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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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Friday - June 24, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native Species List for Ponca OK
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I planted daylilies in my Austin garden and did not do well. I moved these daylilies to my garden in Ponca City Oklahoma and have done outstanding relying only on mother nature's rain. My garden in Austin is 90 % North American Native and would like to make the garden in Ponca native as well. Please advise if you have a list of plants native to Ponca City, Oklahoma.

ANSWER:

We sure do!  At least we do at the state level.

The recommended species link has a special list for Oklahoma.  Just click on the state in that page and a list of natives adapted to OK will pop up.  After that, you will be able to sort the resulting 124 species for General Appearance [Tree, Grass, Herb, etc.], Light Requirement, Water Reqirement and several other attributes you might desire. 

An additional resource with a slightly more local emphasis than "OK" may be the Master Gardeners at the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.  The Kay County Office is in Newkirk and appears to have an active Master Gardener program. The Osage County Office is in Pahuska. You may also get more local advice from the Oklahoma Native Plant Society.

 That's an interesting observation on the Daylilies.  The USDA database shows the Yellow Daylily as an introduced species that is found in OK and TX and the Orange Daylily as an introduced species that is found in TX and NE, but interestingly not in OK!  Unfortunately, this particular record does not show the county detail that the USDA often has, but I still expect that this is a case where you have found a  microclimate that they will thrive in.  It is always a good choice to go for natives as they will be adapted to the climate of your area and should thrive with minimal care.

 

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