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

Wildflower garden for a drain field in Olivet MI
June 27, 2010 - I have a large area that is currently lawn over a drain field. I would like to turn this area into a wild flower garden. Will the wild flower roots, etc. cause any concerns or damages to a drain fie...
view the full question and answer

Less Maintenance Plant Suggestions for New Raised Bed in Henderson, NV.
April 03, 2014 - We have a newly constructed raised garden bed. I was wondering what kind of plants would be appropriate to plant this springtime in Henderson, NV with less maintenance because I work full time.
view the full question and answer

Survival of wildflowers after Hurricane Irene in Perkasie PA
September 03, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, We have (had) a beautiful row of wildflowers and sunflowers along the one side of our house. Now that Hurricane Irene has passed, most of the flowers are matted down from the wind...
view the full question and answer

Earliest spring wildflowers from O'Fallon Mo.
December 10, 2013 - Which spring wildflower blooms first around the St. Louis area?
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for a wedding in Memphis MO
October 13, 2009 - I am pretty new at this landscaping flower thing, but I love it. We just moved out to the country in NE Missouri from Colorado (Huge difference, but love it). We have decided to have our wedding at o...
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