Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 21, 2013

From: Hillsboro, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Book about Texas native bulbs from Hillsboro TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi! I'm looking for a book about Texas native bulbs.

ANSWER:

We could not find such a book, and suspect this is because there are not enough of them to fill a book.

Solas Gardens: Texas native bulbs. You have to scroll down slightly to find this list. Here are the ones of that list that are in our Native Plant Database:

Allium canadense (Meadow garlic)

Hymenocallis liriosme (Spider lily)

Nemastylis geminiflora (Prairie celestials)

Manfreda maculosa (False aloe)

Herbertia lahue (Prairie nymph)

Oxalis drummondii (Drummond's woodsorrel)

Schoenocaulon texanum (Green lily)

You can follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant. Scroll down to the bottom of that page. You can click on the link to USDA Plant Profiles for that plant and click on Texas (which should be green, indicating the plant does grow natively in Texas) and you will see the counties in which it grows natively. Still at the bottom of the webpage, click on the link to Google, for more information and pictures of that plant.

Now, go to Soul of the Garden: Texas Tough Bulbs by Tom Spencer, Austin radio and television personality and champion of native plants. From that article:

"Every autumn, Texas gardeners go Dutch, trooping to area nurseries to indulge their passion for spring flowering bulbs, the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths of bulb catalog fantasies. These imported beauties are the stuff of dreams, however. In our climate they are often a shortlived and expensive nightmare. You can do all of the recommended song-and-dance routines (wooden shoes or not) but these little Dutch boys rarely survive from one year to the next.

For most of the past three decades I have resisted buying bulbs because they rarely live up to my childhood memories. I grew up in the northeast where most of these plants have no problem naturalizing and becoming a dependable part of the gardener’s arsenal of perennials. Here in Texas we are told to refrigerate them until Christmas, build special well-drained beds, sprinkle fairy dust, and click our heels together three times—only to watch them croak in the first spring heat wave or rot during a winter monsoon. If they actually do survive, many varieties fail to re-bloom, so most folks just use them as expensive annuals that provide a short burst of color."

So, we don't promise that his article features all Texas natives, but they probably will survive in Texas, and that's really what you are looking for, isn't it?

 

From the Image Gallery


Meadow garlic
Allium canadense

Texas spiderlily
Hymenocallis liriosme

Prairie celestials
Nemastylis geminiflora

False aloe
Manfreda maculosa

Prairie nymph
Herbertia lahue

Drummond's wood-sorrel
Oxalis drummondii

Green lily
Schoenocaulon texanum

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Low maintenance grass for shade in Conroe, TX
September 15, 2012 - What is the best low maintenance grass to plant in front lawn shaded, no traffic area?
view the full question and answer

Are there drug cartels on the bluebonnet trails from Lake City FL
February 08, 2012 - We plan to fly to TX to see bluebonnets but do not know if the weather and forest fires have destroyed them. If not, can you estimate the peak bloom time? We are 75 and 81 and move around rather s...
view the full question and answer

Dietes bicolor invasive from Brisbane Australia
April 01, 2013 - We have dietes bicolor growing in our garden. I am changing the type of garden and cannot seem to kill it. I've dugged it out, spent too many weekends pulling out every new shoot, used poison, but t...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for area under grand fir (Abies grandis) in Idaho
July 08, 2010 - What can I plant on a slope under Grand Fir trees in North Idaho, zone 4 - anything deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

What are the Native Dianthus?
October 03, 2015 - What species of Dianthus is native to North America?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.