NICE! Spring 2014 Plant of the Season

Berlandier's Sundrops (Sundrops, Square-bud primrose), Calylophus berlandieri: Showy low-growing perennial with extended blooming period

image001Description: 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 Texas plant collector, and is sometimes listed as C. drummondianus ssp. berlandieri.  Berlandier's Sundrops has narrow serrated leaves up to 3 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.

Flowers and Seeds: Berlandier's Sundrops have showy flowers from March through September, with the biggest display in April.  The flowers are 2 inches across with four broad petals.  Its seeds are small and may be collected for sowing in the fall.

Planting sites: Berlandier's Sundrops thrives in full sun and partial shade.  It does well in most soil types and needs good drainage.  It will not tolerate "wet feet."

Watering Instructions: Like many Texas natives, Berlandier's Sundrops 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.  It cannot tolerate excessive moisture.

Comments: Consider using Berlandier's Sundrops instead of non-native dianthus, gerbera daisy, non-native primroses, and exotic bedding plants like petunia, snapdragon and periwinkle.  Berlandier's Sundrops is moderately deer resistant.  In our area, it dies back to the ground after a freeze, but in areas that do not experience winter freezes, it may be evergreen. It is a great plant for a rock garden and may be used as a small shrub.  Berlandier's Sundrops are lovely when planted with natives like Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata), Fragrant Phlox (Phlox pilosa), Mealy Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea) and Texas Sage (Salvia greggii).

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

Written by Dr. Becca Dickstein

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