En Español

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

Indian Paintbrush outnumbering our Bluebonnets this year.
May 26, 2015 - We noticed we have more Indian paintbrush than bluebonnets in our front yard this year. Our issue is we also have more spear grass than normal. Is there a way to control this grass without killing th...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Echinacea paradoxa
July 01, 2005 - What kind of habitat (soil, sun, water etc) does Echinacea paradoxa like to live in?
view the full question and answer

Making Tea from Croton monanthogynus
August 13, 2013 - Do you have any other information on the value of croton monanthogynus as a tea? Nutritive value? Possible adverse reactions?
view the full question and answer

Wildlife uses of wildflowers in Central Texas
May 01, 2006 - How are wildflowers in Central Texas used by wildlife?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for limestone ledge with thin soil in Austin, TX
February 14, 2007 - My back yard is essentially a limestone ledge with less than an inch of soil on the top in full sun. What native plants can live in this environment? Since I can't really dig a hole, maybe I should...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center