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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Wednesday - September 06, 2006

From: Wright City, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Native wildflowers for Missouri
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in the midwest, Wright City, Missouri. I have good dirt, not clay or sand. I love wildflowers. What kind of wildflowers can I grow here successfully?

ANSWER:

If you visit our Regional Factpacks page and select "Recommended Native Plant Species List" for the Midwest, you can download a PDF file that lists native plants that do well in landscaping in the Midwest. The list is divided into several sections, including: Cacti and Succulents, Ferns, Grasses, Shrubs, Trees, Vines, and Herbaceous (Wildflowers). For each entry ithe list gives the botanical name, the common name, its Midwest range—in what states it occurs, and a comments column that gives information about size, bloom color and time, and moisture and sun requirements. With this list you can customize the wildflowers to your particular site. You can look at photos and find information for the individual species in the Native Plants Database. Here are a few examples of wildflowers that should do well in your area:

Virgin's bower (Clematis virginiana)
Red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)
New England American-aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
Lance-leaved coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

You can also do a custom search in the Native Plants Database by choosing "Narrow your search" under Combination Search near the bottom of the page. You can then select "Missouri" from Select Your State and designate different Plant Characteristics that you like and Growing Conditions that match your site.

You can find nurseries and seed companies that specialize in native plants in your area by searching our National Suppliers Directory.

 

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