Wildfire Prevention Tip #12: Minimize Plant Flammability

May 28th, 2014


An 8-page pamphlet from the Texas Forest Service reminds us that “Fire-resistant does not mean fire-proof. Homeowners should maintain a healthy landscape with proper cleaning, pruning and watering. Put the right plant in the right place.” “Firewise Landscaping in Texas” addresses these topics: the right plants for the right place, reasons to maintain a Firewise landscape, choosing landscape design elements, characteristics of fire-resistant plants, creating defensible space in landscape design, working with completing landscape goals, a checklist for Firewise plant characteristics, and checklist for landscaping your home. Included in its guidance are suggestions for the types of plants in the wildfire defensible zone around your home:

  • acceptable in first 10 feet – low growing, moist plants such as columbine, primrose, violet, and phlox
  • 10 to 30 feet from the house – taller plants like asters, bluebonnet, bluebells, and gayfeather
  • Beyond 30 feet – shrubs like beautyberry, butterfly bush, lantana, and turks cap

Copies of the brochure are available from the NWACA Wildfire Prevention Committee or online at this link:


Texas Master Gardeners have created an 8-page Firewise Plant List for Texas, providing flammability ratings of Low, Medium, and High, as well as the plant’s Latin Name, Species Common Name, Secondary Common Name, and Plant form. This list covers a wide variety of plant forms including Aquatic, Grass, Groundcover, Shrub, Trees, Vines, and Wildflowers.

Firewise plant list

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