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

Information on orchid Spiranthes odorata from Golden MS
December 06, 2011 - I live in N.W. MS and am fortunate enough to receive 'Wildflower'. Even though it's geared to TX I was wondering if you can provide me information on the Spiranthes odorata that sprang up in my yar...
view the full question and answer

Shade ground cover under honeysuckle from Wichita KS
February 21, 2012 - Hi! I know this is a bit odd, but I am trying to find a nontoxic, good ground covering plant that can live in the shade while competing with the roots of a whole bunch of honeysuckle. I have a few ide...
view the full question and answer

Short flowering plant that will grow in sand in Black Creek WI
June 03, 2010 - I would like to know what kind of flowering plant would grow good in sand? A short plant.
view the full question and answer

Manor, TX in Blackland Prairie ecoregion
June 27, 2006 - Hi, I am planning an event for my community in Shadowglen and Manor, TX so my neighbors can learn about using native plants in the landscape to create healthier habitat for wildlife and be more respon...
view the full question and answer

Problem with Salvia Mystic Spires in Chesterfield VA
May 30, 2009 - Last August, our local Lowes had these beautiful, unusual blue perennials on the discount rack called "Salvia Mystic Spires". For 50 cents each, they looked terrific, so I bought all they had, about...
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