Rent Shop 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?

Share

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

Tuesday - February 05, 2008

From: Hinton, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Native plants for wildlife habitat in West Virginia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live in the southern region of Summers County in West Virginia. Our yard has a lot of shell and small rocks in it; it is in direct sun light. I would love to have a welcoming hummingbird, butterfly and winter bird watching habitat using the native plants that can live in the shelly dirt and constant sunlight. Also, we need some shade trees or shrubs that can live in this dry area. We live on top of a hill and it gets windy in the wintertime. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

ANSWER:

We found way more suggestions than we have room for; but we will tell you how to find the information and make your own decisions. For starters, go to our "How To Articles". There are several you will probably be interested in reading, but we would particularly direct your attention to the one on "Wildlife Gardening." To study the possibilities of more plants and trees than we have suggested, go to our Native Plant Database, and use the "Combination Search." For the list we prepared for you, we used the state of West Virginia (of course), "herb" in type of plant (and later "tree" in a separate search), "perennial" for duration, 6 hours or more of sun, and dry soil. This will give you a long list of possibilities; you can go to each Latin name, click on it, and it will take you to a webpage with descriptions and pictures of that particular plant. For the ones we chose, including the trees, we tried to find those that provided shelter and food for birds, nectar for bees and butterflies and were attractive. There is some overlap in all the categories: you could choose "sub-shrub" and get some of the same flowers, often shrubs and trees overlap because of their sizes. This gives you the latitude to choose the heights, density and colors you are interested in. Near the bottom of each of these webpages will be a note on "Wildlife", which will tell you what, if any, of the flying creatures you are hoping to attract will be interested in that plant. And, depending on how long you intend to remain on your property and enjoy your garden, you may want to check speed of growth-you'd probably have to wait a long time for a tree to reach 90', but maybe that's not important to you. Good luck with a very commendable project.

Flowers ("herbs" on Search)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Antennaria neglecta (field pussytoes)

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

TREES

Acer saccharum (sugar maple)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)

Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)

 


Achillea millefolium

Antennaria neglecta

Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Campanula rotundifolia

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Helianthus maximiliani

Acer saccharum

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Prunus virginiana

Robinia pseudoacacia

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Pfluegerville Screening Hedge
May 25, 2014 - We live just north of Austin in a subdivision built on farm land so we have relatively flat land with good soil. We just put in a pool and are needing a privacy hedge along our 66 ft back fence. We ...
view the full question and answer

Waht are the truly native Texas trees
August 20, 2007 - What two trees are truly native to Texas? I was told pecan and can't remember the other.
view the full question and answer

How to treat bark damage on oak tree
November 15, 2011 - I have an oak tree approx. 50 ft., live in austin, texas. the tree has dropped bark about 3-4 ft above ground, in a section of 4 inches by 8 inches, and the tree appears dark where the bark was. is ...
view the full question and answer

Tree ordinances re Magnolia Ladybird Johnson tree
July 02, 2006 - What exactly is a Ladybird Johnson tree? Also, is there any type of federal or state law(s) that prohibits the cutting, trimming or removal of a LadyBird Johnson tree? Thank you for your time!
view the full question and answer

January good time to plant live oak in January from Manor TX
January 19, 2014 - I want to plant a Live Oak in January. Is this a good time to plant it?
view the full question and answer

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