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

Thursday - February 02, 2012

From: Sumner, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Wildflowers
Title: Best wildflowers for Lamar County TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What are the best wildflowers for northeast Tx? We live right below the Red River just north of Paris. Can they only be planted by seed in the fall? Thank you.

ANSWER:

On our Recommended Species page is a group of plant lists for Texas Ecoregions, under "Just for Texans." You are in the Pineywoods, according to the area map on the first page of that list. We will sort on "herbs," which includes wildflowers. It could be sorted even more by desired height, bloom time and/or color, etc., but for now, we will just select what we consider the best native wildflowers for that area. You can then follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant and find out what its light requirements, soils, and water needs are, along with size and bloom color. You can make a sort of your own, picking some you like better. Another source of information, as well as seeds, is from Native American Seeds, which designates your area as the right place to plant the Caddo Mix of seeds. There will be duplication on the two lists, but it will help you get more information about what you need. NAS also can help you estimate how many seeds you need for a certain area.

We find that the best idea for planting and managing wildflowers is the meadow garden. Our How-To Article on Meadow Gardening is very complete with instructions on when, where, what and how to plant. Concerning your question about when to plant, here is an extract from that article:

"WHEN TO PLANT

Fall is the best time to plant many native species in Texas. Some seeds need a chilling period (cold stratification) to break their dormancy, while others have hard seed coats that need to be worn down or scarified before they can germinate. Sowing seeds in the fall often provides the conditions necessary to break seed dormancy. Warm, wet, spring weather then induces the seeds to germinate. Ideally, native seeds should be planted following nature's seeding schedule."

Wildflowers for East Texas:

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)

Eryngium leavenworthii (Leavenworth's eryngo)

Euphorbia marginata (Snow on the mountain)

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp sunflower)

Ipomopsis rubra (Standing cypress)

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)

Monarda citriodora (Lemon beebalm)

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose)

Phlox drummondii (Annual phlox)

Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage)

 

From the Image Gallery


Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Leavenworth's eryngo
Eryngium leavenworthii

Snow on the mountain
Euphorbia marginata

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Swamp sunflower
Helianthus angustifolius

Standing cypress
Ipomopsis rubra

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Annual phlox
Phlox drummondii

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

More Planting Questions

Rock under space for Bigtooth Maple in San Antonio
May 20, 2013 - I just got a 10 gallon Bigtooth Maple in Medina TX for my home outside loop 1604 in San Antonio. I hit rock about 7 inches in when trying to plant it..I am entertaining the idea for a raised bed to le...
view the full question and answer

Plants for freestanding water in Oklahoma
July 28, 2013 - I have an overflowing gutter and the ground below becomes a muddy hole. I'd like to put a basin or pot in/or above the ground with a rain chain. Are there any plants--shrubs or otherwise that flouris...
view the full question and answer

Should I purchase wax myrtle plants as liners or pots
July 18, 2011 - I want to buy some wax myrtle over internet.Place has wax myrtle "liners" They look very thin. Will these bushes grow quickly or should I spend more $ for 1 gallon plants. Just need a hedge fairly q...
view the full question and answer

Installing limestone walkway around trees from Pflugerville TX
June 28, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants:I wish to install a limestone walkway in my front yard, however, there are some roots(~ 1.25 inch) in the designated area. Will this hurt or kill the tree if I cut these away? T...
view the full question and answer

Planting buffalograss from Surfside Beach SC
September 14, 2012 - How do I plant buffalograss along a lake? Do I just spread the seeds?
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