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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Black samson
Echinacea angustifolia

Indian blanket
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

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