Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
3 ratings

Monday - November 16, 2009

From: OKC, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Drought tolerant plants for butterflies and hummingbirds
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I have about 150 sq ft of space in our backyard (urban OKC residence) that gets direct sun in the morning but is 100% shaded by 11-Noon from 2 large Sycamore trees. The space is on the west side of the yard and also shaded after noon by a 7 foot fence. Would like to fill this area with a (wide?) variety of native and drought resistance flowers/shrubs attractive to humming birds and butterflies, and with a large range of color and blooming times.

ANSWER:

Well that's a tall order, but not an impossibility.  There are plants that meet those requirements ... just not a wide variety! We commend your decision to install plants that have a benefit for wildlife and will help make your garden a sustainable ecosystem.  We recommend you investigate transforming your garden intoa Wildlfife Habitat. Visit the National Wildlife Federation website for more information.

By narrowing the search on our Recommended Species search for Oklahoma for part sun and dry conditions we find some perennials that fit the bill. You will find more  on the list.

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Ipomopsis rubra (standing-cypress)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

You will likely not have room for many shrubs, but here are two good ones that will survive in those conditions, attract wildlife and have great fall color.

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)


Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Monarda fistulosa

Ipomopsis rubra

Salvia coccinea

Amelanchier arborea

Rhus glabra

 

 

 

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Schedule for pollen and nectar for bees in Austin
May 27, 2010 - For beekeeping in western Travis County (Cuernavaca at Bee Caves) I need to know what nectar and pollen is flowing when. I have asked my local beekeeping club, but they are in Blackland Prairie and d...
view the full question and answer

Listing of plants matched to specific pollinators
July 01, 2014 - Could you refer me to a listing of plants matched to specific pollinators? I have completed the conversion of a local nature center garden to a pollinator garden with all natives. We hope to place ed...
view the full question and answer

Interested in a mini food forest
February 04, 2013 - I am interested in starting a mini "food forest" in a twelve foot by twelve foot patch of earth next to my house. I'd like to put a focus on making sure that the bulk of the plants I introduce are ...
view the full question and answer

Understory plants for creek side in Austin
September 22, 2008 - We live along Shoal Creek in central Austin and would like to establish a natural balance of vegetation along the creek. We currently have a high tree canopy made up of native Cedar Elms. What would...
view the full question and answer

Species of hackberry best for wildlife from Georgetown, TX
February 21, 2014 - Which species of Hackberry tree is the best for wildlife in Georgetown, TX (just north of Austin)? Your Plant Database says Celtis occidentals is "among the BEST food and shelter plants for wildlife,...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.