Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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

Tuesday - January 20, 2015

From: Grinnell, IA
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Seeds and Seeding, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Annual Native Plants for Interplanting in Iowa
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I'm looking for suggestions for annuals that will flower from seed or from spring plants. I want to use them to fill in the space around newly planted coneflowers and asters that I fear will look sparse this spring. The asters and coneflowers were planted as roots and placed one foot apart.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website has a listing for an All-Native Midwest Mix that has been developed for seeding to create a wildflower meadow-type look. The collection has 21 wildflowers appropriate to your area and in this group are several annuals included for first year color.

The annuals are Coreopsis tinctoria (plains coreopsis), Dracopis amplexicaulis (clasping coneflower), Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel), Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (tanseyleaf tansyaster), Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm), Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan). These would be good plants to consider planting around your perennials to fill in the open space during the first season. Best wishes on your new garden.

 

From the Image Gallery


Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Clasping coneflower
Dracopis amplexicaulis

Clasping coneflower
Dracopis amplexicaulis

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Tahoka daisy
Machaeranthera tanacetifolia

Tahoka daisy
Machaeranthera tanacetifolia

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

More Wildflowers Questions

Large-scale wildflower maintenance
June 14, 2008 - We purchased the Texas/Oklahoma wildseed mix from your shop last year and planted them this past fall. The wildflowers came up beautifully, but at the beginning of June, after flowering just one time...
view the full question and answer

Pollinators for Washington State
June 26, 2015 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am removing invasive knotweed in the Pacific Northwest and I would like to provide native plant alternatives that would flower and provide pollen in the late summer/fall f...
view the full question and answer

Low growing annuals for OK shaded slope.
January 26, 2016 - I have a heavily shaded slope on the north, west, and south side of my home. Can you suggest some low growing annuals (flowering, or not) that would allow me to beautify my property.
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers of April wedding in Liberty Hill TX
September 02, 2015 - We are planning a wedding for April 9 in Liberty Hill, TX (78642) and live on several acres. We would like to plant wildflowers on the land to use for bouquets and centerpieces. Could you please recom...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers for Missouri
September 06, 2006 - I live in the midwest, Wright City, Missouri. I have good dirt, not clay or sand. I love wildflowers. What kind of wildflowers can I grow here successfully?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.