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

New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
May 31, 2013 - Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
view the full question and answer

When to reseed wildflowers in a drought year?
October 18, 2011 - My acreage with extensive wildflowers was mowed in 2010 before annuals had seeded. Only a few returned this year. Considering the predicted lonterm drought should I postpone reseeding this fall?
view the full question and answer

Developing fields with native plants from New Egypt NJ
July 24, 2013 - I have several acres of fields that I want to develop with native grasses and flowers. I would like to know the best time to mow the fields so that bushes and volunteer trees don't take over and that...
view the full question and answer

Adding Wildflowers to Corpus Christi
May 20, 2012 - I have a dry sandy yard, full sun in Corpus Christi with lot's of stickers mostly, want to transform to wildflowers. When should I plant, how should I prepare soil, should I dig out stickers? Which w...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for a large backyard in Oklahoma
May 27, 2010 - I have a large back yard in full sun. What native flowers should I plant here?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center