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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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Sunday - February 03, 2008

From: Waco, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Native plants for butterfly garden in Waco, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Few weeks ago I sent you a letter but never got an answer back. I would like to have your suggestions of native plants for a butterfly garden (30'x 30') here in Waco. The plants must be (1)drought and heat tolerant, (2) perennial flowers, (3) trees and bushes. Thank you very much for your attention. Sincerely yours, Ken-Hsi Wang

ANSWER:

Sorry we didn't get a reply to you. It would appear that the question never made it to Mr. Smarty Plants, but this one did, so we'll do our best to answer your question in a more timely manner.

We have just finished an answer for someone who was looking for suggestions for plants that would draw bees in a Central Texas location. Because just about all the plants that attract bees will also be attractive to other pollinators, including butterflies, and in order to save us time retyping, please read this previous answer. Notice also the links in that answer to "How To Articles" on wildflower and butterfly gardening. Most of these are flowers, and many are perennial, and just about anything that is native to Central Texas is here because it is heat and drought tolerant. That's the beauty of using native plants; they're ready for what Texas can do to them. For you, we will try to add some bushes and trees that will fill the same requirements and attract butterflies. We would also like to point out that there is some overlap between the categories; some of the flowers grow into subshrubs, some of the bushes grow into small trees, and most of the trees we have chosen for your consideration are not destined to get terribly tall.

SHRUBS

Acacia roemeriana (roundflower catclaw)

Ageratina havanensis (Havana snakeroot)

Cordia boissieri (anacahuita)

Dalea frutescens (black prairie clover)

Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) Warning: The seeds and flowers are poisonous!

TREES

Acacia berlandieri (guajillo)

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana (Mexican redbud)

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow)

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

 


Acacia roemeriana

Ageratina havanensis

Cordia boissieri

Dalea frutescens

Eysenhardtia texana

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Pavonia lasiopetala

Sophora secundiflora

Acacia berlandieri

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana

Chilopsis linearis

Ungnadia speciosa
 

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