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

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

Is Annual Rye Choking Out Wildflowers in Austin?
January 15, 2011 - We live about 3 miles from the wildflower center on 3 acres and there is a natural area on our property that gets a lot of wildflowers. Last winter we threw out annual rye seed to have some greenery ...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife management programs for tax exemptions
March 17, 2006 - I own a property in La Grange, Texas on which we're considering a wildlife management exemption. Would there be a program that also provides tax advantages for growing wildflowers?
view the full question and answer

Native Texas Plants for SC
June 22, 2015 - I just visited your beautiful facility for the first time and loved it! I'm planning to move to Charleston, SC and would love to replicate some of the wildflower and walkway areas I saw. Would the fo...
view the full question and answer

Seedball Germination in Dallas, TX
May 27, 2015 - Last Fall we created thousands of seedballs with Lady Bird's wildflower seed mixture, compost and clay, and planted them along a bike trail in Dallas, Texas. We are so disappointed because nothing h...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Narrow, Dry, Shaded Site in Georgia
April 03, 2014 - I am writing from Valdosta, GA. Could you please suggest three perennial shrubs and/or plants that flower at different times of the spring and summer? Also ones that can be planted in a 2 ft. wide s...
view the full question and answer

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