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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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Wednesday - June 22, 2011

From: Laceys Spring, AL
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees, Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers that grow in woodlands
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please tell me the names of wildflowers that grow under your oak trees in Texas. I am only familiar with those open meadow plants, not those that live under the deciduous trees. Thank you for your time!

ANSWER:

Well, Texas is a really big state with lots of different ecoregions so I am going to focus on the ones that grow in Central Texas where I live and where the Wildflower Center is located.  East Texas, West Texas and South Texas plants can be very different from those that grow here in Central Texas.  Also, since oaks are allelopathic to some plants growing beneath them (i.e., they produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of some plants), I will give you the names of wildflowers that you can find growing in shady woodlands instead of just plants that grow under the oaks.  Below are a few herbaceous wildflowers.  You can see more examples as well as flowering shrubs that grow in dry shade in two of our Recommended Species files—Dry Shade Plants for Central Texas and Woodland Plants for Central Texas.  If you would like to see some of the wildflowers that grow in other ecoregions of Texas, check them out on our Recommended Species page under JUST FOR TEXANS.  You can limit the number of species on those lists by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and choosing "Part shade" and/or "Shade" under LIGHT REQUIREMENT.

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (Turk's cap or turkscap)

Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Packera obovata (Golden groundsel)

Phacelia congesta (Blue curls)

Tradescantia occidentalis (Prairie spiderwort)

Rivina humilis (Pigeonberry)

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower)

Salvia roemeriana (Cedar sage)

Ruellia drummondiana (Drummond's ruellia)

Verbesina virginica (Frostweed)

 

From the Image Gallery


Turkscap
Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Blue curls
Phacelia congesta

Prairie spiderwort
Tradescantia occidentalis

Pigeonberry
Rivina humilis

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Drummond's ruellia
Ruellia drummondiana

Frostweed
Verbesina virginica

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