En Espa—ol

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 - May 02, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Native flowers for color year round
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have the opportunity to recommend plants for a religious organization. They want YEAR ROUND color in some areas, much like how commercial sites use annual color. I would like to suggest native/adaptive plants that can be planted and then exchanged on a quarterly basis. I know mealy blue sage is a good choice. Any other recommendations? What about for fall/winter (can we really replace pansies :)!

ANSWER:

Spring: This is the easiest season to fill. You can use Lupinus texensis (bluebonnets), Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy), Oenothera speciosa (pink evening-primrose) and Salvia greggii (autumn sage). There are many other choices as well.

Summer: For summer, Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage), Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm), Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel) and Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed).

Fall: Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower), Eryngium leavenworthii (Leavenworth's eryngo), Liatris punctata (dotted blazing star), and Solidago canadensis (tall goldenrod).

Salvia coccinea (scarlet sage) may bloom from spring through fall.

Winter: The winter months, December and January, will be the most difficult to fill. However, Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower) blooms into December and Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium (stiff greenthread) will bloom through the winter months into spring. In the wild you can often see Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena) and Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot) blooming if the temperatures haven't been too cold and there has been enough rainfall.

Perhaps you could consider grasses that would retain their attractive foliage and even bloom in the winter months, such as Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly) or Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem).


Lupinus texensis

Engelmannia peristenia

Oenothera speciosa

Salvia greggii

Salvia farinacea

Monarda citriodora

Gaillardia pulchella

Asclepias tuberosa

Helianthus maximiliani

Eryngium leavenworthii

Liatris punctata

Solidago canadensis

Salvia coccinea

Ratibida columnifera

Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Melampodium leucanthum

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Schizachyrium scoparium

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Interested in a mini food forest
February 04, 2013 - I am interested in starting a mini "food forest" in a twelve foot by twelve foot patch of earth next to my house. I'd like to put a focus on making sure that the bulk of the plants I introduce are ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Chandler's craglily from San Marcos TX
December 16, 2012 - Can you please advise me on collecting and propagating seed from Chandlerís craglily -Echeandia chandleri. I have 2 plants that came from the wildflower center. They never seem to multiply, but they d...
view the full question and answer

How to grow tulips and daffodils in Central Florida.
March 27, 2009 - My question is how can you grow tulips and daffdoils in central Florida, just south of Ocala, a place called the Villages? I am from the Washington, DC area and truly miss these flowers, any help wou...
view the full question and answer

Removal of invasive roots of Turks Cap in College Station TX
April 29, 2014 - I know people have asked you questions about propagating Turk's Cap, but my question is a little different. I have this plant growing in several locations, because I have a large garden with lots...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Dakota mock vervain
July 23, 2007 - We just planted some Verbena bipinnatifida in our back yard and when we planted it, it had purple flowers on it but now they've all dried up. We live in central Colorado and thought this plant was fa...
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