For this weeklong recognition and appreciation of native Texas plants, I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences with using favorite perennial bloomers, trees and shrubs. Because it’s October and not March or April, I’ve focused on plants which are doing something now. Like other places, we in Texas enjoy our beautiful spring blooming plants, but we also admire those plants that take over the blooming work in the long, hot summer, and we glory in our “second spring,” also known as autumn. Many Texas native shrubs and perennials blossom throughout our long growing season, with resting periods between bloom cycles. Plus, our Texas plants take a well-deserved hiatus during the height and heat of summer–late July through August. Hunkering down is often the phrase used to describe that 8-10 week period of relentless heat and little, if any, rainfall.
And that’s during a “normal” year.
As we’re now enjoying our autumn blooms, today’s post is about the plants that are known specifically as fall performers. These plants are attractive during the other times of the year, but it’s in the autumn, September through November, that they are the stars, the divas, the lead actors on the garden stage. So enjoy the photo tour and remember–you too can plant and successfully grow these and many others in your gardens! All of these plants are carefree and low maintenance.
Check out your local nursery, online native seed sources like Wildseed Farms and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for more information.
Frostweed, Verbesina virginica
Fall Aster, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium
Big Muhly, Muhlenbergia lindheimeri
Gregg’s Mistflower, Conoclinium greggii
Blue Mistflower, Conoclinium coelestinum
Texas Craglily, Echeandia texensis
White Mistflower, Ageratina havanensis
Goldeneye, Viguiera dentata
Cenizo, Leucophyllum frutescens
Yaupon Holly, Ilex vomitoria
Possumhaw Holly, Ilex decidua
American Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana
These are the “fall” plants in my garden. By no means is this a complete invoice of plants whose performance peaks in the autumn months–it’s simply what I grow and have room for in my gardens. As with the rest of the calendar year in Texas, there are many more beauties for the gardener to choose from.
Go forth, Texas gardeners–plant natives!
The mistflowers have sudenly gone crazy with pollinators. Yesterday I saw all kinds of skippers zooming around them. The Texas Craglily is new to me. I really really like it.
I love those mistflowers–all of them! The Texas Craglily! I love it! The only place I’ve ever seen that plant is at Barton Spring Nursery, in mid-to late summer. My first was bought on a whim and I was hooked! The call it “copper spiders,” but nobody else (that I’ve been able to discover), calls it that. Native west and southwest of Central Texas–such a cutie!
I am writing that on my (imaginary) long term calendar right now “Check BSN for spider lily/Texas craglily”. Those are worth a “really-really” in my book. Do they naturalize?
I’ll try to remind you next summer. Actually, you might call now–it’s possible they still have some. Aren’t they the sweetest things? When I first saw them several years ago, I recognized the flower, but couldn’t remember where I’d seen them. There was a photo in “Native Texas Plants” by Sally Wasowski–she called it Lila de los Llanos, which is an older, common name. Where the “Copper Spiders” comes from I have no idea, but BSN has consistently carried them for several years running. They haven’t seeded out for me, but I’m going to make a concerted effort to collect seeds this year. Craglily look like daylily foliage late spring through summer, then send up the bloom spikes in September. I barely have the right amount of sun for mine, but they are all blooming. Bees and skippers seem to be most attracted to them. They die with the first hard freeze and return a bit late in the spring.
Lucky you, to have a “second spring”! That doesn’t really happen for us here in the north, of course. But this fall is a little different than “normal”–we’ve only had one night of a hard frost, and I managed to save my Impatiens and Fuchsias. I noticed that other folks around here have flowers still, too. It’s so unusual for us to have blooming plants this late in the year. Your blooms are gorgeous! The only one that’s new to me is Texas Craglily–what a fun plant! But I’m envious that all those beauties are still blooming for you! Enjoy!
I think our “second spring” is compensation for our tough summers. Your beautiful spring, summer, fall is compensation for your winter. It all works out in the end. 🙂
I’m glad you still have some blooms. Impatiens and fuchsias–I can only dream about those. Actually, we can grow impatiens, even through summer, but they require lots of water. Fuchsias will only work until June–then they’re toast.
Lots of people don’t know about the Craglily. I only know of one nursery that carries them and I just happened to pick one up a few years ago and I was hooked. I will enjoy, thanks.
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