Just a word about Pigeonberry

mrs.wiggley(8 Hill Country)July 31, 2014

I live on a property that is under wildlife management. I read about Pigeonberry in one of Sally Wasowski's books on native Texas gardening some time ago. It likes part shade and I had the perfect spot beneath a group of large live oaks. The only other thing that had grown under there (that was welcome) was some turkscap. So I purchased and spread some seed. After a few weeks I began to see that the seeds grew easily with steady but not particularly thorough watering and now it's abundant and requires no care at all.. It has a small pink flower head and super bright red berries, growing to be as tall as two feet but mostly staying staying under a foot high.. It is currently bursting with berries and the birds LOVE them! A perfect food for mid summer.
I'm highly recommending it to those who have wildscapes as it spreads pretty quickly and can't be contained. I just mow down any that pops up in the 'yard' or in unwanted places, and it's easy to control that way, but is not well behaved bedding plant by any means. It's not particularly showy either (kind of like turkscap) so is more for the critters. But in that regard it's a winner.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brief description/photos of Pigeonberry

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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I dearly love pigeonberry. Here are a bunch of photos taken several years ago. Some are major close-ups taken back when I was all excited about getting macros ... :-)

I love their wavy leaves, plus one of the neat things about them is that you get flowers and berries at the same time. As you point out they grow easily in difficult conditions.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:15PM
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mrs.wiggley(8 Hill Country)

WONDERFUL PHOTOS! Thanks for sharing those. The plant seems somewhat petite and delicate and yet it's surprisingly hardy.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:37AM
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ocgf(Z8)

Perfect companion for Jewels of Opar and purple heart jew . I wish I had shade in my garden to grow them.

Omar

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:29PM
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MKull(8 SATX)

eww Omar, I wish I never heard of purple heart jew. It was here when we moved in 8 years ago and despite digging up as much of the roots as I can, it is still here, all over the place. It sprouts up here, then there and back here again. Ugh. Definitely a container plant! Beautiful with lime greens though for sure.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 3:26PM
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ocgf(Z8)

:D mkull, I only grow thugs because my soil is really poor. The beauty of that is that even thugs behave in poor soil. I have wandering jew in the ground and it pots and it is not invasive at all. I was even impressed with some very light colored jew my daughter took a picture of during her trip to Canary Islands, Spain.

Omar

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:17PM
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sylviatexas1

Omar, if you have shade on the western side, you can grow pigeonberry in morning sun as long as you mulch it well & water it when it droops.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 9:13AM
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ocgf(Z8)

Thank you, Sylvia. I do have some shade but it's too dry for a regular plant. "Only thugs allowed" :D In that area I have variegated eleagnus, callicarpa, sage greigii and fall aster.

Omar

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 2:01PM
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