En Español

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
3 ratings

Sunday - January 16, 2005

From: Adrian, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native perennials for moist shade in Missouri
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live near Adrian, Mo (s of KC by an hour). I currently have a small hillside that is covered by trees and shaded all day and also seems to hold moisture really well. The hill seems to grow a little bit of grass but mostly tall weeds that I weedeat once or twice a year. My questions are 1) is there a wildflower I could plant that would survive year after year based on these conditions; and 2) if there is, can I plant in the spring?

ANSWER:

There are several perennials that come to mind that will thrive in the shade and in moist soil and are native Missouri. Here are several suggestions: red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), red trillium (Trillium sessile), and the hooded blue violet (Viola sororia). In the Native Plants Database on the Wildflower Center's web page you can use the Advanced Search mode to search for more flowers that are native to Missouri by using a variety of criteria, e.g., Bloom Characteristics, Growth Form, etc. This will give you a list of flowers with thumbnail sketches. When you see one that appeals to you, select it and you will get a page with information about the plant. At the top of the information page is a menu bar listing several choices: Taxonomy, Benefits, Bloom, Growing Conditions, etc. If you choose Growing Conditions, you can find suggestions for propagation, seed collection, and seed treatment.

You can find suppliers of native plants in your area on the Wildflower Center web page by selecting "Explore Plants" from the side bar and then choosing "Suppliers Directory". You will then be able to search "Nurseries" and/or "Seed Companies" for suppliers of native plants in your state or region.
 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Advice for Texas Mountain Laurel in shady, narrow bed.
June 08, 2015 - My house faces N/NE and gets a lot of shade. I would like to plant a Texas Mountain Laurel in my narrow front bed, but what is the best way to amend my clay soil since it prefers rocky soil? What woul...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf native plants for shade in Burlington, MA
May 02, 2009 - Hi, I removed all of the evergreen shrubs in front of my house in Zone 6. It is in full shade all summer but has some sun during the spring because of a huge beech tree in front yard. there is 2 8'...
view the full question and answer

Native trees for shade in Burbank, CA
May 13, 2009 - I need a few ideas for a non-deciduous (or nearly non-deciduous)tree that grows fast and will provide shade. Shade need not be total. Chinese Elms come to mind but I'm not sure of the growth rate. ...
view the full question and answer

Screening bush for shady area
June 05, 2008 - I need some kind of bush that will act as an air conditioning blind. So far the deer have eaten or destroyed everything planted in the very shady mulch bed. What do you recommend?
view the full question and answer

Growing non-vascular moss as a lawn from Seattle WA
July 27, 2013 - I have lots of moss in my back yard. How can I encourage it to grow over the whole yard?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center