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?

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

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

Wednesday - March 25, 2009

From: Temple, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Flowering perennials beneath Ashe juniper.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Dear Sir: What type of flowering perennial plants will grow underneath Mountain Cedar and its pine needles? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Mountain cedar, more properly known as Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper), is quite famous for inhibiting the growth of other plants under its canopy.  By creating heavy shade, drinking up much of the available water and through a type of chemical warfare known as allelopathy, Ashe juniper effectively eliminates most potential competitors beneath its boughs. 

However, there are a few native plant species that have found a niche in just that spot where they find little or no competition other than, of course, from the juniper itself.  Perhaps best known is Salvia roemeriana (cedar sage), a member of the mint family with very showy red flowers.  Cedar sage thrives in the shade of Ashe juniper.  Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia) also grows well there.  Another species that is much less showy, but is attractive in its own way, is Carex planostachys (cedar sedge).  Woody plants that are known to grow under junipers include Arbutus xalapensis (Texas madrone), Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel) and Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree).

Although junipers are conifers, they are not closely related to pines and do not produce pine needles.  The leaf litter that accumulates beneath junipers is usually referred to as juniper duff or cedar duff.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Annual flowers for fall planting in San Antonio
June 22, 2010 - What are some recommended annual flowers for fall planting in a small garden in San Antonio? Also any help on planting and cultivating would be appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Culture of Indian paintbrush
December 16, 2007 - I have never tried to plant the Indian Paintbrush flower before, and I'm not sure what the culture is besides what's on the LBJ Wildflower center website. Are there any tricks for getting a good sh...
view the full question and answer

Planting time for wildflower seeds in Denton Co., TX
March 11, 2007 - I live in Denton county, Texas and I purchased 2 lbs of native texas wildflower seed from the local agr. extension. Is it too late to plant now and expect flowers from my seed ? Should I plant anyway...
view the full question and answer

When the bluebonnets bloom
January 31, 2003 - Can you tell me when the bluebonnets are in bloom?
view the full question and answer

Proliferation of Small Palafoxia in Dallas Co. TX
June 07, 2013 - A few years ago I noticed a new wildflower I hadn't seen before in the southwest Dallas County area. I found the name to be Small Palafoxia. It was growing along the edges of HWy 67 in Duncanville ...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center