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?


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

Friday - October 10, 2008

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


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!


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

Planting wildflowers on company property from Aquasco MD
April 04, 2014 - Our company wants to plant wildflowers on our property. How do I know how much seed, what type of seeds, how to care for, how to plant, basically everything? Finally, we hope to find use some deer-r...
view the full question and answer

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

What is the name of the Texas Wildflower that smells like grape koolaid?
March 28, 2014 - Can you tell me the name of the Texas wildflower that smells like grape koolaid? I live in north west Texas and every spring, the low growing purple flowers line spots along the roadside. It's a joy ...
view the full question and answer

Bird-friendly plants for the Texas coast
July 13, 2012 - I'm interested in starting a native plant garden, specifically with an eye towards providing food (either from the plants or insects that are attracted to the plants) for migratory birds. However, s...
view the full question and answer

Science project
May 16, 2010 - I am doing a science project and have to find 30 examples of flowers native to Texas to photograph. What is available in the Dallas - Fort Worth area that is easily photographed?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center