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?


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

Saturday - May 14, 2005

From: Chelsea, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Texas native wildflowers viable in Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Can you tell me what wildflowers native to Texas would also thrive in Michigan?? I'd like to surprise a "transplant".


Well, poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is native to both Michigan and Texas, but that's probably not the sort of plant you had in mind! You can do a search on the Native Plants Database using "Distribution" as your search criteria. If you input "Michigan", you will get a list of >2300 plants that are native to Michigan. For each of these plants the distribution for all states is listed so that you can pick out which ones are native to both Michigan and Texas. That's a lot of plants to sort through so I assume another criteria you have is that the plant is commercially available. I do have a few suggestions (not poison ivy) that would probably remind your friend of Texas and also be commercially available.

There are a couple of shrubs/small trees that are native to both Texas and Michigan that would say "Texas" to your friend. One is the Redbud (Cercis canadensis) which produces beautiful dark pink blooms in late February (In Texas). The other is Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) which produces red berries and colorful leaves in the fall.

For herbaceous perennials you might consider:
1) Black-eyed Susan ()Rudbeckia hirta),
2) Red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), and
3) Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata).

For a listing of Nurseries and Seed Companies that specialize in native plants, visit the National Suppliers Directory. For instance, if you search for "Seed Companies" in Michigan, you will find that Wildtype Design in Mason, Michigan has seeds for several of the plants listed above.

More Wildflowers Questions

Why Did Gaillardia and Aquilegia Changed Color?
June 26, 2013 - Both a Gaillardia pulchella and two red columbines bloomed normally last summer, but this summer the Gaillardia's petals are all yellow and one columbine is white and the other is yellow. What caused...
view the full question and answer

Best place for picking wildflowers in Austin
February 14, 2014 - Where is the best place to find wildflowers for picking near or in Austin around the end of March?
view the full question and answer

Spring sowing of wildflower seeds in pots
May 11, 2015 - Is it possible to start wildflower seeds in pots in the spring and then transplant them to the yard?
view the full question and answer

Identity of maroon flower taking over bluebonnets
April 14, 2008 - there is a maroon colored flowering weed at my ranch in Oakwood Texas. It is taking over the bluebonnets and indian paint brushes. Can you tell me what it is and how to get rid of it.
view the full question and answer

Perennial native wildflowers in Delaware
July 14, 2007 - I'd like to plant some perennial wildflowers around a fresh water pond near the beach in southern Delaware. Do you have some suggestions for native species that will grow in full sun? Thank you...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center