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

Tuesday - February 05, 2008

From: Hinton, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Native plants for wildlife habitat in West Virginia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live in the southern region of Summers County in West Virginia. Our yard has a lot of shell and small rocks in it; it is in direct sun light. I would love to have a welcoming hummingbird, butterfly and winter bird watching habitat using the native plants that can live in the shelly dirt and constant sunlight. Also, we need some shade trees or shrubs that can live in this dry area. We live on top of a hill and it gets windy in the wintertime. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

ANSWER:

We found way more suggestions than we have room for; but we will tell you how to find the information and make your own decisions. For starters, go to our "How To Articles". There are several you will probably be interested in reading, but we would particularly direct your attention to the one on "Wildlife Gardening." To study the possibilities of more plants and trees than we have suggested, go to our Native Plant Database, and use the "Combination Search." For the list we prepared for you, we used the state of West Virginia (of course), "herb" in type of plant (and later "tree" in a separate search), "perennial" for duration, 6 hours or more of sun, and dry soil. This will give you a long list of possibilities; you can go to each Latin name, click on it, and it will take you to a webpage with descriptions and pictures of that particular plant. For the ones we chose, including the trees, we tried to find those that provided shelter and food for birds, nectar for bees and butterflies and were attractive. There is some overlap in all the categories: you could choose "sub-shrub" and get some of the same flowers, often shrubs and trees overlap because of their sizes. This gives you the latitude to choose the heights, density and colors you are interested in. Near the bottom of each of these webpages will be a note on "Wildlife", which will tell you what, if any, of the flying creatures you are hoping to attract will be interested in that plant. And, depending on how long you intend to remain on your property and enjoy your garden, you may want to check speed of growth-you'd probably have to wait a long time for a tree to reach 90', but maybe that's not important to you. Good luck with a very commendable project.

Flowers ("herbs" on Search)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Antennaria neglecta (field pussytoes)

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

TREES

Acer saccharum (sugar maple)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)

Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)

 


Achillea millefolium

Antennaria neglecta

Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Campanula rotundifolia

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Helianthus maximiliani

Acer saccharum

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Prunus virginiana

Robinia pseudoacacia

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Are the moths in my Austin, TX live oaks harmful?
November 03, 2009 - It is November and my live oak trees are full of moths. What are they and are they harmful to my trees?
view the full question and answer

How close can I plant Mountain Laurels to my house in Austin, TX?
December 08, 2010 - Hello, I'm interested in planting 2 or 3 Texas Mountain Laurels on the side of my house and I'm wondering just how close is safe. I've been told that planting trees too close can damage the slab f...
view the full question and answer

Trimming non-native sago from Fresno CA
September 10, 2012 - I have a sago plant, fronds are hanging over into street, can the fronds themselves be trimmed back without removing the whole frond?
view the full question and answer

Tree for fast shade in Huckabay, TX
July 31, 2013 - What tree should I plant for fast shade?
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for a small tree for cemetery in NH.
August 30, 2012 - I would like suggestions for picking a SMALL tree for a rural cemetery in Winchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Would the delicate Japanese Elm be suitable for the weather, etc?
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