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?

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

Wednesday - January 24, 2007

From: Chapel Hill, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native wildflower habitat for North Carolina
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am from North Carolina and have been gradually establishing a wildflower spring garden. I now have a beautiful display of bluets and cornflowers that grace my front yard in the spring. Most of this area has been allowed to be covered with a lush green moss where the bluets seem to find a wonderful home. The cornflowers are more discrete. After the bluets and cornflowers leave us we have a profusion of rattlesnake weed, whose beautiful leaves many times turn a deep purple. Around our mailbox we have an old (thick trunk) trumpet honeysuckle. All of these are volunteers. Also I have propagated - with some success - a nice, soft, hairy-leaf plant that puts out a blue blossom every day from late spring until fall. They are very hardy to drought. Also a type of clover has appeared, they do not bloom but their green leaves are luscious. In the back we have asters and violets, plus ajuga, which is also a volunteer. At present I would like to propagate wild grasses to supplant my lawn (that is full of crabgrass and bermuda). Any good suggestions for this area.

ANSWER:

It sounds like you are well on your way to establishing a nice wildflower habitat at your home. Good resources for you will be the Native Lawns and Wildflower Meadow Gardening articles in the NPIN Clearinghouse.

For a list of grasses suitable for use in your landscape and how they can be used, please see this excellent article from the South Carolina Native Plant Society website.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants for narrow planter boxes in San Antonio
October 02, 2010 - We have a narrow flower planter box in three sections above a french drain in front of our house. The box is about 2 feet high (filled with Gardenville soil) above a french drain covered with filter ...
view the full question and answer

How many Bamboo species are native to North Carolina? one
March 27, 2014 - I would like to know how many bamboo plants are native to North Carolina?
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for bioswales in Philadelphia, PA
August 24, 2015 - Hello, Are there a handful of species you would recommend for inclusion in bioswales throughout the US? I realize plants need to be selected based on climate, but I'm wondering if there are two or...
view the full question and answer

Erosion prevention on shady Pennsylvania stream
July 28, 2011 - I'm looking for a few species to plant along a stream channel to help reduce erosion during heavy rains. The soil is moist and in full shade. Ferns and thorny bushes are the only current vegetation...
view the full question and answer

Problems for plants growing over closed loop field of geothermal system
October 22, 2008 - We would like to install a geothermal heating/cooling system on our Wisconsin property. Are there any environmental problems with the heat that is put back in the earth from a geothermal system? We ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center