Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spotlight on Natives

I strongly believe that growing native plants is very important for my local ecosystem. There are many advantages to growing natives. They tend to not need as much assistance from the gardener and that includes watering as well as fertilizing. These plants bloom at a time when wildlife needs their nectar source. Many native plants also provide other food sources for wildlife, such as fruits or berries. I feel as though I’m contributing to the overall good by growing natives. Here are a few of the native plants that are currently blooming in my garden.
Carolina jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is native to the warmer regions of the Americas. It is the state flower of South Carolina. It certainly brightens the late winter garden.

Today, in my garden the Carolina jasmine is having a second flush and looks great.

Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea) Hummingbirds and butterflies love these trumpet shaped red flowers.

This salvia is sometimes an annual in my garden, but new plants are easily started from seed.

Copper Iris (Iris fulva) is native to Louisiana. It has been blooming for about two weeks in my garden. I just love it!

Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnaris) just started blooming a few days ago. This plant is native to a good portion of the United States. This flower has an unusual amount of yellow.

This photo shows a more typical color variance for Mexican Hat. I love this perennial, because it holds up under Houston’s notoriously hot and humid summers.

Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa) these flowers can be shades of dark pink to white. I find that these flowers blend so well with my antique roses and create a wonderful early spring ground cover. When the temperatures begin to heat up it will go dormant, but not to worry, because it will return next spring.

This is my first Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis). It is just beginning to open. I hope this is just one of many!

Texas Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas, so they hold a special place in my heart. You just have to love that blue.
This spring is predicted to produce a bumper crop of wildflowers. I hope if you live in Texas you will have the opportunity to take a drive and see some beautiful wildflowers. The Texas Department of Transportation has an online map you can access with information about wildflower sightings. You can visit them at http://www.dot.state.tx.us/travel/flora_map_disclaimer.htm Enjoy them while they last!

6 comments:

  1. Lucy, I love the Texas Bluebonnet! I'd love to see that in full bloom. The colour is gorgeous. Also love all your other pretties, special mention to the Copper Iris - Thats a WOW!!

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  2. Wow..your Mexican Hat is a lot earlier than ours. We have a lot out in the grove behind the house. It's one of the few wildflowers the deer don't eat. Lots of it is coming up.
    I love that iris, too. Does the Louisiana iris need more water than other iris?
    Thanks for sharing.

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  3. C'est un plaisir pour moi qui visite depuis la France et découvre toutes ces petites fleurs que je ne connais et qui sont présentes dans votre région. Message superbe et belle découverte des fleurs que l'on trouve à Houston.
    Belle soirée jocelyne

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  4. I didn't realize Carolina Jessamine was native! And I'm so jealous of your bluebonnet. I tried growing them a few years back, but with no success. I have better soil now, but I'm still a little scared to try them.

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  5. I just discovered this blog yesterday and I just can't wait to see more!

    I know the salvia coccinea and it really attracts hummingbirds and each year I have some in my garden for them. There's not a lot of them but at least one couple.

    Thanks for sharing such nice pictures and I'm going back to see more of your garden! 8)

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  6. Hello Lucy, the flowers you show on your pictures are very beautyful. I think you're absolutely right native plants are important for a garden. Anyway they are not so sensitive than other ones.

    Greetings
    kathrin

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