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

Friday - April 26, 2013

From: Rockford, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers for October wedding from Rockford AL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Want to plant wildflowers that will bloom in early October in central Alabama for a wedding. Can you give me any suggestions ?

ANSWER:

We are so frequently asked this sort of question about flowers for weddings, from different parts of the country, that we will take the liberty of linking you to some of thos previous answers. Then, we will deal with the question for your specific area; Coosa County, Central Alabama.

Probably the most apropos of those previous answers is this one, written in March of 2012 for an October wedding in Rockport TX.

Tallahassee FL. This one has 3 more links that we think you should read. Specifically, please read the last three.

That should be enough background information and now you know that we are probably not going to be able to help you very much beyond the advice we extended in the previous answers. Just to show we are trying, we are going to go to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search, select on Alabama for the State,  "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant, which includes wildflowers) and October for Bloom Time. Because you did not specify whether the site was in sun or shade, we cannot select for Light Requirements, but that is often criitical; most blooming plants bloom best in the sun.

Okay, we tried, honest. It turns out that there are 292 plants native to Alabama that fit the criteria we cited above. We scanned through about 100 of them, getting us only to the "C's" on the alphabetical list. The large majority of them were totally not suitable for a wedding, most were only native to one or two counties in Alabama not even close to Coosa County, and had their heaviest blooming earlier in the year, with the tag ends in October, if they had been watered. Remember, if a plant is a perennial it will not bloom until the second season after being seeded. Most annuals are planted the Fall prior to bloom time.  Here are the 3 that were worth even mentioning:

Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge pea) - annual, grows in Coosa County, seed, sun or part shade

Chrysopsis mariana (Maryland goldenaster) -  seeds may be planted in Spring, perennial, county close to Coos

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower) - county close to Coosa, perennial, sow seeds in Fall

We don't know what kind of site you had in mind for the wedding, but it is possible that it already has some attractive wildflowers and grasses growing in it, requiring only a clearing of pathways and area for the actual ceremony.

 

From the Image Gallery


Partridge pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata

Maryland goldenaster
Chrysopsis mariana

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

More Planting Questions

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant Plants and moving Wax myrtles in Austin
April 30, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, What are the most fire resistant and drought tolerant plants for caliche soil in Austin area? I am considering relocating or removing my wax myrtle shrubs because they are ...
view the full question and answer

Brown spots on young redbuds in Lincoln TX
August 01, 2010 - I have lined my driveway in Lee County Texas with Red bud trees purchased both in Dripping Springs and in College Station. The 14 trees are of varying ages and heights (planted during the fall and wi...
view the full question and answer

Trees for cutout in driveway in Houston
November 12, 2010 - I live in central Houston. I have a new driveway with a cutout of 4' x 8'. I would like to plant a shade tree that will not break up the concrete. What do you recommend?
view the full question and answer

How do I plant seeds harvested from my flower bed?
February 28, 2012 - In early Spring of 2011 I planted a new raised bed 75'x4' in size, with wildflower seeds obtained from a commercial nursery in Corpus Christi. I was taken back by their cost relative to the volume o...
view the full question and answer

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