Wildflower Wednesday, April 2014

Celebrating all things wild…well just all things wild and flowery, here are some of my wild ones this beautiful April in Austin, Texas.

The luscious Yellow or Hinckley ColumbineAquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana, is still showing off after a month of blooms.

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A favorite of my honeybees is the Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens.

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Though this year, I haven’t spied any hummingbirds sipping nectar from those tubular blooms.

The Lyreleaf Sage, Salvia lyrata, sports a color I can’t quite capture with my camera–a rich blue-purple.  This tidy little Texas native blooms for about a month, then sets interesting seed heads for the summer.

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The sunny blooming Engelmann’s or Cutleaf Daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, is so bright that it almost overpowers its native companions– the deep pink Hill Country Penstemon    Penstemon triflorus, to its left and the ‘Henry Duelberg’ Sage, Salvia farinacea, on its right.

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I love that combination and look forward to it every spring.

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Thanks to Gail at clay and limestone for hosting this wildflower party every month!

Wildflower Wednesday, March 2014

I don’t quite know how I’ve missed this wildflower party before now, given my appreciation for wildflowers and native plants in general, but while reading Shirley’s most recent post at Rock-Oak- Deer, I realized her excellent profile of wildflowers was part of a bigger picture.  Duh.

Thanks to Gail at clay and limestone for hosting the monthly celebration of wildflowers of all sorts.  Though it’s my first post and a day late for this month, I’m in.

My Golden Groundsel (Packera obovata), is blooming and so cheery on this gloomy, wet day.  It’s an early blooming, tough little shade-loving perennial which  brightens up a woodland setting.

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For more information about Golden Groundsel, check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Database page.

I have Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) popping up all over my gardens.

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The original couple of transplants were pass along plants gifted to me, so I’m not entirely positive that what I have is the S. occidentalis, though I think it is.  Check out the pages on Spiderworts or Tradescantia in the Native Plant Database and see for yourself how many are native  and available throughout North America.

The Columbines are finally starting their spring show–later this year than in the last few years.  I  have both the Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinkleyana),

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and the native Wild Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),

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plus hybrids of the two.

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Finally, the Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is in total bloom mode.

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So far, we don’t have many butterflies or hummingbirds, but no doubt they’ll find this plant soon and feast, feast, feast.  This is a must-have vine for any gardener wishing to provide a food source for a variety of critters, insects and birds alike.

Thanks again  to Gail at clay and limestone for this chance to focus on and appreciate the  plants we have, native to where we live.

 

Foliage Follow-up, March 2014

As my gardens awake for spring and with a long growing season ahead, everyday unfolds more color and texture.  All winter I’ve enjoyed the arresting combination of the soft, graceful Mexican Feathergrass (Nasella tenuissima) paired with the upright, sharp foliage of Iris (unknown variety).


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The foliage of the Engelmann’s Daisy (Engelmannia peristenia), sports the deeply lobed habit which gives this plant another common name, Cutleaf Daisy.

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I just love this combination of Mexican Feathergrass (front), Daylilies (just behind), Yarrow (Achillea, sp.)( top right), and Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha) (back left).

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The hue of the foliage isn’t  greatly varied, but I like the mix of Yarrow’s  lacy foliage paired with the delicate, curling foliage of Daylilies, as they emerge from winter’s sleep, in advance of summer blooms. The slight blue tint and undulating form of the Columbine’s foliage contrasts with the fine, silvery foliage of the Mexican feathergrass.

The scalloped leaves of native-to-Texas Cedar Sage (Salvia roemariana)  reminds me of the Geranium foliage.

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Cedar Sage also blooms red, later in the spring.

Coral Honeysuckle vine (Lonicera sempervirens) foliage are mauve to burgundy when they first emerge,

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and the colorful, ovate leaves hold the developing buds aloft.

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I grow Bronze Fennel and Dill primarily host plants for the Black Swallowtail butterfly (it lays its eggs on the plant and the caterpillars eat, eat, eat the plants down).

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I’m not above pinching some for my own salad interests, but since there are no butterflies yet, the Fennel and Dill have been beautiful and growing all winter.

Thanks to Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-up for March.