Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

Smarty Plants on books for Southwest New Mexico
November 01, 2004 - Which book would you reccommend for Native plants and flowers for Southwest New Mexico - Silver City area?
view the full question and answer

Requirements to grow Lupinus albifrons
October 07, 2008 - What is required to grow Lupinus albifrons? Temp., soil mix, alkaline or acid, etc.?
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of wildflowers in Frankfort IL
September 02, 2009 - Can you tell us how to get rid of wildflowers? We have wildflowers on the side of our pond and we want to plant sod next year.Should we cut them down this year and use a vegetation killer? We have fi...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet rosettes in July from Austin
July 30, 2012 - Dear Mr S.P.: Please solve my bluebonnet summer mystery! I established about 1500 sq feet of bluebonnets starting four years ago by scavenging seeds here and there and just scattering in the sprin...
view the full question and answer

Seeding time for wildflower annuals and perennials in New York
October 27, 2006 - We have a large area of open land in front of our house and would like to dedicate part of it to wildflowers. I purchased some perenial seeds and would like to know if I can plant these this fall? T...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.