En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - February 12, 2014

From: Pryor, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Drought Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Hardy plants for Oklahoma raised garden at Oklahoma school
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I am planting a raised flower bed with fifth graders. It will have a little shade in the morning and evening possibly. What plants are durable and can withstand OK summer heat. We will be planting in the spring.


You can search for suitable flowers yourself by going to our Recommended Species page and choosing Oklahoma from the map or pull-down menu.   This will give you a list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscaping (and flower beds) in your state.   Once you reach the list you can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the side menu to select "Herb" from GENERAL APPEARANCE, "Sun" from LIGHT REQUIREMENT and "Dry" from SOIL MOISTURE.   These choices should give you a good selection of plants that will meet your criteria.  As you look at each species page be sure to check the Growing Conditions area to be sure they will match your site.   Many of these plants serve as hosts for pollinators—insects and birds.  You can find that information in the Benefits section on the species page.  You can also find Bloom Information as well as other useful things on the species page. 

Here are a few on the list that I thought would work well in your garden, but you may find others you like better:

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)

Echinacea angustifolia (Black sampson)

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel)

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena)

Monarda citriodora (Lemon beebalm)

Phlox pilosa (Downy phlox)

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan)

Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage)


From the Image Gallery

Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Asclepias tuberosa

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Black samson
Echinacea angustifolia

Gaillardia pulchella

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Downy phlox
Phlox pilosa

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Plant that attracts butterflies, perhaps?
October 06, 2014 - What is that one plant/flower in your Center that attracts wildflowers like crazy? It's got a cute name, not a Latin or Scientific name. I have the plant, but don't know how to make it spread.
view the full question and answer

Food for butterflies in Austin
April 21, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants, my kids and I are raising Painted Lady butterflies from caterpillars but it's still too cold to release them (oddly cool spring we're having!) If they mate and lay eggs, what loc...
view the full question and answer

Getting milkweed seeds into seed mixes from Milwaukee WI
February 07, 2014 - My husband and I are concerned about the Monarch butterfly migration and have started an effort to get milkweed planted along some bike trails here in Wisconsin. This made me think of Ladybird Johnso...
view the full question and answer

Orange eggs on milkweed plants
October 18, 2012 - Hello I have milk weed in my flower garden. Every year I find small orange 'eggs' on the leaves and stems of the plant. I don't think these are the monarch eggs, but not sure if they are other...
view the full question and answer

Pollinator garden for Belen NM
May 16, 2012 - Trying to set up a flower garden to attract bees and butterflies. Can you tell me what would be best to grow. I live in Belen, NM.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center