Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - July 04, 2006

From: Weatherford, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Native grass and wildflower possibilities for Weatherford, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Weatherford, Texas - 20 acres and would love to have a prairie or soft cover throughout the year (less mowing). What do you recommend? I don't know anything about this ... So, feel free to share the basics. I did read that we could have southern tall grasses and short. I would love it to be a breezy place (Texas 100 degrees, hot, etc.). So, whatever moves with the wind and looks lush as opposed to a dry desert look. Open to all kinds of plants/wildflowers, etc. Thank you!

ANSWER:

First, I recommend you that read "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" from our Native Plant Library. It gives you information on what and when to plant and how to maintain your prairie meadow. There are several other articles in the Native Plant Library that might also be helpful (e.g., "Large Scale Wildflower Planting").

Here are suggestions for grasses that are known to grow in Parker County. Included are tall and short grasses that are attractive and mature at different times of the year.

Bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus)
Purple three-awn (Aristida purpurea)
Silver bluestem (Bothriochloa laguroides)
Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)
Buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides)
Canada wild rye (Elymus canadensis)
Plains lovegrass (Eragrostis intermedia)
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)
Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
Yellow Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans)
Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides)


You can sow wildflower seeds along with your grasses. Here are a few suggestions for flowers:

Pink evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa)
Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa)
Goldenwave (Coreopsis tinctoria)
Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Prairie verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida)
Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata)
Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)
Dotted gayfeather (Liatris punctata)

You can visit our National Suppliers Directory to look for nurseries and seed companies in your area that specialize in native plants and carry seeds or plants for the grasses and wildflowers suggested above.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Overseeding native wildflower seeds as opposed to herbicides
August 10, 2006 - Greetings from Alabama, We would like to "roundup" approx 2 A and plant some wildflower (s) that would TAKE OVER. We have 20 A and over half is in mixed woods. Pine, oak, sweetgum, and ???. Do y...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a bird/small wildlife refuge in Wichita Co, TX.
August 26, 2011 - With our continuing drought in North Texas, I'm planning to transform my small backyard into a bird/small wildlife "refuge". What types of native plants and grasses can I plant in dry, hot Wichita ...
view the full question and answer

Genetically altered bluebonnets?
September 07, 2008 - I am trying to locate where I can purchase what I consider real bluebonnets not the genetic altered ones. The ones I am talking about are completely blue without the white tip on top. Do you have an...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers and grasses for sunny field in Nashville, TN
October 09, 2005 - I want to plant wildflowers in a sunny field (old pasture land) in Nashville, Tennessee. I plan on killing the existing weeds and tall grasses with roundup this fall and planting native grasses (wha...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower preparation for winter
October 22, 2009 - I live in Onieda New York and I would like to know what do I do with my wild flowers before winter so they look great next year?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.