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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - February 11, 2009

From: Quitman, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Butterfly gardening in Quitman, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We want to establish a butterfly garden in our back yard. What plants should we establish to attract the butterfly for food and host planting?

ANSWER:

Please read our How-To Article Butterfly Gardening, which not only gives you details on how to go about this project, but also a list of suggested plants, all of which will do well in your area. You can follow the links on each plant in that article to find out how to propagate it, how large it gets, even what butterflies it attracts. At the bottom of that webpage is an extensive Bibliography of related publications. Click on a title to get more information about the book. Some you may find in the Library or might wish to purchase. From our Special Collections, see this list of plants for Butterflies and Moths of North America. You can go through and find a plant you are interested in, but before you plant it, check the information on states to which that plant is native on the webpage. If it is not native to Texas, it probably would not prosper in your area, nor would the butterflies it attracts be around.

One more website that has a lot of information and links on it is The Butterfly Site.com. Remember that their information will be more general, and not necessarily involve butterflies or plants that you would normally find in East Texas, but will still give you a lot of help.


Asclepias tuberosa

Monarda didyma

Rudbeckia hirta

Echinacea purpurea

 

 

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