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.
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!