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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

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