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

Monday - June 06, 2005

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflower seed for west central Texas acreage
Answered by: Nan Hampton


We have a ranch in central Texas between Brownwood and Brady and want to plant wildflowers that will grow in that area. We'd like to cover acreage and need information on what mix would suit our area and how much seed is needed to cover and also when to plant. I am a member of the Wildflower Center and would appreciate your help. Thank you,


There are several articles in the Native Plant Library that you will find useful; for instance, "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" and "Large Scale Wildflower Planting". These articles will give you information about when to plant (generally, in the Fall), how to prepare your site for sowing seeds, and how to sow the seeds.

Here are a few recommended species:
1) Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
2) Texas bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis)
3) Purple Horsemint (Monarda citriodora)
4) Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
5) Engelmann's Daisy (Engelmannia peristenia)
6) Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata)
7) Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata)
8) Indian Paintbrush Castilleja indivisa

There are two excellent native seed companies in Texas. They are North American Seed in Junction and Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg. Each of these companies has an online catalog and you can also order online.

More Wildflowers Questions

Care of native black-eyed susans after blooming
September 30, 2004 - What is the best way to take care of black-eyed susans once they have lost their blooms? Am I supposed to cut them down to the base, or just let them die out naturally. Also, they all have a white re...
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow under a black walnut tree in PA
July 03, 2011 - I want to plant some shrubs and flowers in an area with southern exposure that is dry, sunny, and within the drip line of, and partially under a large black walnut tree. I had been told that native pl...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping a Fence with Native Plants for Central Texas
March 08, 2013 - I'm looking to landscape my fence that I've lined with woven bamboo. The area gets the hot afternoon sun in summer and is pretty shady in winter. The plants need to be drought and heat tolerant. I'...
view the full question and answer

Best date for spring bluebonnet blooms for 2015
January 31, 2015 - What is the estimated date range for the best bluebonnet viewing in the Hill Country this year (2015). I have guests from the north planning a visit and we'd like to pick a weekend with great possibi...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for flood plain in Minnesota
December 05, 2008 - Hi- Our home sits on 2 acres with about 1 of the acres in a flood plain area. That 1 acre has water running through it when the snow melts off and it generally dries up in 2 days. It is currently plan...
view the full question and answer

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