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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - April 23, 2011

From: Arden, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Accompanying plant for non-native dianthus in Arden NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi,I have dianthus and need a small plant-full sun to go with it down both sides of our driveway-thanks

ANSWER:

There are about 300 species of the Dianthus genus belonging to the Caryophyllaceae family, native mainly to Europe, Asia and North Africa, none to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will recommend only plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally. Please read our How-To Article A Guide to Native Plant Gardening to help you understand the ecological and conservations reasons we have for this.

Since we don't know which of the 300 or so of the Dianthus genus you have in your garden, we are going to show you how to use our Native Plant Database to find the right size and color, full-sun plants that might suit your purposes. Go first to our Recommended Species section, and click on North Carolina on the map, which will result in a list of 135 plants of all types native to North Carolina. The sidebar on the right-hand side of the page will give you opportunities to select on several characteristics of native plants to suit your purposes. We checked on "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant) under General Appearance, "sun" under Light Requirements, and 1-3 ft. in height. You can follow each plant link to read all the Growing Conditions, color, bloom time and so forth. Once you have begun to use the Native Plant Database, you can also select for trees, shrubs, ferns, grasses or succulents, with varying degrees of light.

Flowering full-sun plants for Buncombe County, North Carolina:

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)

Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet beebalm)

Oenothera fruticosa (Narrowleaf evening-primrose)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Achillea millefolium


Coreopsis tinctoria


Monarda didyma


Oenothera fruticosa

 

 

 

 

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June 20, 2010 - My hydrangea plants have a weird growth on their leaves that looks like white rice. It looks like it would be powdery if brushed, but I don't want to touch it for fear that it some type of mold. Any...
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