Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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 Seeds and Seeding Questions

Growth of yucca from seed pods from Saginaw MI
October 05, 2013 - How do you grow a yucca plant from the pods? Do I need to dry out the pods first?
view the full question and answer

Mexican Sycamore trees grown from seed
November 15, 2011 - If someone is selling an alleged Mexican Sycamore grown from a seed harvested from a mature tree growing in Austin, is it likely to be a TRUE Mexican Sycamore -- or has it most likely been pollinated ...
view the full question and answer

Scarifying seeds of evergreen sumacs from Lockhart TX
May 19, 2013 - Dear Smarty Plants, We would like to grow our own evergreen sumacs. Consulting Nokes book, How to Grow Native Plants on page 310, it says to scarify fresh uncleaned seeds for 30-45 minutes. On page...
view the full question and answer

Fall Wildflowers for Helotes, TX
October 20, 2014 - Dear Smarty, Could you please suggest a few colorful wildflowers for a sunny area. I live north of San Antonio, TX and would like to plant some flowers in October but I want something that has been ...
view the full question and answer

Why is fall the best time to plant Bluebonnet seeds?
May 29, 2015 - Bluebonnet plants drop their seeds in late May or early June. Why is it recommended to broadcast Bluebonnet seeds in October which is 5 months after the plant drops its seeds?
view the full question and answer

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