Friday, September 10, 2010

Drought Tolerant Native Trees for Xeriscaping

When a landscape is being xeriscaped it needs plants that are going to be water savers and drought tolerant. Knowing the shrubs and trees that will work within those restrictions can make gardening a bit easier. Any of the following selections will work well in a xeriscaped landscape.

Hercules’ Club
Hercules’ Club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) is also known as Toothache and will get to approximately fifteen to thirty feet in height. It loves moist soil but it is drought tolerant as well. There will be best conditions if planted in a sunny or partial sunny spot in the landscape. The reason that this tree is called Toothache is when the bark or the leaves are chewed it will numb the mouth. There are sharp spines on this tree so it can injure; take care around kids and pets with it.

Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a member of the Palm family of plants and is a slow grower. It will grow in any spot, shade or sun, and is very water saving with drought tolerance. There are very small white flowers barely seen but gorgeous silver gray foliage throughout. It was named for the saw-like projections in the stalks. This is a fabulous choice for xeriscaping landscapes as it is visually appealing.

Post Oak
The Post Oak (Quercus stellata) is a member of the Beech family and will grow slowly but eventually reach a height of forty to fifty feet. It prefers a sandy dry soil in full sun, and is obviously drought tolerant with those specifications. It has good foliage and makes a great shade tree with lovely fall colors. However, this particular oak will be more prone to disease, so it’s best to keep an eye on it.

Eastern Redcedar
Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) is a member of the Cypress family and it will grow for many centuries. It is an evergreen with a height up to forty feet high and while it is shade intolerant it will make a great choice for full sun xeriscaping landscapes. The bark of the tree is a reddish shade and this is why it is called the redcedar.

The Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) is a tree in the Holly family and will get to approximately twenty to thirty feet in height. It is very adaptable to soil conditions and to sun conditions. It is a fast growing evergreen that will attract birds because of its holly berries. This is a poisonous plant and can make pets and children ill.


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