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?

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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - March 25, 2010

From: Kingwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Native plants to replace non-native Pentas plant in butterfly garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can you suggest a Native alternative to Pentas? a freeze killed mine and if a native plant can fill that nectar/color void in my garden I'd appreciate it. thanks for all that y'all do.

ANSWER:

Here are several plants that have either pink or red flowers and are native to the Harris County area:

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) is an evergreen vine with beautiful red flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.  It survived this winter's 18 degree temperatures in Austin so it should survive a Harris County winter easily.  It can be trained to twine around a post or up a fence.

Malpighia glabra (wild crapemyrtle) is a small shrub with pink flowers that attract birds and butterflies.

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow) begins blooming in May and blooms into November.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) is a small evergreen shrub that blooms several times a year and all-year-round in response to rains.

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Phlox drummondii (annual phlox)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

You can see more recommended native plants for bird and butterfly habitats for the Houston area in the Native Plant Society of Texas—Houston Chapter's Native Plant Information Pages.

Here are photos of these plants from our Image Gallery:


Lonicera sempervirens

Malpighia glabra

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Leucophyllum frutescens

Lobelia cardinalis

Phlox drummondii

Monarda fistulosa

 

 

 

 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Native plants for a school butterfly garden
February 11, 2008 - My son's school is having a beautification work day and one of the projects is a butterfly garden. Parents are being asked to donate plants, and we would like to suggest appropriate plants for this ...
view the full question and answer

Natives for wet soil in Cincinnati OH
March 21, 2014 - I live in Cincinnati and the soil in my back yard is wet (soggy) all year round. There are moss and grass growing in the yard. The area is shaded in the afternoon but receives sun earlier in the day. ...
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

Non-native tropical Butterfly vine (Mascagnia macroptera) in Houston
February 02, 2006 - HOWDY . . . Miss Smarty Plants !!! I am trying to identify one of the most intriguing, unusual & beautiful vines that I have ever seen. I encountered this vine at the home of an 87 year old widow ...
view the full question and answer

Availability of Heliotropium angiospermum from Austin
April 01, 2014 - I have admired the Wildflower Center's Heliotropium angiospermum (Scorpian's Tail) for the great number of butterflies it attracts. I would really love to purchase one on these plants, but don't se...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center