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?

Share

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 - August 06, 2014

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Groundcovers, Wildflowers
Title: Late Blooming Wildflowers for Round Rock
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I thought this would be a previously answered question but found nothing in the data base. My question is: in Central Texas what can be grown for some color or interest in a wildflower area when the wildflowers have finished (late summer). The spring and early summer wildflowers were beautiful but now everything is dead in that area and I've kept the area weeded so it is it is a brown eyesore in my landscape. What I believe is green dichondra seems to be starting to cover one end of the area (tiny "swirls" of leaves about 1 inch high and pretty solid)--would this be good to take advantage of and would it not choke out the wildflowers when they start to sprout in the winter and early spring? Would appreciate any suggestions.

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants thinks it should have been answered already also, but I did a few searches and either got too much return, with nothing particularly useful, or nothing!

We can, of course, take the direct route.  In the ‘Recommended Species” lists we have the capability to search the lists for selected attributes.  This link is to the “Central Texas” list of recommended species.  When I select for “herbs” [wildflowers] with a bloom time of October, November & December, I still had 25 plants that might bloom late.  The six of the first of these are:

Chamaecrista fasciculata var. fasciculata (Partridge pea)   [May-Oct]
Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower)  [July-Nov]
Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria (Golden tickseed)  [Feb-Nov]
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena)   [Mar-Dec]
Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)  [Aug-Nov]
Hibiscus martianus (Heartleaf rosemallow)   [Jan-Dec]

As you can see from the extended bloom times, these may be the wildflowers that you associate with late summer.  The trick is extending the bloom time.  In the heat and drought of the “normal” summer we’ve had lately they may well bloom once and be done.  With some pampering, this bloom time may well be extended into the late fall!

Yes, a groundcover can also keep your area green, and not necessarily be too dense for the wildflowers to penetrate.  Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot) is native in the central texas area.  Dichondra recurvata (Oakwoods ponysfoot)  and Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) can also serve well.  In the late summer to early winter times though, sort of like the wildflowers, the plants will need to be coddled a bit to keep them green and nice.

 

From the Image Gallery


Partridge pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata var. fasciculata

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

Golden tickseed
Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Maximilian sunflower
Helianthus maximiliani

Heartleaf rosemallow
Hibiscus martianus

Carolina ponysfoot
Dichondra carolinensis

Oakwoods ponysfoot
Dichondra recurvata

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

More Wildflowers Questions

Smarty Plants on showiest time for wildflower blooming
August 22, 2004 - I have been to Austin a few times, but never during wildflower season. Can you suggest to me what would be the ideal time to come?
view the full question and answer

Wildflower blooming in Austin in mid-March from Laceys Spring AL
February 27, 2013 - Hi I will be at and around the center the weekend of March 9 & 10 to exhibit in the Art and Artisan's Festival and plan to stay a few extra days to "wildflower" either before or after. What is you...
view the full question and answer

Planting time for wildflower seeds in Denton Co., TX
March 11, 2007 - I live in Denton county, Texas and I purchased 2 lbs of native texas wildflower seed from the local agr. extension. Is it too late to plant now and expect flowers from my seed ? Should I plant anyway...
view the full question and answer

Can Texas bluebonnets grow in Reynoldsburg Ohio?
May 03, 2010 - I am a transplanted Texan now living in Central Ohio. I am tired of having to accept only pictures of the bluebonnets growing along the highways in Texas now and want to know if the weather is suitab...
view the full question and answer

Can you grow Texas bluebonnets in Florida?
April 20, 2009 - Can you grow Texas Bluebonnets in mid-Florida?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center