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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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Friday - April 26, 2013

From: Rockford, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers for October wedding from Rockford AL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Want to plant wildflowers that will bloom in early October in central Alabama for a wedding. Can you give me any suggestions ?

ANSWER:

We are so frequently asked this sort of question about flowers for weddings, from different parts of the country, that we will take the liberty of linking you to some of thos previous answers. Then, we will deal with the question for your specific area; Coosa County, Central Alabama.

Probably the most apropos of those previous answers is this one, written in March of 2012 for an October wedding in Rockport TX.

Tallahassee FL. This one has 3 more links that we think you should read. Specifically, please read the last three.

That should be enough background information and now you know that we are probably not going to be able to help you very much beyond the advice we extended in the previous answers. Just to show we are trying, we are going to go to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search, select on Alabama for the State,  "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant, which includes wildflowers) and October for Bloom Time. Because you did not specify whether the site was in sun or shade, we cannot select for Light Requirements, but that is often criitical; most blooming plants bloom best in the sun.

Okay, we tried, honest. It turns out that there are 292 plants native to Alabama that fit the criteria we cited above. We scanned through about 100 of them, getting us only to the "C's" on the alphabetical list. The large majority of them were totally not suitable for a wedding, most were only native to one or two counties in Alabama not even close to Coosa County, and had their heaviest blooming earlier in the year, with the tag ends in October, if they had been watered. Remember, if a plant is a perennial it will not bloom until the second season after being seeded. Most annuals are planted the Fall prior to bloom time.  Here are the 3 that were worth even mentioning:

Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge pea) - annual, grows in Coosa County, seed, sun or part shade

Chrysopsis mariana (Maryland goldenaster) -  seeds may be planted in Spring, perennial, county close to Coos

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower) - county close to Coosa, perennial, sow seeds in Fall

We don't know what kind of site you had in mind for the wedding, but it is possible that it already has some attractive wildflowers and grasses growing in it, requiring only a clearing of pathways and area for the actual ceremony.

 

From the Image Gallery


Partridge pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata

Maryland goldenaster
Chrysopsis mariana

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

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