En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Shrubs Questions

Bulletproof plants from Burleson TX
April 18, 2013 - I recently wrote you a question concerning planting a privacy plant consisting of wax leaf ligustrum on my country property. Your answer was immediate (thank you-I am impressed). I like the wax leaf ...
view the full question and answer

More information on Malvavaceae from French botanical garden
September 04, 2011 - hello thanks for the reply in your garden all of yours Malvaceae interested us but priority for this species could you help us ? regards Fabrice Absous Allowissadula holosericea Bastardia ...
view the full question and answer

Understory Shrubs for Pennsylvania Clay
December 04, 2013 - I want to replace three non-native Euonymus alatus with native shrubs that will serve as host plants for butterfly/moth species and/or attract bumblebees and other native bees. The shrubs I have are ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge for NY
February 26, 2012 - I am looking for a native evergreen shrub that could be used as a hedge or privacy screen on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens county. It is a beach community with sand soil ( except where it has been...
view the full question and answer

Floristic Quality Assessment program in Texas?
January 19, 2009 - Do you have knowledge of a Floristic Quality Assessment program for Texas such as the ones used in Indiana and Illinois?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center