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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - October 10, 2008

From: Henly, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Plants for cleared area by creek
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Pants. My front "yard" is about 2 1/2 sloping acres with a wet weather creek at the bottom. It has been recently cleared of cedar. The cedar is now shredded and acts as a cover to help with erosion. There are springs running through the hill as well, but only when the creek is full. So far this year - not to worry. I was hoping to seed it with turffalo. Plugging would not work for my budget. Would another type of grass be better? Now that the cedar is gone, there are oaks lining the creek with the rest unshaded. I'm also planning to seed the lower portion with various native wildflowers. Any ideas you have would be much appreciated!

ANSWER:

As far as I can tell, Turffalo is only available as plugs.  You might consider seeds from Native American Seed in Junction.  They sell pure Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) seeds but they also sell a mix of 66% buffalograss and 34% Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) that should do very well.  For the shady areas under the oaks you might consider Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats), a beautiful grass that loves the shade.  Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem) is another beautiful grass that does well in sunny, moist areas and Muhlenbergia reverchonii (seep muhly) is another attractive grass that likes moist, sunny spots.  You can see a list of recommended native species that are commercially available for Central Texas by selecting the area from the map on our Recommended Species page.  Here are some suggestions for flowers from that list:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius (Berlandier's sundrops)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Phacelia congesta (blue curls)

Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia)


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua gracilis

Chasmanthium latifolium

Andropogon glomeratus

Muhlenbergia reverchonii

Aquilegia canadensis

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius

Coreopsis lanceolata

Engelmannia peristenia

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Oenothera speciosa

Phacelia congesta

Ratibida columnifera

Salvia coccinea

Salvia farinacea

Wedelia texana

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Best wildflowers for Lamar County TX
February 02, 2012 - What are the best wildflowers for northeast Tx? We live right below the Red River just north of Paris. Can they only be planted by seed in the fall? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Butterfly Plants for Chicago
September 13, 2014 - I live near Chicago, IL and am interested in planting a butterfly garden. Not sure when to start, but I want all native plants that would attract butterflies. Can you please let me know which plants ...
view the full question and answer

Information on native plants in Canyon State Natural Area
April 21, 2006 - I am the Cubmaster for a Cub Scout Pack here in San Antonio. I am planning summertime activities for the kids this summer. One thing I have decided to do it take them on a hike in the new Government C...
view the full question and answer

Questions about Clematis virginiana in Austin, TX.
August 26, 2011 - Hello! I have a few questions regarding Clematis virginiana. Is it scented? Does it attract birds and butterflies? Do only female flowers get the feathery plumes? If yes, how do I know if ...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance native plants for college campus in Monterey, CA
June 30, 2005 - I am a graduate student at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. We are researching ways to save money (decreased maintenance, pesticide/herbicide use, etc) on our campus. I need so...
view the full question and answer

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