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?


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
1 rating

Tuesday - October 06, 2009

From: Lufkin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Winter wildflower blooming in East Texas in the winter
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Is there a wildflower that will grow/bloom in east texas during the winter that can be tilled into garden in springtime. We put rye and red clover but were interested in getting some color/variety to garden over the winter


Well, Mr. Smarty Plants knows of a few wildflowers that bloom off and on nearly all year long (e.g., Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)) but none whose prime time for blooming is in the wintertime.  In your area  Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies) can begin blooming as early as February and bloom into July,  Solidago altissima (late goldenrod) and Solidago tortifolia (twistleaf goldenrod) both bloom into November, Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium (stiff greenthread) can be found blooming in your area February through December; but there isn't any wildflower that predictably will bloom the entire winter season—December through February.  Your best bet is to sow your spring wildflower seeds after you have plowed under your red clover and rye to produce a spectacular spring show.


Taraxacum officinale

Oenothera speciosa

Solidago altissima

Solidago tortifolia

Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium



More Wildflowers Questions

More on bluebonnets
January 09, 2007 - I have had an area in my yard where I have established bluebonnets. Since we had such a dismal showing in the spring of 2006 I was looking forward to a great show for 2007. Lo and behold I had about...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet blooming in July in Leander TX
July 27, 2009 - I have a bluebonnet growing in my front yard in July! Early this year, my son planted the bluebonnet seeds. We did not expect them to grow since we planted them in February/March. One plant grew ...
view the full question and answer

Neighborhood association wanting wildflowers mowed from Grand Prairie TX
July 14, 2013 - For at least 15 years, I have been fostering growth of wildflowers in 60% of my 90x400' yard which include 150' utility trunkline easement in which I can plant no trees. This year, we had volunteer ...
view the full question and answer

Flowering perennials beneath Ashe juniper.
March 25, 2009 - Dear Sir: What type of flowering perennial plants will grow underneath Mountain Cedar and its pine needles? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Lupinus perennis Poisonous to Dogs?
April 14, 2013 - I have heard that some lupine varieties are quite poisonous to dogs, others are not. Do you know if it's safe for my dogs if I plant and encourage Lupinus perennis in my NH meadow?
view the full question and answer

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