Foliage Day, October 2015

Joining with Christina for a fanfare of foliage on Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day in October, I’m also celebrating Texas Native Plant Week and will do so with pretty leaves from native Texas plants.

I grow FrostweedVerbesina virginica, for its late summer and fall white bloom clusters which feed oh-so-many pollinators, but the leaves are big and bodacious and tropical looking.  An under-story and under-used perennial, the leaves are large in order to catch some rays for photosynthesis.

The leaves are rough, much like sunflower leaves and easily broken off from the stems, so I’m careful when working around these plants.

At the opposite end of leaf size range, the foliage of the Fall Aster, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium,  are small and numerous.  Surrounded by autumn blooms,

…the foliage hangs tough against the relentless Texas summer sun, but remain green and growing in preparation for the sweet fall blooms.

A Mexican FeathergrassNasella tenuissima, rests in a pop of red pot,

…accompanied by a single, thin strand of Silver Ponyfoot, Dichondra argentea.  The Ponyfoot would be more than one strand if the darned squirrels would cease their digging in my pots!

Next door, an American Century PlantAgave americana, produces spiky pups that I’ll need to find a home for.

Any takers?

Another mature containerized Agave sits poised and handsome for the camera.

I don’t generally plant agave in the ground. They grow HUGE and are difficult to remove at the end of their life.  Also, they’re dangerous (those spikes! OUCH!)  and I don’t like being attacked by my garden plants– I’m not a member of the Spiky Plant-lovers Club.  The downside of  growing them in pots rather than the ground is that I’ll never host that majestic bloom spike in my garden.

Lastly, soft, gray Woolly StemodiaStemodia lanata,  cascades over the sides of a scarlet ceramic pot.

Yes, the squirrels are digging this one up too.  Grrrr.

Pop over to My Own Garden of the Hesperides to see beautiful foliage from all over the world–and thanks to Christina for hosting.  And where ever you live, learn about and plant natives in your garden–for beauty and for wildlife.

24 thoughts on “Foliage Day, October 2015

  1. Frost weed is a beauty. But it does grow in full sun too. That’s where I have it in my garden or rather that is where it seeded itself. I must check to see if the leaves are smaller.


  2. Some new plants for me again! The Agave looks great close to the fine textured Mexican Feathergrass. It makes a fine house plant here 🙂


  3. I’m really enjoying the frostweeds that I got as transplants from you in the spring. They aren’t nearly the size of your plants (yet), but they are showing off a nice white bloom head right now, which looks lovely in my shade tree bed. Thanks again!


    • I’m so glad, Rebecca! Some of mine are falling over a bit this weekend, after the rains, but should pop back up this week. At least, I hope they do without help. Frostweed is a great shade plant.


  4. The Stemodia lanata is very pretty. I think I need to get my soil tested. The frostweed seedlings you so kindly gave me haven’t grown at all in all this time. I thought they were tolerant to juglone but maybe not. I think I might put them in pots to see if I can save them.


    • I love stemodia, though I haven’t had much luck with it in the ground. It’s a great container plant, though. Hmmm. What I have seen is that in deep shade, under oak trees, the frostweed don’t get as large as my main ones. As for pecan trees, I’m not sure. If they look health, leave them for this year and see how they look next year. I know it’s hard to wait, but it’s been such a tough summer and it may just be the year. Trust me: I’ll have more and you’re welcome to them!


  5. Great to see your foliage plants. I love agaves and wish I could grow them outside. Squirrels? Little beasts, they are busy digging up my bulbs as fast as I plant them at the moment.


  6. Phew! Took me long enough to get here… : )

    My frostweed plants (in mostly shade) bloomed but are currently bowed over after all the rain. I’m keeping an eye on them – want to try transplanting after the bloom heads are spent into a slightly sunnier spot (along with goldeneye) where they can get taller.

    I’ve tried stemodia as a ground cover. It really likes to wander around looking for sun when left to its own devices (as opposed to nicely massing as I see it do in confined spaces). Typical error for me – seeing something massed and thinking it just grows “that way”. I have discovered if you stick trimmed ends of stemodia into the dirt they usually root with a little extra watering, so it can be easy to get volume if you stick with it. Putting it into a container is a much better idea than letting it run loose over a large area. Live and learn, live and learn. (don’t get me started about digging out agaves…ouch and oof and I wish I’d read more about them years ago before unleashing them here!).


    • The downside of Frostweed and Goldeneye is that they sometimes need staking. I also have a couple that are floppy this fine, soggy day. With the seed heads producing, you’ll likely get scads of Frostweed next year. You’re allowed to curse me, if it makes you feel better.

      I love stemodia and pony foot, but haven’t had much luck with them outside of pots. When they’re beautiful–wow, they’re really stunners. But for me they die off, or weaken to just sad little plants. In pots, they seem happier, therefore, I’m happier.


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