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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

 

 

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