While the masses of wildflowers lining Texas roadways in the spring are legendary, Wendy focused on the smaller flowers growing in restoration areas of the park.
One crowd favorite was the Pincushion Daisy (Gaillardia suavis). It's a (mostly) petal-less flower with a wonderfully spicy fragrance that lends it another common name of Perfumeballs.
According to Wildflower.org, it's native to Texas and Oklahoma. Grows well in dry shade and different soils, including calcereous. A good choice for meadows and prairies. Seed is available and I've made a note to order it for fall planting. In the background is Prairie Verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida).
Purple milkweed vine (Matelea biflora) looks similar to the Pearl milkweed vine featured in a previous post with tiny starfish-shaped flowers.
Purple milkweed vine is native to Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico and apparently quite common in Central Texas woodlands. It's one I'll look for on my walks along our creek.
Annual Texas Baby Blue-eyes (Nemophila phacelioides) is striking in mass plantings. Especially beneficial to native bees. Another one I should try to establish in my garden.
The small yellow flowers in the background belong to Straggler Daisy or Horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis) a former weed now sold in nurseries as a native ground cover. It grows naturally in my yard and is much easier to maintain than turf grass.
Hop Tree/Wafer Ash (Ptelea trifoliata) forms a pretty shrub with delicate blooms. It's native or naturalized in much of North America and would make a nice substitute for many of those non-native shrubs commonly planted.
False gromwell (Onosmodium bejariense) is a great silvery textured plant. The blooms match the leaf shape and I'd like to have this one in my garden. It grows commonly throughout most of the U.S. and the flowers turn to a white fruit which remains on the plant through the winter.
Some of the smaller flowers proved tough to photograph on a group walk so I will return to the park when I can take my time with the camera and capture a few more in bloom. Wendy (below) also discussed native plant restoration projects underway at the former dairy farm. Her enthusiasm is contagious and I look forward to attending future native plant walks in the park.
Spring rains and cooler than average temperatures have brought plenty of wildflowers to my own garden for April. The Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis), yellow-flowered Greenthread (Thelesperma), and Prairie verbena (Verbena bipinnatifida) have taken over the crevice garden.
All are annuals and will be encouraged to relocate up the hill next year.
For more on growing wildflowers in the garden head on over to Clay and Limestone for Wildflower Wednesday.