En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - June 03, 2013

From: Commerce Township, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Showy Low Growing Perennial for Michigan
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have been looking for a native perennial that would do well in full sun and moist to dry soil. It would have to be at most 2.5' tall and have showy pink, purple, or red flowers. Is there such a plant that will grow here in Michigan?

ANSWER:

There are plenty of great native perennials that will fit your requirements. The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database. Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.
Under Combination Search, select the following categories: State – Michigan, Habit – herb, Duration – perennial, Light Requirement – full sun, Soil Moisture – dry and moist, Size Characteristics – 0-3 ft, and bloom colors – pink, purple, and red. This will give you a list of 54 potential plants.

Some of the possibilities from this list for you to consider include:
Anemone multifida (Pacific anemone)
Asclepias sullivantii (prairie milkweed)
Callirhoe involucrata (winecup)
Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)
Gentiana puberulenta (downy gentian)
Hedysarum alpinum (alpine sweetvetch)
Liatris cylindracea (Ontario blazing star)
Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)
Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)
Phlox pilosa (downy phlox)
Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve (smooth blue aster)

 

From the Image Gallery


Pacific anemone
Anemone multifida

Prairie milkweed
Asclepias sullivantii

Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Downy gentian
Gentiana puberulenta

Alpine sweetvetch
Hedysarum alpinum

Ontario blazing star
Liatris cylindracea

Sundial lupine
Lupinus perennis

Scarlet beebalm
Monarda didyma

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Downy phlox
Phlox pilosa

Smooth blue aster
Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve

More Wildflowers Questions

Native wildflowers tolerant of lower water and lots of sun
April 17, 2007 - I live in Austin Texas and have a small bed in the front of the house which faces the east with no shade. I am not much of a yard person so would like to plant some Native plants that don't need a lo...
view the full question and answer

Blue wildflowers for Massachusetts meadow garden
September 30, 2011 - I am restoring a 1980's era barn in Massachusetts. To celebrate the roll-out of the restored barn, I would like to plant wildflowers in the hayfield next to the barn (aprox. 3 acres). I would like ...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
November 29, 2004 - We would like to know if the bluebonnet wildflowers are suitable for New Orleans and, if so, which months should they be seeded. Otherwise what can you suggest for our humid climate. We like blue, lav...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
March 02, 2005 - There are several different species of bluebonnets that grow in Texas. Which one is the official state flower?
view the full question and answer

Texas wildflower guide with every flower listed
November 09, 2012 - Is there a Texas wildflower guide that contains every single flower that grows in the state? I have a few flowers on my land I haven't been able to identify because they aren't in the guide I have. ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center