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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.

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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.

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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!

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Friday - April 24, 2015

From: Norman, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Groundcover Suggestion for OK
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I need your suggestion for a groundcover for a flower bed in the sun and in the shade in Oklahoma.

ANSWER:

There are lots of great native plants that will work as groundcovers for your flower bed. Let’s start first with compiling a list of native plants for your area. Take a look at the Native Plant Database on the www.wildflower.org website and put in the following search criteria: State = Oklahoma, habit = herb (for herbaceous) and then search for wildflowers, duration = perennial, light requirement = shade and full sun, plant height = 0-1 foot.  Most groundcovers are in the 0-1 foot category but there are some nice taller plants that will work too. This will generate a list of 72 herbaceous plants. You can further narrow the list by selecting a flower color or blooming time that you prefer. Some of the plants to consider are below. Click on the image to go to our webpage for each plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Oppositeleaf spotflower
Acmella oppositifolia var. repens

Canadian wild ginger
Asarum canadense

Herb-of-grace
Bacopa monnieri

Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Dutchman's breeches
Dicentra cucullaria

Plains fleabane
Erigeron modestus

Virginia strawberry
Fragaria virginiana

Fragrant bedstraw
Galium triflorum

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Gray golden-aster
Heterotheca canescens

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

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February 11, 2016 - Someone told me that Vinca would be a great ground cover for my very large mostly shaded area. How can I establish it and where can I get it? Thanks in advance.
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August 02, 2015 - I would like to purchase some Horseherb seeds. Can you tell me where I can do that? Either locally or on line. Thank you.
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