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

Friday - July 27, 2007

From: Baltimore, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Blue plants or flowers in Baltimore, MD
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a taxi company in the city called Bluecab. The headquarters is in an industrial area and the soil is tough and well, industrial. There will be no watering or maintenance done. Looks like a car dealership. Has islands for wild flowers around the parking pads. Think super commercial. What should be planted to look good and also bluish and choke out the weeds that are there. Its not always dry here but it can be.

ANSWER:

You've definitely given Mr. Smarty Plants a tough assignment. First of all, you need to realize that whatever you plant, no matter how tough and drought resistant it is, will need some initial watering and care until it has established its root system. That said, here are a few recommendations. This sounds like an ideal place for Juniperus communis (common juniper). It is also called "prostrate juniper" and grows low and spreads out over the ground. It is evergreen and, although its foliage is green, it will have bluish-black berries on it. You could add some hearty perennial wildflowers with blue and/or purple flowers around the juniper such as:

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)

Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve (smooth blue aster)

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (aromatic aster)

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain)

Here are some possibilities for plants with bluish-green or silvery green foliage that are hearty and require little care:

Artemisia ludoviciana (white sagebrush)

Elaeagnus commutata (silverberry)

Heliotropium curassavicum (salt heliotrope)

Finally, if you would like a green grass-like plant, a good choice is Carex texensis (Texas sedge) which also grows in Maryland, despite its name.


Juniperus communis

Lupinus perennis

Salvia lyrata

Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Artemisia ludoviciana

Elaeagnus commutata

Heliotropium curassavicum

Carex texensis

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Need something to compete with Virginia wild rye in Bristol, TN.
July 29, 2011 - I have been working for 4 years to convert a large area of sunny lawn (150' x 40') to a native woodland planting, using native trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses. Although I used seeds of a variety ...
view the full question and answer

Can Habiturf be planted by hydroseeding from Austin?
February 04, 2012 - We are thinking about seeding our lawn with HABITURF. Could you provide any input on whether HABITURF can be planted by hydroseeding? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Short to Medium Height Grasses for Iowa
January 20, 2011 - What short to medium height native grass can be planted in late fall at the same time I sow my wildflower seed?
view the full question and answer

Assessment of Turffalo variety of buffalo grass (Bouteloua dachtyloides)
March 05, 2008 - Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, Now its March 2008, and your trial installation of Turfallo has had a year to prove itself; I'm interested to know your opinion of Turfallo Grass. There are such good e-c...
view the full question and answer

Plants to stop erosion on creek side
July 05, 2011 - I need plants for a westside slope to a creek that will help with erosion, need fast growing and likes lots of sun. Thank you, Mr. Smarty Plants
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