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

Sunday - July 27, 2008

From: House Springs, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers to grow in dense crownvetch in Missouri
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What wildflowers might grow in dense crownvetch?

ANSWER:

Coromilla varia, crownvetch, is not a true vetch but a cool season, hardy perennial legume. It was introduced from Europe and southeast Asia during the 1950's as groundcover, and a bank and slope stabilizer. It is intolerant of shade. Because it is a legume, it is also used as a soil rehabilitation agent. A non-native of North America, it is native to Africa, Asia and Europe and has become an invasive species in many states of the United States. Because it is a legume, there would be species of wildflowers that might do well combined with the vetch, such as Castilleja indivisa (entireleaf Indian paintbrush), whose roots go to those of other plants to obtain nutrients. The Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet), being also a legume, fixes nitrogen in the soil on which the Indian paintbrush will draw, so the two wildflowers are frequently seen growing together. However, the downside of the provision of nitrogen in the soil by the vetch is its invasiveness. Being a cool season perennial, while most wildflowers are annuals, it would have a tendency to shade out the sprouting seeds of the wildflowers, and to crowd out the more desirable wildflowers as they try to develop.

If you are trying to establish a wildflower meadow, including the vetch, this would not seem to be very practical. It would be better to first clear the area of the vetch by pulling it out and then seeding the wildflowers in the Fall. The vetch would probably attempt to return, but given a fair start, and with frequent thinning of the vetch, the wildflowers would probably not only make it, but profit from the existence of the nitrogen in the soil provided by the vetch.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflowers that grow in woodlands
June 22, 2011 - Please tell me the names of wildflowers that grow under your oak trees in Texas. I am only familiar with those open meadow plants, not those that live under the deciduous trees. Thank you for your t...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
April 14, 2007 - Do bluebonnets, being a legume, contribute anything beneficial to the soil?
view the full question and answer

Can Texas bluebonnets grow in Reynoldsburg Ohio?
May 03, 2010 - I am a transplanted Texan now living in Central Ohio. I am tired of having to accept only pictures of the bluebonnets growing along the highways in Texas now and want to know if the weather is suitab...
view the full question and answer

Developing fields with native plants from New Egypt NJ
July 24, 2013 - I have several acres of fields that I want to develop with native grasses and flowers. I would like to know the best time to mow the fields so that bushes and volunteer trees don't take over and that...
view the full question and answer

Zexmenia in upstate NY
March 13, 2011 - Will zexmenia survive in upstate New York (Albany)?
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