Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Monday - February 11, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Native plants for a school butterfly garden
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My son's school is having a beautification work day and one of the projects is a butterfly garden. Parents are being asked to donate plants, and we would like to suggest appropriate plants for this area (Austin). Could you give us a list of suggestions?

ANSWER:

Here is a list of appropriate butterfly-attracting plants for Texas. We are going to make you a customized list of plants we like for this purpose and believe will do well in the Central Texas area. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native to North America. Being native, these plants will require less water, fertilizer and be better able to cope with the temperatures of the area for which they are selected.

By clicking on the links for each plant in our list, you will be able to read about that plant, its needs for sun, and some of the butterflies or moths it will attract. Many of these may be available in area nurseries, or you can go to our Native Plant Supplier list for Texas. This gives you a list of 37 nurseries in Texas that specialize in native plants, of which several are in the Austin area. Most have phone numbers so you can call them and determine if they have what you are looking for before you make the trip. These plants are all perennials, and should return each year.

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Penstemon cobaea (cobaea beardtongue)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (blackeyed Susan)

Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush)

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia)


Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Campsis radicans

Echinacea purpurea

Leucophyllum frutescens

Penstemon cobaea

Phyla nodiflora

Rhus lanceolata

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima

Tecoma stans

Wedelia texana

 

 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Dieback of Indigo Spires and whirling butterfly
June 02, 2008 - I have an Indigo Spires plant that is turning yellow and dying back. I have fed it but nothing seems to perk it up. I also have whirling butterfly plants that are losing leaves and dying back. What...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly garden for TN
May 09, 2012 - Hello! I recently moved into a new house near Mosheim, Tennessee (37818) and I am wanting to start a butterfly garden. I am requesting information how to get this started. What soil, plants, and flowe...
view the full question and answer

Host plant for Northern Pearly Eye butterfly
March 25, 2008 - Can we add to the host plant information for Elymus hystrix (Bottlebrush grass)? The grass is host plant for the Northern Pearly Eye butterfly (Enodia anthedon). It would be great to share this info...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a fairy garden
February 16, 2016 - Hi Smarty.. I would like to create a fairy garden for my 3 year old daughter this spring in a 4ft x 2ft space. Do you have any suggestions on what native plants would be great for this?
view the full question and answer

Non-toxic plants for dog yard from Freeport PA
June 24, 2012 - I'm looking for wildlife-friendly native plants that aren't toxic to dogs. I have a place for some small shrubs and/or flowers. And a climbing vine that I could train on a trellis would work espec...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.