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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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Monday - March 23, 2015

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Wildflowers
Title: Companion plants for non-native Santolina virens
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Can you recommend companion plant options for Santolina virens? The companion plant would be planted randomly and interspersed with the santolina and needs to be no taller than 12 inches because of the bed location and size. Plants available at your plant sale would be preferble as we are members and will be there in April.


Santolina virens (Green Santolina) is native to the Mediterranean region and is not native to North America; however, it is not invasive.  Here are a few possibilities that are on the Spring Sale  [Friday, April 10 (members only) and Saturday, April 11 from 9am-5pm and Sunday, April 12, 2015 noon to 5pm] list that should go well with it:

 Glandularia bipinnatifida (Purple prairie verbena) grows less than a foot high and can have blooms almost any time of the year.

Phlox divaricata (Wild blue phlox) is evergreen and attracts butterflies.

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) usually grows to 6 inches or less and blooms for a long time.

Salvia engelmannii (Engelmann's sage) usually grows to less than 1 foot tall.

Scutellaria wrightii (Wright's skullcap) grows to less than 1 foot tall.

Phlox drummondii (Annual phlox) is usually 6 to 12 inches tall, but can grow a bit taller.

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) grows 3 to 6 inches high and is semi-evergreen.



From the Image Gallery

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida

Wild blue phlox
Phlox divaricata

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Engelmann's sage
Salvia engelmannii

Wright's skullcap
Scutellaria wrightii

Annual phlox
Phlox drummondii

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