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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.

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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 - July 14, 2007

From: Ocean View, DE
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Perennial native wildflowers in Delaware
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'd like to plant some perennial wildflowers around a fresh water pond near the beach in southern Delaware. Do you have some suggestions for native species that will grow in full sun? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants assumes that the surrounding soil is sandy since you are near the beach and that the immediate area around the pond will be damp most of the time. Some of the species suggested below will do well in the moist areas and others will do better away from the damp soil.

Moist soil

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Oenothera fruticosa (narrowleaf evening-primrose)

Solidago sempervirens (seaside goldenrod)

Drier soil

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea pallida (pale purple coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

There are also several attractive grass and grass-like species that would do well in full sun and in areas that are moist.

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem)

Carex stipata (owlfruit sedge)

Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

Uniola paniculata (seaoats)

For more choices you can find a list of recommended species for Delaware from our Native Plants Database and you can narrow your search by specificying criteria that are important to you.


Asclepias tuberosa

Monarda fistulosa

Solidago sempervirens

Echinacea pallida

Lupinus perennis

Sorghastrum nutans

Andropogon glomeratus

Carex vulpinoidea

Muhlenbergia capillaris

 

 

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