Right on Time

Winter is almost done and was not only late, but a rather ill-mannered no-show in my garden this year.  Here in Central Texas, the trees are flowering and leafing out with abandon, seemingly racing one another to full-fledged foliage.  Even so, the only plants that are weirdly early in my gardens are the Shumard Oaks–they don’t normally flush new growth until the very end of February or beginning of March.



But like an excellent and welcomed dinner guest, the Golden Groundsel, Packera obovata, is right on time in preparation for its flower showOne of our earliest bloomers,  the bloom stalks have arisen and will brighten this shady area in the next few weeks.


While the brilliant flowers are stunning,


…the foliage of this tidy, woodland wildflower is what I find most appealing about this North American beauty.  Evergreen and ever-lush, the plant forms a colony of finely serrated, ovate leaves and those make up the  “staple” foliage of the plant, year round.

A sprinkling of rain in the last 24 hours is the only rain for the past month.

A sprinkling of rain in the last 24 hours is the only rain for the past month.


As the plant prepares for flowering, the foliage connected to the bloom pedicels develops a more fern-like, deeply serrated character.



The two-fer foliage quality of this wildflower is captivating.


My colony of Golden Groundsel hasn’t spread much in the  5 or 6 years that I’ve grown this plant and I’ve had no good luck in transplanting newer clumps-with-roots to other places.  But it’s a happy and hardy filler in this spot,



…and a handsome ground-cover throughout the year.


Perhaps the blooms will be up and running in time for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day in March!

In celebration of February foliage, thanks to Christina’s lovely Creating my own garden of the Hesperides.   Check out her Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day meme for a look at foliage from many gardens.

15 thoughts on “Right on Time

    • Yes to both of your questions! My soil is rather clayey and the Golden Groundsel has grown just fine, spreading slowly over the years. My climate is probably similar to yours–hot-n-dry for the summers, wetter in winter, though I’ll bet we’re not quite as cold as you are. This is a native to a large area of North America, so I don’t know whether it would be invasive where you are–probably not–but let me know if you grow it and how it does for you.

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  1. It’s so pretty and such a nice addition to the early spring garden. I’ve had Golden Groundsel on my list for a while and hope to add it one day. I think I need to find it at a plant sale that specializes in native plants.


    • Shirley, I think I bought mine at BSN, but the WC has it on their spring plant sale list most years–if you’re in Austin for that. Good luck with your search.


    • Thanks, Julie–I really like it quite a bit. Ha–I don’t know where that expression comes from (two-fer); I guess I should look it up. 🙂 It’s a lovely plant, all around–“double whammy” is a good description, too!

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  2. I’d been excited, thinking I had some Golden Groundsel appearing in an unmulched bed, but it turns out it was yellow blooming dandelion variants, a weed by most standards, and not the two-staged native I’d hoped for. The leaves are roughly similar, but the flowers not nearly so prominent. Close….but no cigar!

    Now that I have this post for reference, I doubt I’ll be tricked so easily again, but I’m such a sucker for yellow flowers appearing on almost any sort of rosette. So cheery and bright in those shady corners. I’m keeping an eye out for it now at my favorite nursery. I’m not putting in m/any new plants due to the rough weather we’re having, but tried and true natives are always welcome here!


    • Let’s see: yellow blooms and puffy, wind-borne seeds–might be Golden Groundsel or dandies! 🙂 I’ve never had my GGs seed out successfully, despite allowing them to go to seed each year. I don’t know if it’s the mulch in my gardens or if maybe the wind really does carry the seeds elsewhere, though in my ‘hood that would mean their getting mowed as soon as they’re established. If you can find a four inch or larger pot, you’ll be in GG business, though–I hope that happens, because these are something to really look forward to.


  3. Pingback: A Parade of Pretties: Bloom Day for March | My Gardener Says…

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