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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 17, 2010

From: Brooklyn, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers for NY that bloom in the first season
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Hi, I'm looking for native annuals that germinate the same season they're planted. There are many northeast native annuals but most of them require a season of frost to germinate the following spring. Can you suggest some attractive annuals that would work for this context? Thanks!!

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, our Native Plant Database does not currently have a powerful enough search function to be very helpful and although our team of Green Gurus is quite diverse in experience and geography there is no-one who can give you a quick answer or point you to a database/website.

You are absolutely right when you say that most annual seeds must be sown in the fall.  They are regionally adapted in the south so some germinate in the fall when there is moisture, overwinter as small plants that can tolerate what cold weather there is, to flower the following spring.  Other southern wildflowers germinate in the spring and flower happily later in the summer.  The north, as you know, is a different story.  Most annuals have adapted so that they do not germinate before winter, preventing the seedling from perishing during winter even though the seed is shed (planted by nature) in late summer or fall.  So you must subject seed that you want to germinate a natural, or artificial "winter".

A manual search of the list of annuals native to New York yields one plant whose seed does not require pre-treatment:

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed)

Good luck with your search.  Here are some organizations that may be able to help:

New York Flora Association

New England Wildflower Society

Native Seed Network

 


Coreopsis tinctoria

 

 

 

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Requirements to grow Lupinus albifrons
October 07, 2008 - What is required to grow Lupinus albifrons? Temp., soil mix, alkaline or acid, etc.?
view the full question and answer

Flowers for monarch butterflies in Bastrop, Gonzales and Travis Counties of Texas
March 05, 2013 - Hi Mr./s. Smarty Plants, What are some flowers that grow naturally on a Bastrop, Travis, or Gonzales county riverside that monarch butterflies commonly feed on? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Can bluebonnets grow in a field of Bahia grass in Silsbee, TX?
September 14, 2010 - My question is if you have a field of Bahia grass, can bluebonnets grow there or will the grass choke them out?
view the full question and answer

Wild flowers in North Texas for October wedding from Biscayne FL
July 25, 2013 - I am getting married in north Texas in October. I want to use wild flowers in addition to daisies. Which ones are in bloom in early oct? I've heard using flowers in season are more reasonably priced....
view the full question and answer

Recreating a wildflower meadow, central Texas
July 02, 2013 - We have an acre on our property that has bluebonnets. Unfortunately, it also has other plants that we don't want -Johnson grass, nettles, burrs. We plan to do a controlled burn in the fall and re-...
view the full question and answer

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