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?

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
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 - February 03, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Pink evening primrose in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We purchased the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Mix from the Native American Seed Co. last year. It included Pink Evening Primrose. Their colonization has gone extremely well -- so much so that it is taking all the space in our wildflower area and not leaving room to plant other wildflower seeds (Indian blanket, etc.) Will other wildflowers come up naturally in the midst of the colony of primrose? If not, what can be done to thin or control the primrose colony to allow the planting of other seeds?

ANSWER:

In "Just for Texans" in the Collections Section, there is a list of the plants that have seeds in the Lady Bird Legacy Mix. You can go to that list and follow each link to the page on that wildflower to learn when it blooms, and what it needs to prosper. Of these, 8, including Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) and Castilleja indivisa (entireleaf Indian paintbrush), are annuals and 4, including Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies) and Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow) are perennials. For all of them, the predominant blooming season is March to May, but the evening primrose blooms from February to July and is semi-evergreen, making it something to look at in the wildflower garden when other plants are fading. 

All of this is to say that, in Nature, this sort of problem kind of takes care of itself. The wildflower mix you are referring to was very carefully chosen, we're sure, to emulate the wildflower meadows Central Texas is famous for. However, evening primroses can be sneakily invasive; when they are dormant in the winter or during a hot, dry summer, the roots will still be spreading and new plants can pop up where you didn't expect them. About the best advice we can give you is to allow plants to bloom and then pull them out before they go to seed. Individual flowers only last one day, but you can keep an eye on them and when seed pods begin to appear, out they come. Since it is a good, long-blooming groundcover plant, we would certainly recommend that you leave some, and not try to exterminate them. Then, after noting what plants from the Mix are or are not coming up, you might choose to reseed only with the individual seeds of the particular plants you are missing. You didn't say how long you have had your wildflower garden, but we're sure you know that new seeds should be planted in the Fall. With any seed mix, you take your chances on what will do well in the space and what will not. Even the annuals in the mix will self-seed and return without further seeding, so additional over-seeding is best used to add diversity. If some species do not do well, or even come up, two years in a row, you might consider the soil and growing conditions each prefers. 

Species in the Lady Bird Legacy Wildflower Mix from our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Castilleja indivisa

Callirhoe involucrata

Coreopsis tinctoria

Echinacea purpurea

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Gaillardia pulchella

Glandularia bipinnatifida

Lupinus texensis

Monarda citriodora

Oenothera speciosa

Phlox drummondii

Rudbeckia hirta

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Day trips for wildflower viewing from Austin
April 05, 2012 - I live in Austin, Texas. Where is the best place for bluebonnet viewing? Or a day trip to see wildflowers? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Fertilizing wild bluebonnets
September 26, 2007 - Can you fertilize wild bluebonnets? If so, with what and when?
view the full question and answer

Time for planting wildflower seeds in East Texas
August 06, 2007 - I live in northeast Texas, and we have had abundant rains here. Can I plant some wildflower seeds now, and if so, what plants would be appropriate?
view the full question and answer

Locales for photographing wildflowers in Dallas, TX area
April 17, 2007 - My daughter has a project for school where she has to find and take her picture with 20 different Texas wildflowers and identify them. We have found some of the more common ones, but I was wondering ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting wildflowers before construction begins
September 23, 2004 - Can wildflowers be transplanted? I'm building a house and wonder what can I save before the builder clears the lot.
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center