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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - July 11, 2016

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers for Partial Sun in East Texas
Answered by: Anne Van Nest


I need the name of wildflowers that will tolerate partial sun and perscribe burns in East Texas (Huntsville area) pine plantations.


Sorry for the delay in replying to your question.

The first step is to determining a list of plants that are native to East Texas. Luckily, The website has a list of East Texas recommended native plant species. Under Special Collections there is a Recommended Species By State list that includes East Texas. This list includes commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in East Texas.  The list has 133 plants of all types. Next narrow the list down to just the perennial wildflowers (herbs) that prefer part shade. Now the list contains just 22 plants (shady wildflowers) that better fit your requirements (see some of them as images below).

To find out which native plants tolerate prescribed burns, one resource is to contact the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Materials Program, East Texas Plant Materials Center (ETPMC) for their advice.

East Texas Plant Materials Center

Rob Ziehr, Plant Materials Specialist
101 South Main St.
Temple, TX 76501-7682
Phone: (254) 742-9888
Fax: (254) 742-9889
[email protected]

And lastly, the Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center led by Matthew O'Toole have lots of experience with how wildflowers react to prescribed burns in Central Texas. Matthew O'Toole and the Ecosystem Design Group can be reached at 512.232.0134 or emailed [email protected]


From the Image Gallery

Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Callirhoe involucrata

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida

Swamp sunflower
Helianthus angustifolius

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Scarlet penstemon
Penstemon murrayanus

Downy phlox
Phlox pilosa

Podophyllum peltatum

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

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