus virginiana Eastern Red Cedar
Tree – evergreen Prunus caroliniana Cherry Laurel
Turf Grass Bermuda Tif 419 (Sahara, Baby, Common) Bermuda
Turf Grass Buffalo 609 (Stampede, Prairie) Buffalo
Turf Grass St. Augustine Common (Raleigh, Delma) St. Augustine
Turf Grass Z. japonica El Toro (JaMur, Palisades) Zoysia (Coarse Leaf)
Turf Grass Z. matrella (Emerald), (Zorro) Zoysia (Narrow Leaf)
Vine Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii Flame Acanthus
Vine Antigonon leptopus Coral Vine
Vine Bignonia capreolata Crossvine
Vine Campsis radicans Trumpet Vine
Vine Ficus pumila Fig Vine
Vine Gelsemium sempervirens Carolina Jessamine
Vine Ipomoea fistulosa Bush Morning Glory
Vine Lonicera sempervirens Coral Honeysuckle
Vine Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia Creeper
Vine Passiflora incarnata Passion Vine
Vine Trachelospermum asiaticum Asian Jasmine

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