Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Wednesday - July 22, 2009

From: Ithaca, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Southwest US Winter-flowering Hummer Plants.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Are there winter-flowering plants native to the American Southwest that are used as a food source by hummingbirds? I am a scientific illustrator working on an identification guide to common North American hummingbirds for Cornell's Lab of Ornithology. I want to include native plants but am having trouble finding winter flowering species. Thanks!

ANSWER:

There are no doubt quite a few winter-flowering native plants in the US Southwest utilized by overwintering hummingbirds.  However, it seems that hummers rely more on tiny insects and spiders during the winter than on flower nectar.  Here are a couple winter-flowering Southwest plant species that are favored by hummingbirds when in bloom:

Diplacus puniceus (red bush monkeyflower)

Arctostaphylos manzanita (whiteleaf manzanita)

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Non-toxic plants for dog yard from Freeport PA
June 24, 2012 - I'm looking for wildlife-friendly native plants that aren't toxic to dogs. I have a place for some small shrubs and/or flowers. And a climbing vine that I could train on a trellis would work espec...
view the full question and answer

Native trees that host moths and butterflies for birds in Houston Texas
April 05, 2010 - I have learned that non-native or alien plants do not attract the insects that the birds need to live on. I would like to know which native trees for central Texas have the greatest hosting capacity ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a lizard terrarium
October 24, 2006 - My brother is setting up a terrarium for his lizard and wants advice on some species to put in the tank. He wants plants that generally fit the below description. Can you think of anything fairly c...
view the full question and answer

Plants for hummingbirds and butterflies in Galveston County TX
September 09, 2014 - I am looking for native plants for a butterfly and hummingbird garden. I plan on putting the hummingbird garden in part shade and would like some Fall blooming plants to attract them during migration....
view the full question and answer

Perennial native plant to attract butterflies/hummingbirds
January 24, 2013 - Need 3-6 foot perennial native plant to attract butterflies/hummingbirds in Paris Texas...full sun, with sprinkler system
view the full question and answer

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