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
7 ratings

Saturday - August 04, 2007

From: Southlake, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Preparation for wildflower meadow at elementary school
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am a Scout working on starting a wildflower meadow at an Elementary school. How should I prepare the ground and what types of seeds do well in zipcode area 76092? I would also like so add some native shrubs that would be useful as food for local birds. Thank you.

ANSWER:

This sounds like a great project. Mr. Smarty Plants recommends first that you visit our "How to Articles". There are several articles there that have useful information for you; for instance, "Wildflower Meadow Gardening", "Creating a Wildlife Garden", and "Large Scale Wildflower Planting". These articles will tell you how to plan and execute your project. One of the recommendations in "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" is that you include native grasses with your wildflowers. Quoting from the article:

"Most meadow and prairie managers recommend that native grasses make up 50 to 80 percent of the meadow species. Grasses have several functions:
• they provide support and protection for tall flowers;
• they fill in spaces around wildflowers otherwise occupied by weeds;
• they add color and texture to the landscape;
• they prevent soil erosion; and
• they to provide food and cover for wildlife."

Here are some recommendations for grasses and wildflowers native to Tarrant County, Texas:

Grasses

Aristida purpurea (purple threeawn)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss)

Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Eragrostis intermedia (plains lovegrass)

Muhlenbergia reverchonii (seep muhly)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Wildflowers

Callirhoe involucrata (winecup)

Calylophus berlandieri (Berlandier's sundrops)

Castilleja indivisa (Indian paintbrush)

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed)

Delphinium carolinianum (Carolina larkspur)

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

Liatris mucronata (cusp blazing star)

Lupinus texensis (Bluebonnet)

Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm)

Oenothera speciosa (pink evening primrose)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Ruellia nudiflora (violet wild petunia)

Salvia azurea (azure blue sage)

Thelesperma filifolium (stiff greenthread)

You may not be able to readily find seeds for all of the ones listed above but you should be able to find most of them. There are also other possibilities for both wildflowers and grasses. Whichever ones you decide to use, you will need to find a source that specializes in native seeds and/or plants. You can see a list of these in our National Suppliers Directory. One excellent source for native Texas seeds on the list is Native American Seed in Junction. They even have several wildflower and wildflower/grass mixes that might be ideal for your project (e.g., Native Trail Mix, Wichita Mix, Native Texas Mix). You should begin preparing your meadow for sowing seeds in the fall.

Mr. Smarty Plants wishes you very good luck on your project!


Callirhoe involucrata

Calylophus berlandieri

Castilleja indivisa

Coreopsis tinctoria

Delphinium carolinianum

Gaillardia pulchella

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Helianthus maximiliani

Liatris mucronata

Lupinus texensis

Monarda citriodora

Oenothera speciosa

Rudbeckia hirta

Ruellia nudiflora

Salvia azurea

Thelesperma filifolium

 

 

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Native plants for restoring a North Carolina pond site
April 12, 2011 - I reconstructed the dam to a 50 year old cattle pond at our high-end residential development in Charlotte, NC. There are many large mature trees around the pond but also some good sun exposure at two ...
view the full question and answer

Date for visitor from England to see bluebonnets
February 04, 2010 - Hi there I live in England, and I'm planning a trip to Texas to photograph the wildflowers around Austin and the hill country. I especially want to photograph bluebonnets. I can be in Texas either...
view the full question and answer

Help for Collapsing Tradescantia
August 14, 2013 - My tradescantia has completely collapsed at the crown. The stems are yellowish. This happened once before when I had it planted in full sun and I just had to discard it. This time I have one plante...
view the full question and answer

Starting Venus Flytrap From Seed
September 05, 2013 - I am a high school student doing a project on the Venus flytrap and would like you to help me by answering the following questions: What are the Venus flytrap predators and prey? How to raise a Venus ...
view the full question and answer

Germination of bluebonnet seeds in Hempstead, TX
April 01, 2008 - We scattered 20 lbs of bluebonnet seeds on our property near Hempstead. Only about 10 plants have come up even though on another part of the property we have thousands. It is well drained and in sun....
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