En Español

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?


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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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


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.


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.


Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)


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

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita)

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)


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







More Shrubs Questions

Planting Suggestions for a Lake Home in Wayne County, MO
April 03, 2014 - We have a lake home in Wayne County, MO at Lake Wappapello. The soil is very rocky. We recently cleared an area around our home of assorted dead trees, some cedars and what seemed like tons of vines. ...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control for a Shaded Slope in Aliquippa PA
May 07, 2014 - What plants. shrubs or trees can I plant to retard soil erosion on a steep shaded hillside in PA
view the full question and answer

Trees and other plants for privacy along lake shoreline
March 09, 2013 - We are purchasing a new home that has a 2 acre lake. We would like to add some plants/trees for privacy around the shore line. Can you suggest something that would fill in nicely and is strong enoug...
view the full question and answer

Passiflora and Leucophyllum together in Texas
April 23, 2015 - I've got a Passiflora incarnata that has self-propagated around a cenizo sage. My question is, will the passionflower vine choke out or otherwise damage the cenizo? Do I need to cut back the vine? ...
view the full question and answer

Repairing the split trunk of a TX mountain laurel
February 28, 2015 - I have a fairly large mountain laurel that I just realized has a split down the trunk. Is there anything I can do to save it?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center