Contact Us Host an Event 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

Saturday - June 08, 2013

From: Wichita Falls, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Wildflowers
Title: Summer-blooming Wildflowers for Wichita Falls, TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Can you give me a list of some summer-blooming (June, July, August, maybe September) wildflowers that I can plant in my flower beds in Wichita Falls, TX and tell me when the best time is to sow the seeds? I'm looking for some that can withstand our current drought conditions, dry soil and high heat. I currently have Delphinium consolida, which are now starting to drop seed but were beautiful while they lasted; coreopsis tinctoria, which are still blooming; some Mexican Hat; and a couple others. Thanks very much!

ANSWER:

  The list is easy!  The Wildflower Center has built that capability right into it’s “Recommended Species” page.  As you are in Texas, there are special collections that have been created for our ecoregions.  Wichita Falls is in the ecoregion called “Rolling Plains”.
   Then it is simply a process of limiting the search by “Bloom Time” and considering the wildflowers that show for each summer month; I found so many that I only listed a few and moved through the alphabet with the month! [There are a few listed below that have medium water use rather than low, if this is a strong issue for you, you may want to pay more attention to that comment in the record.]

June:   69 different varieties, including Abronia ameliae (Amelia's sand verbena), Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow), Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis), and Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel)

July:  61 different varieties, many of the same – includes Helianthus petiolaris (Prairie sunflower)Linum rigidum (Stiffstem flax), Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower), and Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy)

August:  59 different varieties - includes Ratibida columnifera (Mexican hat), Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan), and Ruellia nudiflora (Violet ruellia).

September:  56 different varieties – includes Solidago nemoralis (Gray goldenrod), Sphaeralcea angustifolia (Copper globemallow), Tetraneuris scaposa (Four-nerve daisy), Vernonia baldwinii (Baldwin's ironweed) and Xanthisma texanum ssp. drummondii (Drummond's sleepydaisy)

As you see, you’ve got a lot of choices.  As per when is the best time to sow the seeds – There the story is not so easy.  You are already pretty late for this year.   If you think about it, when the flowers drop their seeds is the time they are attuned to the best yield.  For these summer-blooming plants they will be dropping their seeds in the fall for next years summer blooms.  This is also the best time to plant!   I guess there is no time like the present. You can always plant some right away and if you get lucky some will come up late, and at the worst the seeds will be already present for next years crop!

 

From the Image Gallery


Amelia's sand-verbena
Abronia ameliae

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Prairie sunflower
Helianthus petiolaris

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Mexican hat
Ratibida columnifera

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Violet ruellia
Ruellia nudiflora

Gray goldenrod
Solidago nemoralis

Four-nerve daisy
Tetraneuris scaposa

Western ironweed
Vernonia baldwinii

More Wildflowers Questions

Plants for a Narrow Fence Line in TN
February 03, 2015 - I have a very specific and difficult planting question. I have a narrow strip (about 2 feet at the widest) between my back privacy fence and a wire fence that marks the edge of my property. It is dire...
view the full question and answer

When to mow after bluebonnets bloom in Brenham, TX
May 04, 2009 - I live in Brenham, TX, and thanks to spreading 80 pounds of bluebonnet seeds last fall, we had a very small but promising showing of bluebonnets this March and April. The bluebonnets still appear to b...
view the full question and answer

Thinning and culling wildflower seed mix plants
May 11, 2015 - Wildflower garden in central Oklahoma I sowed a (mostly) native wildflower mixture in early November here in my Zone 7A Edmond, OK garden. To my surprise, many of the seeds (I'm guessing annuals)...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
March 02, 2005 - There are several different species of bluebonnets that grow in Texas. Which one is the official state flower?
view the full question and answer

Will the new bluebonnet plants survive the winter?
October 31, 2009 - I live in Leander, and we've had 19 1/2 inches of rain in the past three weeks. ALL of our bluebonnets are coming up! Can they survive the winter?
view the full question and answer

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