En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plants native to Galveston that would survive in Austin

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
1 rating

Monday - December 01, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Propagation, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants native to Galveston that would survive in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What plants are native to the Galveston, Texas region? Can any of those plants survive in the Austin area?

ANSWER:

We could find no list of native plants specific to Galveston and Galveston County. In addition, when we looked at various sites, it became apparent that there are a great many non-native and even invasive plants now growing in Galveston. Two possible contacts and sources of information on this are Texas A&M Cooperative Extension Program, Galveston County and Native Plant Society of Texas, Houston Chapter.

Beyond this, we are going to try to find a way for you to answer your question from our Native Plant Database. Since we couldn't determine if Galveston would be considered East Texas or South Texas in terms of our Recommended Species, we decided to come at it from another direction, beginning with our special collection Hill Country Horticulture. In that, we used the NARROW YOUR SEARCH function to search for grass or grasslike plants, and selected Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) as a possibility. We then went to the webpage on that plant, and, at the bottom of the page, clicked on the link to the USDA Plants Profile on that grass. Then we clicked on the state of Texas, which gave us a graphic of the counties in which that grass is known to grow. Both the coastal area of Texas nearest to Galveston and the Hill Country counties which would include Austin showed the grass growing there. Since Galveston is an island and does not appear on that USDA map, this is still pretty approximate. 

Obviously, this is a very slow and tedious way to find plants that would survive both places. Since you are apparently familiar with and interested in the plant life of Galveston, let us suggest still another way to determine plants that could grow both places. Go to our Native Plant Database, in the Name Search Box type in the common name, scientific name or USDA code for a plant you know grows in Galveston, and then check the USDA Plant Profile map of the State of Texas as explained above. For instance, we knew that there was a Texas native plant called the Beach Morning Glory. We typed that in as the common name, and got three possibilities. We clicked on Ipomoea imperati (beach morning-glory) and went to the webpage, clicked on the link to the USDA Plant Profile. Sure enough, there were counties all along the southern coasts of Texas where it appears but, alas, nothing anywhere near the Hill Country. 

Frankly, this may be an exercise in futility, as the ecologies, climates, amount of rainfall, etc. are very different in the two areas. Aside from some grasses, which are adaptive and versatile, there are probably very few plants that would survive both places. Instead, we would suggest that if you are gardening in Austin, you select plants that are native to the area and will flourish with less water, fertilizer and maintenance because they are already adapted to our conditions. This time, go to our Recommended Species section, click on Central Texas, and use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH function to find the type of plant you are interested in, and read the webpages on each, also following links at the bottom of the pages to further information from Google.

 

More Propagation Questions

Propagation of Texas bluebells from seed
July 29, 2008 - I have a few Texas Bluebell seeds. I would like to grow these in my yard. What would be the best place..pot or flower bed? When should I plant? How to maintain?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Century Plant in St. Petersburg FL
August 09, 2009 - CENTURY PLANT PROPAGATION
view the full question and answer

Trimming bloom stalks of iris
April 15, 2008 - Mr. Smarty: I live in Nevada, and have some very beautiful Iris plants. They have all blossomed and now I am left with stems. Is there any way I can cut them back so they blossom again? If so how shou...
view the full question and answer

Crossbreedding of Lupinus polyphyllus and L. perennis
June 25, 2007 - Hello, can Lupinus polyphyllus and L. perennis crossbreed? I have both and want to keep perennis genetically pure, is the only way to do this is to get rid of the polyphyllus?
view the full question and answer

Picking flowers of bulbs from Cloverdale CA
April 22, 2014 - Will picking the flowers of native bulb plants, such as Trillium, Blue Dicks, Fawn Lilies, kill the plant or keep it from reproducing? I do not condone this action but know people who do it.
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center