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?

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
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

Sunday - February 01, 2009

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Companion plant for columbine in Summer
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Please suggest a companion plant for Texas columbine that will hide them when they are ragged in summer but won't interfere with their seeding out to make new plants.

ANSWER:

Rather than a companion "plant," how about "plants?" It's always a gamble to depend on just one plant to serve a particular purpose. In this case, we suggest finding a selection of annual and perhaps perennial flowering plants that will bloom and flourish at different times than the Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana (Hinckley's golden columbine). The columbine is a short-lived perennial which will reseed itself, given the time to recuperate in dormancy during the hot summer. It can take sun to shade, but does best in partial shade.  This particular species blooms in April and May. We're going to go to our Recommended Species section, click on Central Texas on the map, and NARROW YOUR SEARCH by selecting "Herb" under Habit, and part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day) for light requirements. By not checking anything under Duration, we will get plants that are both annual and perennial. If your sun exposure in that area is different, or you have a special soil moisture situation, you can use the same technique to find other plants more suitable.  Follow the plant link to each individual plant page to find color, size, etc.  that will help you choose the best one for your situation.

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) - perennial, blooms May to September

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower) - perennial, blooms July to November

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower) - perennial, blooms April to September

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel) - annual, blooms May to August

Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (tanseyleaf tansyaster) - perennial, blooms March to November

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot) - perennial, blooms March to November

Salvia coccinea (blood sage) - annual, blooms February to October


Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana

Asclepias tuberosa

Conoclinium coelestinum

Echinacea purpurea

Gaillardia pulchella

Machaeranthera tanacetifolia

Melampodium leucanthum

Salvia coccinea

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Problems with Copper Canyon Daisy from Austin
June 08, 2014 - We had 3 copper canyon daisies. Two of them bloomed profusely last year, but only one has come back this spring. We cut them all back as instructed. When it was clear that two were not coming back, we...
view the full question and answer

Perennial poppies for Salt Lake City
January 21, 2010 - What are the best poppies, perennial if possible, to plant in Salt Lake City, Utah?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shady area in north Texas
July 29, 2013 - I'm looking for a ground cover for a mostly shady area where St. Augustine won't grow. I don't want the ground cover to overtake my established St. Augustine in the rest of the yard. The area is un...
view the full question and answer

Need plants to grow between flagstones in Vista, CA.
February 06, 2012 - Hi, I have put in a flagstone patio set in DG. The DG is creating a very sandy messy surface on the flagstone, so want to plant a low ground cover between the joints. Its a fairly large area, in sun...
view the full question and answer

Perennial Suggestions for Under Ash Trees in Minnesota
June 12, 2013 - With our house we have inherited 2 ash trees in our front yard with a large amount landscaping underneath. I'm replacing the landscaping but there are tree roots at the surface preventing me from bei...
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