Wildflower Wednesday, May 2014

Here in Austin, Texas, May is quite pleasant and we’ve enjoyed some rain.  Yipppy!  Even better, our lakes have received some of that rain.  Double yippy!  We’re still in drought and the lakes are low, but at least we’ve had some relief.  Central Texas wildflowers continue their seasonal segue into summer bloom.  Thanks to Gail at clay and limestone for hosting Wildflower Wednesday to encourage and celebrate gardeners utilizing regional wildflowers in their home gardens.

My Yarrow, Achilliea millefolium, is especially beautiful this year.


Yarrow is an excellent perennial for Central Texas.  It sports pretty white flowers which will fade to an attractive tawny brown as summer progresses.


PigeonberryRivina humilis, is a small, delicate looking ground cover with sweet flower spikes at the top of the stems.



Luscious red berries will develop after the blooms fade and those berries are favorites with many birds, including their namesake pigeons.

The combination of  pink Hill Country Penstemon, Penstemon triflorus,  sunny Engelmann’s (or Cutleaf) Daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, and deep blue ‘Henry Duelburg’ SageSalvia farinacea, continues its happy riot of color this spring.


Heartleaf Skullcap, Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata,



is a gorgeous, cool season ground cover.   It spreads prolifically, but is easily controlled by pulling up individual plants as needed.  With beautiful blue blooms and soft, grey-green leaves,


it fills in the late spring/early summer garden.  By mid-to-late July, Heartleaf Skullcap will be dormant, reappearing with cooler fall temperatures.

And always in my gardens: Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea.


I don’t think a garden is complete without some variety of this endemic American perennial.

Planted with Engelmann’s Daisy,


or Heartleaf Skullcap,


or Zexmenia, it is a perfect companion plant in full-to-part sun conditions.


It’s a favorite flower for pollinators.



Purple Coneflower is the bomb.

The xeric  Zexmenia, Wedelia texana,  begins its long bloom cycle in May.


It’s another wildflower that pollinators prefer.



Even without a dinner companion, Zexmenia are lovely and tough perennials.


Planting native plants and wildflowers is the easiest and a beautiful way to a fabulous, regionally appropriate perennial garden.  Rip out your grass, plant native wildflowers and perennials and celebrate your sense of place in our world.


Happy Wildflower Wednesday!


10 thoughts on “Wildflower Wednesday, May 2014

  1. Such pretty combinations! Yarrow was blooming out by Inks Lake when we camped there last week. It has such a soft, delicate look, especially when blanketing the ground under a thicket of Mesquite and the like.

    We lost Pigeonberry and Purple Coneflower to the frosts this past winter, though the Coneflower seems to be making a long, slow recovery. So happy to see yours blooming!


    • Thanks, Mary! So sorry about your pigeonberry. I thought I’d lost some too, but they came back late. I seem to have really good luck with the coneflowers and I’m glad because I just love them.


  2. “…celebrate your sense of place in our world.” Simply and perfectly put. Captures in a nutshell the native plant movement. One of these days I’ll get organized enough to officially throw in with Wildflower Wednesday, but for today I’m bowing in admiration to yours.

    Prose aside, so much to appreciate here visually. I love the flowers in combination plantings, to my mind they afford a cottage garden look that is totally appropriate for Central Texas. My own coneflowers are in shadier areas and must compete with vigorous early spring flowers (Pink Evening Primrose, I’m looking at you!) but the sturdy rosettes persist and mine are finally sending up bloom stalks of their own. As you say they are so easy to love, singly or in combination, and I’m eagerly waiting!

    PS – is that one of “your” bees?


    • Thanks, Deb! I only discovered Wildflower Wednesday recently–don’t know how that happened, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s good thing! One of the things I admire about the coneflowers is their versatility. Like you, I have a number in fairly shady spots and they do well. True that they don’t bloom as well as with full sun, but they bloom. It’s not one of my bees. I haven’t looked up what it is–in my limited abilities, if it’s not a honeybee, it’s a carpenter bee. I’m simple that way. 🙂 I just walked by a neighbor’s cactus which is in full bloom and it was full of “my” bees though. She’d sent me a photo a day or two ago–they love those blooms.


  3. Beautiful choices and combinations for Wildflower Wednesday. Your garden looks amazing.

    I’m encouraged to give coneflowers another try. They have not done well in my garden but I might have just the place for some purple ones.


    • Thank you, Shirley. I hope you do give them another try. From what I’ve seen of your gardens (deer notwithstanding), it seems like they should work. My property is becoming increasingly shady, so in time, I’ll probably have fewer and they won’t bloom as long, but they’ll still bloom in some shade. Best of luck!


  4. My seed-grown Echinacea bloomed last year, and are very slowly making their way back this year but won’t bloom for a while. But the gorgeous new peachy variety I planted last year seems not to be returning. I like the blue of your Scutellaria ovata, and I have the medicinal Scutellaria, which doesn’t have a decorative flower, but I’ve tried to start others from seed, included a cute ground cover, but none returned. It seems most of the common native plants don’t occur or do well up here. I enjoy looking at yours, though, I grew up in Texas and loved the spring wildflowers.


  5. Hi Hannah, thanks for dropping by! You’ll have to post photos of your Echinacea when they bloom. I’ll bet the peach-colored one was a cultivar and sometimes, they’re unreliable. I grew a white coneflower for a year or two, it limped along and finally didn’t return. I love, love, love the Heartleaf Skullcap and it’s an easy plant for us to grow. I didn’t know there was a medicinal Scutellaria, though I guess I’m not surprised–I’ll check that out. We’ve had a nice spring here in Central Texas–you could move back. 🙂


  6. Such a lovely combination of wildflowers! I really like the pigeonberry; I wonder if it will grow in zone 5? I was given some seeds for Skullcap, but they didn’t germinate–I really should give this a try again. But we definitely have something in common–purple coneflowers are my favorite! They re-seed themselves all over my garden, and the butterflies and bees love them.


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