En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - January 27, 2014

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Pollinators, Wildlife Gardens, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Need plants beneficial or attractive to bees in Dripping Springs, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


Can you provide a specific list of plants beneficial or attractive to honey bees in the Texas Hill Country (we raise bees in Dripping Springs, TX.) Thanks.


In looking for information about bees, we find that in addition to the bees that you are raising (Apis mellifera ), there are at least 2,000 species of native of bees in Texas which also play a part in the pollination of native plants and agricultural crops.

I’m including several links to sources about bees and “bee friendly plants”. The first is Texas Bee Watchers   and their list of “Bee friendly plants for Texas” 

Another source is the Pollinator Partnership which has a pollinator guide  (this is a large file, and opens slowly) for your area that includes bee, wasps, butterflies, and other pollinators.

You can check out the plants on these lists by using our Native Plant Database . Type the scientific name of the plant in the space provided  and click the GO button. This will bring up the plant’s NPIN page which has  a description of the plant, growth characteristics, and in most cases images. Scrolling down the page to ADDITIONAL RESOURCES and clicking on the plant name beside USDA: will bring up the USDA  Plants Profile page that contains a geographic distribution for the plant.

This previous question  is similar to yours, but from a different part of the state.

This link to the Native Plant Society of Texas describes several of the native bees.

You may be already familiar with the Texas Beekeepers Association .

Hopefully, these resources will be helpful to you.


More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Non-native citronella mosquito plant wintering inside in Charlotte NC
October 20, 2011 - Can I bring the citronella mosquito plant in the house over the winter, or should it be planted outside. I live in Charlotte, NC.
view the full question and answer

Plants under an oak tree from Corpus Christi TX
June 30, 2012 - My project: To grow white turk's cap under an old oak tree I first planted St. Augustine sod this spring because we had many oak suckers around the tree. We mixed new soil and compost, and laid the ...
view the full question and answer

Care for Blackfoot daisy?
June 05, 2009 - Hi, I have two blackfoot daisies and one has died. I've planted them in full sun on a well drained slope. Do these ususally die after blooming? Should I cut the other one back? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

How to tell the difference between native and non-native thistles
March 13, 2013 - It's thistle time already. There are many plants in the aster family with thistle in their common name. Are "real" thistles only those in the genus Cirsium, or are there others as well? We are tryi...
view the full question and answer

Flowers under pine trees from Elkhart Indiana
May 02, 2013 - I have a number of pine trees at the back of my lot and would like to plant flowers under the tree. What can I plant?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center