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?

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
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

Thursday - March 31, 2011

From: Texarkana, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Native plants for Texarkana, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I've been searching for a dependable list of attractive north east native plants, for gardens, landscaping, etc. Specifically, native flowers and shrubs.

ANSWER:

We assume you are talking northeast Texas as opposed to, say, New York or Massachusetts. We answer questions from all over North America, but since your address is Texarkana TX, we will go with that. The best thing we can do to help you is teach you how to use our Native Plant Database. Once you have learned your way around the database, you'll be able to search for all kinds of plants, their growing conditions and so forth. Following the plant links will take you to a page on that plant with information on light requirements, moisture preferences, bloom time and color, expected size, preferred soil, etc. That will be far more useful to you than for us to give you a list of plants which might not like your soil or needed more sun where you wished to plant, or even had the wrong color blossoms. We'll use a herbaceous blooming plant as an example, and you can go from there.

Just to start you thinking, look at our list of plants for the Pineywoods which, if you look at the map of Texas at the top of the first page, you will see includes Bowie County.

Begin by going to our Recommended Species site. Click on East Texas on the map, which will give you a list of 133 plants of all kinds native to East Texas. Using the sidebar on the righthand side of the page, select "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant), then Narrow Your Search. When we did this, we got a list of 47 blooming plants native to your area. If you have more specific needs, you can select on Light Requirements, Soil Moisture, even selecting what color flowers you want, and when they bloom. Each specification you add, of course, will narrow your range of choices of plants. We will walk you through one blooming plant and you can go from there to choose more blooming plants, plus shrubs, trees, vines, etc. that will suit your purposes.

For our example, we chose one of our own favorite flowering native plants: Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed). This USDA Plant Profile map shows that it does, indeed, grow as a native to Bowie County. Follow the plant link, and from our webpage on that plant, you can learn that it will grow to about 2' tall, is perennial and deciduous, and blooms orange and yellow from May to September. Butterflyweed requires low water use and either sun (6 or more hours of sun a day) or part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day) and prefers well-draining sandy soils. It is a larval host for the Monarch and Queen butterflies, so don't spray those caterpillars, they are baby butterflies. The flowers are also a nectar source for pollinators like bees and butterflies. There are Propagation Instructions, a list of Benefits of the plant, and even seed sources. There are pictures on the page, on which you can click and get a larger version.

So, you see you can apply these instructions to select any plant native to your area that you wish, find out how to take care of it and what benefits it has, and make your own dependable list.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Asclepias tuberosa


Asclepias tuberosa


Asclepias tuberosa


Asclepias tuberosa

 

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants to grow under a black walnut tree in PA
July 03, 2011 - I want to plant some shrubs and flowers in an area with southern exposure that is dry, sunny, and within the drip line of, and partially under a large black walnut tree. I had been told that native pl...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf for East Texas
May 14, 2012 - We live in east Texas, right on the beginning of the piney words, the soil is a little sandy. We have taken up a wooden walkway but can't get anything to grow there. Could the soil be dead from year ...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance replacement garden in Ashburn , VA
April 30, 2009 - We live in Ashburn, VA (Northern VA). Our house is 10 years old and the contractor grade plants have died. We are planning on digging everything up and re-doing the landscaping in our front yard - r...
view the full question and answer

Annual flowers for rocky area near driveway in Pennsylvania
May 25, 2010 - What type(s) of annual flowers can I plant along a driveway in northeast PA? The soil is very rocky and the area is mostly shady receiving only morning and some late afternoon sun.
view the full question and answer

Mercer Society of Harris County Plant Sale from The Woodlands, TX
March 15, 2011 - Love the Name! Anyway, the Mercer Society of Harris County will be having its annual plant sale late this month and as usual I will be attending. I'm trying to find some tropicals and sub-tropicals...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center