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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

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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Saturday - September 07, 2013

From: Burneyville , OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees, Vines
Title: Opinion of 5 best native garden plants in Oklahoma from Burneyville OK
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What would you say are the 3 to 5 BEST native garden plants for south central Oklahoma?

ANSWER:

You were kind enough to say "what would you say..." instead of "what are...." which gives us the latitude to give you an informed opinion, nothing more. This member of the Mr. Smarty Plants Team has neither gardened in Central Oklahoma nor lived there, but has lived in North Texas and the Texas Panhandle, which are close. Since you did not mention what type of plant you had in mind, we are going to select one each tree, shrub, herbaceous blooming plant, grass and vine. We will pick these by going to our Native Plant Database, scrolling down to Combination Search and selecting on Oklahoma, first "grass or grass-like" under Habit, followed on subsequent searches by "herbs/forbs," (herbaceous blooming plant,) "shrubs," "trees" and "vine." You can enlarge on your own searches by indicating Soil Moisture, Light Requirements, and other characteristics of the site being used, but since you indicated none of these we are doing only a general first search. Each plant that we select, we will have checked the USDA Plant Profile Map on that plant to make sure it grows naturally in or near Love County, on the south central Oklahoma border with Texas. Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant and, to get more facts on each plant, scroll down that webpage to Additional Resources:

Additional resources

USDA: Find (scientific name)  in USDA Plants
FNA: Find (scientific name) in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for (scientific name)

You can first check to establish if that plant is native to the county concerned by clicking on the USDA link. More scientific information on that plant is available from the Flora of North America site and much more information is available from Google. Here is our sample list for you:

Grasses or Grass-like: Aristida purpurea (Purple threeawn)

Herbs/Forbs: Asclepias asperula ssp. capricornu (Antelopehorns)

Shrubs: Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Trees: Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud)

Vines: Clematis pitcheri (Purple clematis)

Remember, you only asked for our opinion. Now that you know how to use our Native Plant Database, you can express your own opinion.

 

From the Image Gallery


Purple threeawn
Aristida purpurea

Antelope-horns
Asclepias asperula ssp. capricornu

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

Purple leatherflower
Clematis pitcheri

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