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
1 rating

Friday - April 16, 2010

From: McAllen, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers for an April wedding in McAllen TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live in McAllen Texas and plan to get married April 2011. My dream is to get married at my parents ranch. I visualize beautiful wildflowers and I am not sure what to plant and when. Any suggestions?


It's April now, so the first thing you want to do is go see what is blooming now, because that should be what will be blooming next year. As far as you can, you should depend on already-established grasses, trees and wildflowers. When you go to see what is blooming in April, it would be a good idea to take a good guidebook to the wildflowers of Texas. See the Bibliography below for a number of books on that subject. One of our favorites is Wildflowers of Texas (2003) by Ajilvsgi, Geyata, because it has pages color-coded by the color of the flowers, to make it faster to find what you are looking for. Before you visualize flowers that won't grow there or don't bloom in April, you need to know what does bloom there.

We are going to suggest that you read our How-To Article on Meadow Gardening, because hopefully that is what you already have on the portion of the property you are planning for your wedding. You can enhance it by putting out some wildflower seeds, but don't try planting any that don't belong there, because you will be wasting your time.  We recommend planting seeds at about the same time plants are dropping their seeds naturally, which in Texas is usually Fall. Be sure and read the instructions in the Meadow Gardening article about dropping the seed. We are going to give you a list of the Texas wildflowers that ordinarily bloom in April and grow in the area of Hidalgo Co. on the southern tip of Texas. Follow the plant links to our page on that individual plant to learn its growing conditions, size and so forth. Note that the only seeds you will likely get flowers from next April will be annuals. Perennials and biennials don't bloom until their second year. Those on our list are all annuals that could give you some results by next April, and perhaps continue to propagate themselves to grace the area for a long time to come. 

April-blooming Texas wildflowers for Hidalgo County TX:

Amblyolepis setigera (huisache daisy)

Castilleja indivisa (entireleaf Indian paintbrush)

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain)

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. ciliata (Dakota mock vervain)

Lupinus subcarnosus (Texas bluebonnet)

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)

Monarda punctata (spotted beebalm)

Phlox drummondii ssp. mcallisteri (McAllister's phlox)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Amblyolepis setigera

Castilleja indivisa

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. ciliata

Lupinus subcarnosus

Lupinus texensis

Monarda punctata

Phlox drummondii ssp. drummondii



More Wildflowers Questions

Planting for slope in Boone, NC
April 13, 2010 - What would you suggest for planting on a slope, located in Boone, NC? Approximately 600 to 800 sq. ft.
view the full question and answer

Establishing a wildflower meadow in Madison GA
January 21, 2010 - Can a wildflower meadow be established by seeding in a sunny pasture without removing all existing vegetation, just mowing low and slightly loosening soil with the teeth on a front end loader?
view the full question and answer

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Lupinus perennis Poisonous to Dogs?
April 14, 2013 - I have heard that some lupine varieties are quite poisonous to dogs, others are not. Do you know if it's safe for my dogs if I plant and encourage Lupinus perennis in my NH meadow?
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

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


100 Texas Wildflowers (1993) Mattiza, D. B.

Texas Trees & Wildflowers (2001) Kavanagh, J. ; R. Leung

Texas Wild Flowers (1976) Johnston, A.S.

Texas Wildflowers (2004) Meier, L. & J. Reid

Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide: Revised Edition (2006) C. Loughmiller, L. Loughmiller, D. Waitt

Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center