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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 19, 2007

From: Austin , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Native trees and wildflowers for acreage near San Marcos, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We are moving to 4 acres between Lockhart & San Marcos TX. The soil is a kind of gummy black clay. Elms, mesquite and grasses seem to grow well in it. What native trees and wildflowers would do well here? How can we best amend the soil around the house for planting? We are on a flat ridge with a long sloping hill down to the road, so the drainage is good in most places. Thanks for your help!

ANSWER:

Actually, you have lots of choices for you area. Here are some suggestions:

Large Trees
Texas oak (Quercus buckleyi)
Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica)
Chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)
Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

Small Trees
Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)
Wafer-Ash (Ptelea trifoliata)
Mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora)
Eve’s necklace (Styphnolobium affine)

Grasses
Purple threeawn (Aristida purpurea)
Lindheimer's muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri)
Canada wild rye (Elymus canadensis)
Inland sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
Buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides) This is an excellent turf grass for full sun. It requires little water and minimal mowing.

Wildflowers
Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis)
Downy Indian paintbrush (Castilleja purpurea)
Clasping-coneflower (Dracopis amplexicaulis)
Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
Horsemint (Monarda citriodora)
Drummond's phlox (Phlox drummondii)
Greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium)
Cutleaf Daisy (Engelmannia peristenia)
Texas lantana (Lantana urticoides)
Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera)
Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata)

There are many more choices for wildflowers. You might consider purchasing one of the Special Mixes from Native American Seed in Junction, Texas. For every order through our web link, Native American Seeds donates a portion of the sale to the Wildflower Center. Their Native Texas Mix, the Comanche Mix, and the Wichita Mix all have species that would do very well in your area.

As for amending your soil, there shouldn't be any need to do so if you use the plants listed above. However, it might helpful for you to read some of our How to Articles

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Favorite Wildflower
July 31, 2011 - Dear Green Guru - What are your favorite wildflowers? Signed Curious
view the full question and answer

Information about the bluebonnet
October 03, 2008 - What other plants live near a bluebonnet? What problems does the plant face, such as people, weather, and insects?
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
April 05, 2007 - I live in Hereford, Texas, near Amarillo. What would be the closest area for us to see fields of bluebonnets and when? Is it Wichita Falls?
view the full question and answer

Peak period for viewing Central Texas wildflowers
March 31, 2006 - My daughter lives in San Antonio now. I want to time my next visit with the peak period to blue bonnets and other TX wildflowers. When do you recommend that I visit and come to the Center for the fi...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower blooming in Austin in mid-March from Laceys Spring AL
February 27, 2013 - Hi I will be at and around the center the weekend of March 9 & 10 to exhibit in the Art and Artisan's Festival and plan to stay a few extra days to "wildflower" either before or after. What is you...
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