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Thursday - October 22, 2015

From: Driftwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Wildflowers to complement Mexican hat in Texas
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

We have 10 acres in Driftwood that has Mexican Hat pretty much everywhere that is not shaded. We are looking to add additional wildflowers to them in order to have color earlier and later in the season as well as to complement the Mexican Hats when they are in bloom. We know that Mexican Hat can push out other species so we want to be sure to select appropriate wildflowers. What do you recommend?

ANSWER:

This website lists many wildflower species that grow in your area.  I specifically suggest the following that will bloom before Ratibida columnifera (Mexican hat): Castilleja purpurea var. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's paintbrush)Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet), and Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel) will shade out and help to prevent overgrowth of Mexican hat.  The following species mature and bloom at the same time or later than Mexican hat: Monarda citriodora (Lemon beebalm)Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis) and Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow).  All of these plants are robust and can hold their own with Mexican hat.

Mexican hat is a perennial.  If you have too many of these in certain areas you may hoe up or plow to remove most of them.  Then seed the plot with an annual such as Bluebonnet or Firewheel and these should take over.

This section of our website gives tips in starting a meadow garden.  Wildflower seeds can be obtained from one of your local plant nurseries or from mail-order houses.  I particularly recommend Native American Seed as a source of seed by mail.  This is the time to plant wildflower seeds to bloom next spring.  They will germinate with fall rains and grow slowly as rosettes over the winter before bolting in warmer spring weather.

 

From the Image Gallery


Lindheimer's paintbrush
Castilleja purpurea var. lindheimeri

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

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