Yearly Archives: 2014

Newsletters 2014

Click on each link below for the monthly news and native plant information. Newsletter 2014-02 Newsletter 2014-03 Newsletter 2014-04 Newsletter 2014-05 Newsletter 2014-06 Newsletter 2014-08 Newsletter 2014-09 Newsletter 2014-10 Newsletter 2014-11 Newsletter 2014-12
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NICE! Fall 2014 Plant of the Season

Fragrant White Mistflower, Ageratina havanensis: Fall-blooming
perennial shrub that attracts pollinators, butterflies and hummingbirds

image002Description: Fragrant White Mistflower, also known as Shrubby Boneset and Thoroughwort (Ageratina havanensis, formerly Eupatorium havanense), is native to the Edwards Plateau, central, south and west Texas.  It is a medium-sized shrub usually growing about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide in North Texas, but is recorded as up to 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It is considered deciduous but may be semi-evergreen during a mild winter.  Its light green, triangular-shaped leaves are 1 to 3 inches long.

Flowers and Seeds: Fragrant White Mistflower blooms in the fall with long-lasting, fuzzy white flowers that attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators. Subsequently small fruit, about two tenths of an inch long, appear bearing seeds.

Planting sites: Fragrant White Mistflower thrives in full sun and partial shade, although it blooms more profusely with more sun.  It is well adapted to dry, well-drained conditions, but will also tolerate poor drainage. It will grow in most soil types including alkaline soils.

Watering Instructions: Like many Texas natives, Fragrant White Mistflower does not need a lot of water, but may need supplemental water during its first growing season. After it is established, it should survive with existing rainfall.

Comments: Because of its fall blooms, Fragrant White Mistflower is a delight in North Texas landscapes. Heavy shearing during the winter promotes a bushier shape and more prolific blooming, because flowers appear only on new wood.  Fragrant White Mistflower is lovely as an edge or understory shrub in a naturalized garden setting, or in a formal landscape.  It can be used in place of non-native Chrysanthemums. Native companion species include Fall Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, formerly Aster oblongifolius), Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Lindheimer's Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri) and Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata) which bloom during the same period.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery.  Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.

Written by:  Dr. Becca Dickstein

NICE! Summer 2014 Plant of the Season

Pavonia (Rock Rose), Pavonia lasiopetala: Small perennial shrub with rose blooms that attracts hummingbirds

image002Description: Pavonia (Pavonia lasiopetala) is native to south, central and west Texas.  It is a small perennial shrub growing 1.5 to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide, with a woody base.  It is considered deciduous but may be semi-evergreen during a mild winter.  Its leaves are light green, ovate to lobed, up to 2.5 inches long and soft and velvety to the touch.  Pavonia may be short lived (3-6 years) but self-sows readily.

Flowers and Seeds: Pavonia has 5-petaled, rose-colored, hibiscus-like flowers, with a yellow column bearing the pistils and stamens. The flowers are usually 1.5 inches wide.  Pavonia flowers from April through November and its 5-lobed seed capsules are also attractive. The seeds may be collected when the capsule divides into separate units, indicating that the seeds are mature.

Planting sites: Pavonia thrives in full sun and partial shade.  It does well under deciduous trees where it has full sun in the winter and some shade during the summer.  It is adapted for most soil types, but should have good drainage.  It will not tolerate "wet feet."

Watering Instructions: Like many Texas natives, Pavonia does not require a lot of water, but may need supplemental water during its first growing season. After it is established, it should survive with existing rainfall.

Comments: Pavonia is an excellent choice for North Texas landscaping as it survives our summer heat. Its many brilliant pink-rose flowers add color to dry summer gardens.  It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.  Consider using Pavonia instead of non-native Nandina and Dwarf Burford or Chinese Hollies. It is nice in a garden mixed with other Texas natives like deep red Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata), Mealy Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea) or yellow Berlandier's Sundrops (Calylophus berlandieri) with contrasting bloom colors.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery.  Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.

Written by Dr. Becca Dickstein

NICE! Spring 2014 Plant of the Season

Berlandier's Sundrops (Sundrops, Square-bud primrose), Calylophus berlandieri: Showy low-growing perennial with extended blooming period Description: Berlandier's Sundrops (Calylophus berlandieri) is native to Texas and surrounding states.  It is a deciduous perennial that usually grows 4-20 inches tall, 1-2 feet wide, and may develop a woody base.  It is named after Jean Louis Berlandier (1805-1851), a…
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