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

Monday - December 29, 2008

From: Bastrop, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Grasses and wildflowers for Central Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live between Bastrop and Paige and would like to know native grasses or types of wildflowers I can plant now. thank you


First, read our How-To Articles Meadow Gardening and Gardening Timeline, to give you an idea of when to start. We know you're probably not planning anything so large-scale as a meadow garden, but this article makes suggestions about what percentage of flowers and grasses to plant, how to prepare the soil, and how to sow the seed. We are assuming you were referring to seed, as opposed to purchasing bedding plants, which are difficult to find in native grasses and wildflowers as well as expensive.

Generally, in Central Texas, late fall is the best planting time for wildflowers, especially. However, if you get them in quickly, before any more very cold weather, there still might be time this year. When you look at our webpage for each native plant, most of them will have propagation instructions, and best planting time. For instance, Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) names fall as the time to plant, but also says cold will help the seed to germinate, and gives instructions for scarifying the seed to promote germination. You could try planting some seeds now, and if a few come up, be patient, because other seeds in your first planting will come up next year, and the year after that, plus the ones that do come up can reseed themselves.  We'll list a few Central Texas wildflowers that you can try planting now, and that have propagation instructions. You can also go down on the webpage for each plant and use the link to Google on that plant for more information. Another thing you can do is go to Native American Seed Online Catalog, where you will find seeds for wildflowers, special mixes, native grasses and grass mixes. They will give you planting and blooming times and prices for packets of seeds. 


Castilleja indivisa (entireleaf Indian paintbrush)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Dracopis amplexicaulis (clasping coneflower)

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy)

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

Ipomopsis rubra (standing-cypress)

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Phlox drummondii (annual phlox)

Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower)


Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama)

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly)

Castilleja indivisa

Callirhoe involucrata

Coreopsis lanceolata

Dracopis amplexicaulis

Engelmannia peristenia

Gaillardia pulchella

Helianthus maximiliani

Ipomopsis rubra

Lupinus texensis

Oenothera speciosa

Phlox drummondii

Ratibida columnifera

Andropogon glomeratus

Bouteloua curtipendula

Bouteloua hirsuta

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri







More Wildflowers Questions

Information on Mrs. Johnsons efforts in highway beautification
January 11, 2006 - Perhaps you can help. I am trying to unearth a little history of Lady Bird and her involvement in the beautification of our highways, especially as it relates to using native plants. This is for a p...
view the full question and answer

Hanging plants for Austin, TX
May 18, 2014 - I'm looking for a hanging potted flower suggestion for Austin. Most locations are shaded under a large tree, but some locations may have several hours of afternoon sun. I'd love to see some hummin...
view the full question and answer

Viewing of Texas native wildflowers
February 04, 2008 - Can you provide a general listing of when various Texas native wildflowers are in bloom? Also helpful would be a list of areas where these wildflowers could be photographed in their native growing ar...
view the full question and answer

Recreating a wildflower meadow, central Texas
July 02, 2013 - We have an acre on our property that has bluebonnets. Unfortunately, it also has other plants that we don't want -Johnson grass, nettles, burrs. We plan to do a controlled burn in the fall and re-...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for an outdoor wedding in New York
February 06, 2009 - I am planning an outdoor wedding in New Rochelle, NY in May. We would like to use native plants. Can you suggests some that we can use in the bouquets and as potted plants? Thanks
view the full question and answer

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