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?


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

Monday - March 12, 2012

From: Grand Prairie, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Most common wildflower in Texas from Grand Prairie TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


What is the most common wildflower in the state of Texas? My kiddos stumped me on this one?


Let's talk semantics. If you refer to a Texas wildflower as "common," you will get some flak from native Texans. We regard all of our wildflowers as very uncommon. If you want a by-numbers count of the most frequently appearing wildflower in Texas, we will look for the one that appears in the most counties in Texas. If you want the most popular one, that's pretty easy. Everyone loves Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet),  but there are others that are close behind in popularity. We suggest you first look at this Texas Highways article Bouquet for the Years: 30 Wildflowers. Then, follow the link on that page to the full article in the April 2004 issue, 30 WildFlowers.

Because we don't have any volunteers willing to go out in the field and count wildflowers, which are not all blooming yet, nor do they all bloom at the same time, we are going to pick a dozen (which happen to be personal favorites) of the wildflowers from the above article, give you links to each plant's webpage on our website, and then look (at the bottom of that page) at the USDA Plant Profile on that site. The link "USDA" on each plant will take you to a map of Texas counties, the green counties being those where that plant grows naturally. Perhaps your "kiddos" will want to make their own decisions on which are the most common Texas wildflowers. Texas is a huge state with many different ecoregions. You will note that some flowers would be the most common in one part of the state and not even appear in another.

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) USDA

Castilleja indivisa (Entireleaf indian paintbrush)  USDA

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel)  USDA

Phlox drummondii (Annual phlox)  USDA

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose) USDA

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan)  USDA

Ratibida columnifera (Mexican hat)  USDA

Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup)  USDA

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy)  USDA

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp sunflower)  USDA

Eryngium leavenworthii (Leavenworth's eryngo)  USDA

Glandularia bipinnatifida (Purple prairie verbena)  USDA


From the Image Gallery

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas indian paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Annual phlox
Phlox drummondii

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Mexican hat
Ratibida columnifera

Callirhoe involucrata

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Common sunflower
Helianthus annuus

Leavenworth's eryngo
Eryngium leavenworthii

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida

More Wildflowers Questions

Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
April 04, 2012 - I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi...
view the full question and answer

Butterflies attracted by Pink Evening Primrose from Burnet TX
July 30, 2012 - I see information on Pink Evening Primrose that says it attracts 'many butterflies' Please tell me which butterflies and name them? I've looked everywhere and am just exhausted and frustrated with...
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeding for hurricane-damaged areas of New Orleans
January 05, 2007 - I need some information. I am going to be traveling to New Orleans in two weeks to visit a relative. They are in an area that was decimated by the hurricane. Though they have rebuilt the neighborho...
view the full question and answer

Annual Native Plants for Interplanting in Iowa
January 20, 2015 - I'm looking for suggestions for annuals that will flower from seed or from spring plants. I want to use them to fill in the space around newly planted coneflowers and asters that I fear will look spa...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center