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

New Jersey Native Plants for a Raised Bed
April 15, 2015 - I want to plant some native plants in a raised bed in New Jersey along side a stucco wall that gets direct sun and is very dry due to an overhang. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Can Texas bluebonnets grow in Reynoldsburg Ohio?
May 03, 2010 - I am a transplanted Texan now living in Central Ohio. I am tired of having to accept only pictures of the bluebonnets growing along the highways in Texas now and want to know if the weather is suitab...
view the full question and answer

How many leaflets does a Texas Bluebonnet have?
July 04, 2010 - How many leaves does a Texas Bluebonnet have? I have a co-worker who is making disparaging remarks about my bluebonnet plaque.
view the full question and answer

Should I transplant my bluebonnets from the planter they came into soil in Austin?
April 10, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Since moving to Austin two years ago I have fallen in love with bluebonnets. Last year I purchased seedlings from the Wildflower Center but a taste-first-evaluate-later inquis...
view the full question and answer

Dandelions in bluebonnets in Bastrop TX
May 31, 2012 - I have a 20'x60' front yard area where I planted bluebonnets. It has become horrifically inundated with dandelions. How do I eradicate the dandelions while preserving the bluebonnets ? Thanks ...
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