Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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?


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

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

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflowers for an outdoor classroom in Bowling Green, Kentucky
February 07, 2009 - We would like to know what types of wildflowers could easily be grown in an outdoor classroom in Bowling Green, KY.
view the full question and answer

Is it illegal to collect wildflower plants from county roads in TX?
February 05, 2016 - Is it illegal to collect wildflower plants like bluebonnets from county roads in Texas?
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for Murphy NC Clay
August 24, 2012 - I live on a ridge in Murphy NC. The property has trees so most of the land is in partial shade. The soil is good 'ole mountain red clay. I have some steep bankings in front of the house that I wou...
view the full question and answer

Will my wildflower seeds reseed by themselves?
February 11, 2010 - I have planted wildflowers from seed throughout the several acres of my property in the Hill Country near New Braunfels. Once estalished will they reseed without any help from me? The flowers includ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow under a black walnut tree in PA
July 03, 2011 - I want to plant some shrubs and flowers in an area with southern exposure that is dry, sunny, and within the drip line of, and partially under a large black walnut tree. I had been told that native pl...
view the full question and answer

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