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

Wednesday - May 13, 2009

From: Grove City, OH
Region: Midwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants to compliment pine trees in Ohio
Answered by: Nan Hampton


We just moved into a new home, the backyard has a above ground island with 5 pine trees (fairly young ones, not big) between the trees are some piney looking shrubs, there is a lot of open space on the island to add other plants or flowers. I am not particularly fond of the pine trees and shrubs..but not in a hurry to uproot anything. What can I plant that will compliment the trees and the piney shrubs. I love color. Also, it is a huge island, takes up about a 1/3 of our yard..any thoughts?


First, please go the our Recommended Species page and choose Ohio from the map or pull-down menu and you will get a list of over 140 native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in Ohio.  You can modify that list by choosing the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and choose your own preferences from the various categories.  For instance, you might want to choose "Herb" or "Grass/Grass-like" from the Habit (general appearance category and/or "Part shade - 2-6 hours of sun per day" from the Light requirement category.

Here are a few of Mr. Smarty Plants' choices that can be found in or adjacent to Franklin County, Ohio—you can find many more on the list:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Campanulastrum americanum (American bellflower)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry)

Aquilegia canadensis

Campanulastrum americanum

Conoclinium coelestinum

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

Echinacea purpurea

Monarda didyma

Phlox divaricata

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus




More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for a creek bank in Northern Illinois
March 26, 2009 - Hello. I live in Northern Illinois. The creek (northern exposure in a wooded area) on the back of my property has bare muddy banks and is subject to seasonal floods. I want to plant something hardy t...
view the full question and answer

Perennial blooming plants for Ashland MO
April 02, 2010 - I am beginning to create a flower bed in front of my house, I do not have a green thumb so I want to know what plants would come back yearly and I can plant now in Mid Missouri?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting trilliums in dormancy in Michigan
February 15, 2006 - I live in Michigan. I have a Trillium in my yard and we are having a new septic field put in. I need to know if I can save the whole plant and can I keep it in the house or do I just need the bulb a...
view the full question and answer

Milkweed species for Central Texas
February 11, 2015 - What milkweed should I plant in the flood plain behind my house on Brushy Creek.
view the full question and answer

Need plants for full sun in Dallas Texas.
May 20, 2009 - What plants are best to use for full sun in Dallas Texas?
view the full question and answer

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