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

Native replacement for Mexican heather in Llano, TX
April 24, 2009 - Please suggest a native or adaptable alternative plant for Mexican Heather.
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a Steep Slope in TN
July 15, 2014 - Hello, I live in Knoxville, TN and have a very steep slope in our backyard. There is a lot of water erosion causing our grass to be covered with red dirt. I would love to try to plant something on thi...
view the full question and answer

Starting shade-tolerant ground covers in New York
September 10, 2013 - Hi, I have seen some of the posts for shade-tolerant ground cover on the east end of Long Island and my question is process related. Now that I've identified the grasses/plants I need to keep my fro...
view the full question and answer

Growing conditions for Giant Coneflower from San Antonio
August 09, 2013 - Rudbeckia maxima is considered to be a perennial plant for the sun but I have had a difficult time maintaining it in a pot in full sun before attempting to plant. Do you feel that it will survive and...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive henbit from Round Rock TX
April 27, 2013 - I've read in this book "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants" that Henbit is an invasive plant in Texas. I've also read that it provides an early source of nectar to bees and butterflies when li...
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