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?


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

Tuesday - August 10, 2010

From: Burgettstown, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Yellow and purple wildflowers for a wedding in Burgettstown PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I'm not sure exactly what I am looking for and I'm sorry if its too much to ask but....I want to have a fun relaxed wedding next June or July time. I can't find wildflowers that would bloom during that time. What I would like to do is plant them and pick them the day of with all my bridesmaids and make our own decorations with them. Can you help me? Our colors and yellow and purple? I would need a couple different kinds. Thank you so much.


We will see what we can find in our Native Plant Database, but first, will you take a little advice from an experienced Mother of the Bride?  We had a daughter's wedding in our garden, and everybody just about worked themselves to death making that garden perfect-planting, trimming, watering and so forth. But we arranged with a professional florist to bring the flowers for bouquets and corsages to the house, add flowers to the bride's veil, and stay to make sure everything went well. We were never so glad to see anyone in our lives. Because she could bring in non-native flowers, which were flown in under refrigeration, she could select the colors the bride wanted, and have them fresh and properly trimmed. Even in Pennsylvania, most wildflowers will have bloomed earlier than June or July, and purple flowers, in particular, are difficult to find under any circumstances.

Another problem with planning on wildflowers is that a sudden hard rain, or a protracted drought, or even insects could knock down and ruin the blooms you wanted to use. Frankly, many wildflowers don't hold up well as cut flowers.  You don't need that kind of stress on your wedding day, trust us. 

However, we aim to please, so let's take a look at wildflowers that are gold or purple, blooming in June or July in the Washington County area of southwest Pennsylvania, on the border with Ohio. These will need to be annuals, as perennials don't ordinarily bloom until the second spring. We came up with 5 yellows and 1 blue/purple. You will need to follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learn how big it gets, what kind of environment it grows in (sun, shade, soil), and propagation to see if it's worth the effort for you.

Gold and purple flowers for a wedding in Pennsylvania in June or July:

Bidens connata (purplestem beggarticks) - blooms yellow July and August

Campanulastrum americanum (American bellflower) - blue, purple June to August

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed) - yellow April to June

Eschscholzia californica (California poppy) - orange, yellow February to October

Helianthus annuus (common sunflower) - yellow July to October

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan) - yellow June to October

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Bidens connata

Campanulastrum americanum

Coreopsis tinctoria

Eschscholzia californica

Helianthus annuus

Rudbeckia hirta



More Wildflowers Questions

Horsemint for Connecticut
July 01, 2015 - Will horsemint grow in Connecticut?
view the full question and answer

When to plant bluebonnet seeds in Houston
May 06, 2010 - I live south of Houston and have purchased 1lb. of bluebonnet seeds. The seed company told me I could put them out in June-when mother nature does it, however I have read several answers that say to s...
view the full question and answer

Texas native wildflowers viable in Michigan
May 14, 2005 - Can you tell me what wildflowers native to Texas would also thrive in Michigan?? I'd like to surprise a "transplant".
view the full question and answer

Best time for wildflower planting in the Ozarks
April 13, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Ozarks, and have an open bottomland valley area I want to transform into more natives for many reasons. I am starting a 2 acre field of NATIVE grasses (warm sea...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of wildflowers in Frankfort IL
September 02, 2009 - Can you tell us how to get rid of wildflowers? We have wildflowers on the side of our pond and we want to plant sod next year.Should we cut them down this year and use a vegetation killer? We have fi...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center