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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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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!

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Wednesday - October 22, 2008

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Guide for plants for landscaping in Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am new to Texas and want nothing but native plants. What is the best book or guide so i can see the plants, flowers, shrubs and trees and know best what part of the yard to plant them in? I live in North East Pflugerville.

ANSWER:

There are two excellent sources right here on our Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center webpage.  On the Recommended Species page you can choose 'Central Texas' from the map or the pull-down menu and get a list (with links to the plant's page) of commercially available native plants suitable for landscaping in your area.  Once you reach that list of 155 species you can "Narrow Your Search" by location, characteristics or growing  conditions.  Back on the Recommended Species page you can scroll down to the "Just for Texans" section and find a file named Hill Country Horticulture, a list of 430 species native to Central Texas.  In Pflugerville you aren't really in the Hill Country, but these plants would work for you.   You will find plant characteristics, growing conditions and propagation information on the individual species pages.

Now, for print references, the Wasowski's landscaping book Native Texas Plants:  Landscaping Region by Region is excellent.  There is also The New Central Texas Gardener by Hazeltine and Lovelace.  If you want to propagate your own plants, try Jill Noke's How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest.  For plant identification there are several excellent books that are specific to Central Texas:  Enquist's Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country, Wrede's Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill Country, and Loflin's Grasses of the Texas Hill Country.  You can also find other books on Texas plants by searching for 'Texas' in  Title Search on the Plant Bibliography page.

 

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