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

Cherry Laurel for North Central Texas
May 16, 2010 - I want a small evergreen tree (approx 20'x 15')and would like to plant a Cherry Laurel. Would this be a good choice in North Central Texas (DFW area)? If not, any suggestions? Thank You.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for city lot in Longview, TX
March 19, 2008 - Just bought a city lot in Longview, TX and want to put in some plants at the periphery even before the house is built. Can you recommend any that would be from your list of East TX plants that are pa...
view the full question and answer

Mexican Plum not doing well in Liberty Hill, TX.
September 03, 2010 - Two summers have passed since I planted my Mexican Plum. It's in full sun. It seems to have added height but not much width. It's virtually a 7 foot stick with 1 foot branches from top to bottom. It...
view the full question and answer

Difference between Styrax platanifolius and Styrax patanifolius ssp. texanus
November 18, 2011 - What is the difference between a Styrax platanifolius and a Styrax platanifolius texanus?
view the full question and answer

Anacacho orchid tree (Bauhinia lunarioides) and the freeze in Austin
February 03, 2010 - I just wanted to say that your answer in today's Austin American-Statesman about recent freeze damage to Anacacho orchid trees was right on for ours as well. We're in north central Austin and all t...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center