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

Failure to come up of blackeyed susans in Lancaster PA
June 28, 2009 - My blackeyed susans have been blooming for ten years. All of a sudden this year they didn't come up at all..why?
view the full question and answer

Are Brown-eyed susans and Black-eyed susans the same species?
December 02, 2014 - Are Brown eyed Susans the same as the Black-eyed Susan? I've read that they are both common names for the same plant, but the flower looks slightly different in different regions. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Eliminating ragweed in Sacramento CA
May 16, 2012 - Rag weed. How to be rid of it! My wife and lots of others that live in this part of Sacramento suffer greatly.
view the full question and answer

Insect infestation, identification and treatment
April 21, 2008 - help! I have an infestation of small flies in my flower/vegetable beds. They seem to be eating the leaves of just about everything. I've tried to find out exactly what they are, but haven't had any ...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of invasive Florida betony from Myrtle Beach SC
April 28, 2012 - How can I get rid of Florida Betony from my lawn and flower beds/ garden area. Garden area was thoroughly dug up and hand picked of all tubules last year at least a foot deep. They are much worse now....
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center