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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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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!

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Tuesday - May 25, 2010

From: Tobyhanna, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Annual flowers for rocky area near driveway in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What type(s) of annual flowers can I plant along a driveway in northeast PA? The soil is very rocky and the area is mostly shady receiving only morning and some late afternoon sun.

ANSWER:

In our Native Plant Database do a COMBINATION SEARCH and select 'Pennsylvania' from the Select State or Province area, then choose 'Herb' under Habit (general appearance), 'Annual' under Duration (lifespan), and 'Part shade...' under Light requirement to find plants that meet your criteria.

Here are a few examples from that list:

Bidens cernua (nodding beggartick)

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed)

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

If you think you could use perennials rather than annuals, you will find a larger number of choices available if you substitute 'perennial' instead of 'annual' for your search term.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Bidens cernua

Coreopsis tinctoria

Gaillardia pulchella

Rudbeckia hirta

Viola sororia

 

 

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