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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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Thursday - February 28, 2013

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: English Garden in Texas from Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am introducing perennials to my rose beds, and would like help for an English Garden look in TEXAS!!! (stump the expert!!) One plant I am interest in, as it provides blue (which roses don't) is members of the campanula family. Are there any specific ones you could recommend that could take our Texas heat?

ANSWER:

We googled on "English garden in Texas" and got a slew of articles. Our favorite was from the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, English Gardens Texas Style. You will learn a lot more about the subject from some of these articles than from this long-time Texas gardener.

On the subject of the genus Campanula, there are 13 species that are native to North America but only two native to Texas. Since these are native to the Big Bend and Central Texas areas, they should surely be able to take the heat in Dallas. They are not very imposing but they ARE  blue so here they are:

Campanula reverchonii (Basin bellflower) - found in Central Texas

Campanula rotundifolia (Bluebell bellflower) - found in two counties in the Big Bend area

You could try going to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search, select on Texas for the state, "herb" (herbaceous blooming plants) and "perennial" for duration. Then, go down the selection bar and select a color. For our example list, we are going to select blue, as you indicated that was what you were looking for.

Amsonia ciliata (Fringed bluestar)

Anemone berlandieri (Tenpetal thimbleweed)

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower)

Salvia azurea (Pitcher sage)

Salvia farinacea (Mealy blue sage)

Sisyrinchium langloisii (Roadside blue-eyed grass)

Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant, where you will learn its Growing Conditions, Light Requirements, projected mature height and soil needs. If you go to the bottom of the webpage, you can follow the link to the USDA Plant Profile Map. On that map, Texas should be green,  indicating the plant grows somewhere in Texas natively. But since Texas is a big state with a lot of different ecoregions, click on the state and you will get a map with counties where the plant grows in green. We checked that and all of the plants we listed grow in Dallas County. Now, you can have the fun, using the database to select colors, sizes, bloom time, whatever fits your need.

 

From the Image Gallery


Basin bellflower
Campanula reverchonii

Bluebell bellflower
Campanula rotundifolia

Fringed bluestar
Amsonia ciliata

Tenpetal anemone
Anemone berlandieri

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

Pitcher sage
Salvia azurea

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

Roadside blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium langloisii

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