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Saturday - August 24, 2013

From: Wichita Falls, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Planting, Propagation, Wildflowers
Title: Planting wildflowers from Wichita Falls, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, Thanks so much for the answers you give! You've been very helpful to me in the past. I have two quick questions: 1) I have been harvesting seeds from my wildflowers. I wonder when the best time would be to sow them for next spring. I've read in various places about sowing in the fall, in winter after a freeze, or waiting until spring. What do you suggest? 2) I know red tip photinias aren't native, but I have a problem with mine suddenly leaking sap. It looks like the bark has been broken or cracked around where the sap leaks. Could this be caused by the extremely dry conditions, followed but a couple of inches of rain? Or would it be pest related? I know these shrubs are over 17 years old, as they were here when we purchased our house and were already about 8-9 feet tall. Thanks so much for your answers and continued wonderful work!

ANSWER:

First, you are correct, we do not answer questions on non-native plants, because there are more non-natives than natives, and we hardly have time to keep up with the native plant questions. Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on the plant with a couple more links that might help you.

Now, on to your initial question on planting wildflowers in North Central Texas. First, we suggest you go look at our list of How-To articles on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website. From that list, we especially recommend that you read two articles on that list under Large Scale Wildflower Planting. Those two are Getting Started and Meadow Gardening. Since you did not mention from what wildflowers you are harvesting seeds, let us introduce you to our Native Plant Database (if you are not already familiar with it). Any time we give you a plant link, if the plant is native to North America, clicking on that link will take you to our webpage on that plant, for instance Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet). On that page, you can find propagation instructions, growing conditions and color and time of blooming. There are usually pictures; clicking on a picture will take you to an enlarged picture in our Image Gallery. Also, on that webpage you can scroll down to "Additional Resources" at the bottom of the page.

"Additional resources

USDA: Find Lupinus texensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lupinus texensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lupinus texensis"

The USDA link will take you to the USDA Plant Profile map on the Texas Bluebonnet. Any state that is green has that plant growing naturally in it. Click on Texas on that map, and get the counties where the plant grows, again, any green county. Click on a county a couple of times and you will get an enlarged area where you can actually read the county names. Mr. Smarty Plants does this frequently to help determine if your soils or climate are right for that plant. The Google link will permit you to look at other websites on the same plant, so you can see more pictures and check Mr. Smarty Plants' accuracy.  

Now, since we don't know what wildflower seeds you have been gathering, we will show you how to find plants in our database that will thrive in Wichita County, in North Central Texas.  Under Explore Plants on our website, select Recommended Species. You will get a map of the United States; because Texas has so many geographical areas with different soils, rainfalls and climate, we have subdivided the map into 5 areas, you are in North Central Texas. Click on that portion of the map and you will get a list of 105 plants that are native to your area. Note the information at the top of that list:

"Texas-North Central Recommended

Commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in North Central Texas. Visit our Suppliers Directory to locate businesses that sell native plants or seeds or provide professional landscape or consulting services in this state. Visit the Organizations Directory to locate native plant societies, conservation groups, governmental agencies, botanical gardens, arboreta, and other plant-related organizations in this state."

On that list, we are going to select only on "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant) under Habit, and click on "Narrow Your Search." That will give you a list of 40 flowering plants native to North Central Texas and we will select 12 for you to look at. We hope you have recorded what each seed is so you can look at its webpage and get the whole scoop on where, how and when to plant.

Native flowers for North Central Texas:

Amblyolepis setigera (Huisache daisy)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

Callirhoe digitata (Finger poppy-mallow)

Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis)

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy)

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose)

Phlox drummondii (Annual phlox)

Salvia farinacea (Mealy blue sage)

 

From the Image Gallery


Huisache daisy
Amblyolepis setigera

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Finger poppy-mallow
Callirhoe digitata

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Firewheel
Gaillardia pulchella

Maximilian sunflower
Helianthus maximiliani

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Pink evening primrose
Oenothera speciosa

Annual phlox
Phlox drummondii

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

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