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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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Friday - February 20, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Flowering native plants for Bastrop, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What type of flowering plants, trees,and bushes will grow in Bastrop, Texas? I see lots of things around, please help, have never done before.

ANSWER:

All right, class will come to order for New Gardener 101. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center loves new gardeners, and has prepared reading material that will help you a lot. First, let us explain that we are focused on plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Plants that are accustomed by eons of experience to an environment, its water, soil and temperatures will need less fertilizer, water and maintenance to flourish. After you have read some of our How-To Articles on gardening with natives, we'll help you find appropriate plants for your Central Texas area, and you can go on from there.

The first How-To Article on your reading list is A Guide to Native Plant Gardening. Next, read Gardening Timeline, to help you know what you should be doing during each season.  These will do for a start; later you may want to read the articles on Native Lawns and Meadow Gardening.  

You didn't say if you were planning a flower bed or wanted to plant a tree, or landscape a whole yard, so we'll just do as you asked, name some native flowering plants that will grow in Bastrop. You can follow each plant link to the webpage on the individual plant, see when it blooms, how much water or sun it needs, how high it will grow, etc. If you are planning to plant trees or shrubs, called  woody plants, you need to do it soon, before the relentless heat of Texas begins. Most wildflowers are seeded in the Fall, to permit some cold stratification to break the dormancy of the seeds and permit them to benefit from the Fall rains. If you buy bedding plants, they should be planted in early Spring, again, so they can get established before the hot weather.

These plants are all commercially available, and if you have difficulty finding them, go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, type your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies, and landscape and environmental specialists in your general area. We are going to find the plants to suggest to you by going to our Recommended Species section, clicking on Central Texas on the map, NARROW YOUR SEARCH,  and searching first on "Herbs" (herbaceous flowering plants) under Habit; we will then do separate searches on "Shrubs" and "Trees." Below is a list of some of our personal favorites but you can repeat the searches making your own choices. Notice that when you use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH function, you can also indicate the amount of sun available under "Light Requirement," as well as "Soil Moisture" and so forth.

HERBACEOUS FLOWERING PLANTS FOR CENTRAL TEXAS

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

SHRUBS FOR CENTRAL TEXAS

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle)

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita)

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

TREES FOR CENTRAL TEXAS

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)


Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Melampodium leucanthum

Salvia farinacea

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Chrysactinia mexicana

Lantana urticoides

Leucophyllum frutescens

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Chilopsis linearis

Prunus mexicana

Taxodium distichum

 

 

 

 

 

 

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