Friday, October 23, 2015

Texas Native Plant Week 2015

Each October we celebrate Texas Native Plant Week sponsored by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and for 2015 it's this week, October 18-24.  Native plants are especially important to gardeners in Central Texas due to our extremes of weather and soil conditions.  Basically, the best plants to grow are the ones that already grow here and, fortunately, we have a good range to choose from.

It's been a tough year even for native plants and I've featured a number of my favorites in previous posts which you can find by searching on "Texas natives" in the search box to the right or clicking on the label at the bottom of this post.  I'll highlight two standouts which are currently blooming for the first time in my garden.  A cause to celebrate for sure.

Texas Crag Lily (Echeandia flavescens) blooming is especially sweet since I've had it for several years and have never seen it bloom.  That's because the deer consistently chewed it down to the ground.  Now that the deer are fenced out, I can enjoy pretty foliage and a bright yellow bloom.    Talk about extremes, it grows from South Texas all the way to the Panhandle.  It can also be found growing in New Mexico and Arizona.  It is also apparently quite tasty.  

Striped foliage is nice even when it's not in bloom.  It blooms from June to September but we've been warmer so it had time to recover this summer and bloom this week.  There's not a lot of information on this plant but I read that it is clump forming and that would be nice to see happen now that it's safe from deer browsing.  

A delightful surprise to see this bloom as I had forgotten what it was.  According to the Native Plant Database the Texas Crag Lily closes up in the afternoon and reopens in the morning.  It's been cloudy today so the blooms were still open late this morning.

Another first time bloomer and welcomed sight in the garden is White Heath Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides) which is native to most states and Canada.  It's a nice addition to the fall garden.  While the Gomphrena in the background are not native the bright yellow-orange Zexmenia were found along the creek which runs along my back fence.  In the foreground you can just get a glimpse of Dalea greggii's delicate gray foliage and purple blooms.

How pretty!

Camphorweed (Heterotheca subaxillaris) also showed up in the circle garden and has been popular with bees.

While it was nice to have something to offer pollinators during the heat and drought of the last few weeks, its dandelion appearance is too weedy for this part of the garden so I'll try to find it a new home next year.

That's the roundup of new native plants in my garden for Texas Native Plant Week.  For excellent ideas on how to get started with native plants in your garden I'd highly recommend this post by Tina at "My Gardener Says..."


  1. You have some not commonly found natives in your garden. I know how excited you must be to have the crag lily bloom. Here's hoping for a bigger clump next year. When I saw it at first I thought it was Salvia madrensis. Looks a little like the flower.

  2. Nice array of natives, Shirley. I'm guessing that your water-lovers are very happy this morning? :)

    Here's to native plants: Huzzah!

  3. So encouraging to see natives doing so well in such beautiful settings. You are one of their best friends/sturdiest champions and are ably helping lead the charge to show how practical their beauty is.

    I've got crag lilies here but they are new to me and I didn't realize the deer would eat them. The clumps out front aren't established enough to bloom yet but the deer could certainly easily chomp down those flowers the way they've done countless others, so now I know to move most of those crag lily plants back behind the fence. Thank you for the warning!

  4. Always a treat to see your Texas natives Shirley. Every state should have a native plant week!


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