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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.

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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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Saturday - May 12, 2007

From: Philadelphia, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Planting, Wildflowers
Title: Late-blooming flowers for Northeast PA
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have a weekend house in Northeast PA...Poconos. Pretty rocky terrain....when can we plant wildflowers? Is it too late to plant in late May? If so, when is best? What variety do you recommend for this region and this terrain? thank you!!!

ANSWER:

Most wildflowers are best planted when the seeds naturally ripen and distribute themselves. Generally, this is summer and fall. It is really too late to sow seeds for late spring flowers, but you could probably still sow some late bloomers. Here are some suggested species for your area that bloom in late summer and fall and are native to northeastern Pennsylvania that might produce flowers if sown in May:

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Astragalus canadensis (Canadian milkvetch)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod)

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster)

There are many possibilities for wildflowers for next year if they are sown this fall. Mr. Smarty Plants recommends that you read the following articles in our How to Articles: "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" and "Large Scale Wildflower Planting".

In addition to the plants listed above, here are a few other recommendations for wildflowers to include in your seed sowing for the fall:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower)

Chelone glabra (white turtlehead)

Erigeron philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Sisyrinchium angustifolium (narrowleaf blue-eyed grass)

You can find other possibilities on our "Mid-Atlantic Recommended Native Plant Species List" from our Regional Factpacks page.

 

From the Image Gallery


Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Canadian milkvetch
Astragalus canadensis

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Canada goldenrod
Solidago canadensis

New england aster
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

Bluebell bellflower
Campanula rotundifolia

White turtlehead
Chelone glabra

Philadelphia fleabane
Erigeron philadelphicus

Sundial lupine
Lupinus perennis

Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium angustifolium

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