Favorite Native Plants

lucas_tx_gwMarch 15, 2012

Hi All,

I think the invasive plant discussion is good periodically because even if some people don't change their minds, others might be seeing/hearing some of the information from both sides and that provides them a good opportunity to learn, and their opinions might change in one direction or the other.

But if you are a person who hasn't really considered this before and now wants to think about using more natives, sometimes it's hard to know where to start.

Since this is Native plant sale season starting now, I thought it would be fun to have people list their favorite natives, and their favorite places to buy them, as well as what part of TX they thrive in since we all know there is a tremendous amount of variation.

I have to dash off to work now, but I'll check back later with my personal favorites.

Anyone else have any suggestions on what to plant or how to acquire them?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My absolute fave:
Autumn Sage, Autumn Salvia, Cherry Sage
Salvia greggii

and photo from early this morning:

I love that it is evergreen, and blooms almost year round. It attracts hummingbirds and just looks nice all the time.

It does re seed all around itself. Some might consider it invasive because of this, but I don't think because a plant propagates itself by seed it is invasive. This is how plants reproduce, its what they do.


The other fav is Coral honeysuckle vine

It is well mannered, evergreen unless we have a really bad winter, and also attracts the hummingbirds. It roots easily from cuttings.


another one I have but don't have a photo of it in bloom is

Aster oblongifolius aka Fall Aster


You can usually find these plants at plant swaps or most big box stores or nurseries.
I'm planning on potting up the baby sage and making cuttings from the honeysuckle over the next few days.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm in northern NM, so I won't burden all of you with a list from here (although there is some overlap)...

But below is a short list of Texas natives that are dream plants of mine, some of which I doubt I could get my hands on in NM.

- Texas persimmon
- American persimmon
- Mustang grape
- American lotus
- Maypop
- Strawpile hedgehog cactus
- Goldenball leadtree
- Prickly pear cactus with red (not pink) flowers

A few of these I have already, and some I know would probably not make it in my zone 6...

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 12:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
debndal(8a DFW, TX)

I like flame acanthus because the hummers like it so well, and even tho the flowers are small they are so profuse they still show up even along the back fence. It does flop a bit in my partial sun garden,and it reseeds some but has a really long bloom season. I have a red and a pumpkin (orangey) one. The pumpkin colored one is striking next to a Russian Sage when they are both in bloom.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 1:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Melvelena and debndal's plants mentioned above! And as for fabacea_native's (love that user name, BTW!) list, Texas Persimmon and Maypop I have growing here, they're good. Also--
Turk's Cap (both hummingbirds and butterflies love it!)
Mexican Plum
Brasil, Condalia hookeri
Squarebud Primrose (I have the yellow with black one)
Four-Nerve Daisy (extremely dought-tolerant)
Cowpen Daisy
Texas Milkweed (host plant to Monarch & Queen butterflies)
Antelope Horns (milkweed, also host to above butterflies)
Lindheimer's Morning Glory
Rough-leaf Dogwood
Lace Cactus
Corona de Cristo (Passiflora foetida var. gossypifolia)
Missouri Violet
Rose Pavonia (Pavonia lasiopetala)
Mexican Buckeye
Yellow Flax (host to Variegated Fritillary)
Texas Bluebonnet
Texas Mountain Laurel
Eve's Necklace
Anacacho Orchid Tree
Common Hop Tree (host plant to Giant Swallowtail and Two-tailed Tiger Swallowtail)
Fendler's Bladderpod (extremely drought tolerant)
Purple Leatherflower (Clematis Pitcheri)
Wind-Flower and Two-Flower Anemone
Prairie Larkspur
Blackfoot Daisy (extremely drought tolerant)
Well, that's just a part of the natives I grow, anyway. I've got a space problem here...it's getting too crowded with plants.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 4:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ExoticRGVNativesTy(10a TX)

There are too many good native plants on our property to list all of them, but I'll go ahead and mention a few of the best performers: Barbados Cherry, Cortes Croton, David's Milkberry, Googly-eyed Vine, Texas Olive, Tamaulipan Fiddlewood, and Barbed-wire Cactus.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tx_ag_95(7/8 Lewisville)

Personally, I like mesquite trees but know I'm in the minority. Henry Duehlberg salvia, Mystic Spires Blue salvia, horseherb, gaura, pigeonberry, Texas Sage/cenizo; red bud, pecan, red oak, live oak trees. I'm trying not to duplicate what's already been mentioned. I can't think of any other natives that I've grown.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 12:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am in hearty agreement with what everyone has written. If I could only pick one plant it would be Lantana horrida. The bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love the blossoms, and then the Mockingbirds, Blue Jays, and Robins love the berries. But my yard is also full of Yaupon and Possum Haw Hollies, and several varieties of Salvias. Lantana would be my favorite, but it's hard to pick what I love best after that. There are so many!

Carla in Rowlett

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

tx ag, where did you get your Henry Duehlberg salvia?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tx_ag_95(7/8 Lewisville)

I *think* I got one at Northaven Gardens, one from a garden club sale in Denton, and one at a plant swap. Are you looking for one? I have a couple of volunteers that should be moved soon, I'd be willing to share.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 5:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I recommend Calylophus drummondianus. Hardy to zone 6, semi-evergreen in zone 8, drougt tolerant and it blooms from late spring to the end of fall.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 8:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tx_ag_95(7/8 Lewisville)

Omar, how tall does it get for you? A Texas website said it gets to be 6", Dave's Garden says 1-1.5' and I can't find it on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's database. I wasn't thinking of adding yellow to my front yard, but this could make me change my mind!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

tx ag 95,

There are several species. Maybe mine is C. tubicula and not C. drummondianus... I am not familiar enough to tell the different species apart. I bought some last year at Barton Springs Nursery for our school garden and they have kinda trailing growth, 6-8" tall with bigger flowers. However, mine are volunteers from the vacant field behind my house.They grow more erect, getting 1-2' tall.Its flowers are smaller but it bears more flowers.

It's an awesome shrub. No thorns, blooms profusely, no pests and it's a perennial. The older, the bushier it gets. It doesn't like to be severely trimmed. I think that's why it doesn't look that good at the roadsides (mature plants get trimmed too low and die). I only trim the dead material on mines at the end of the winter.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Finally got back to this thread. I'll second most of what's been mentioned here and add another that might not have been mentioned or I overlooked it which is Engelmann's daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) also called cutleaf daisy. Blooms like crazy, drought tolerant, overwinters as nice little rosette.

I've added link to the list of plant sales from the Native plant society web site. Some of these sales will offer non-natives as well. Sales like FW Botanical Garden and the Wildflower center also allow the chapters of NPOST to sell at their sales so it's always good to support those clubs and the plants they sell are often grown by the members, so that's kind of cool.

For those of us in DFW, sadly the Heard is not having a spring sale. Hopefully they will bring it back but there are some other around.

Hope this helps someone who is looking for a source for natives. There are also some really cool native plant nurseries around, you just have to hunt around for them a little.


Here is a link that might be useful: List of Plant Sales

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I LOVE MOUNTAIN PINKS. I did get some to grow on my land, BUT I WANT MORE! I also like False Gaura (Stenosiphon linifolius) and antelope horn milkweed has a special place in my heart because my land has them EVERYWHERE on them and they are starting to open up right now and the monarchs are looking for them. I also like the Antirriflora barklayana, especially from big bend, a large flowered blur variety. Salvia lindheimerii and Salvia regla, salvia romeriana. Lets not forget Damianita.

This year I am planting 4 winged salt bush, Penstemon palmeri, bush penstemon, Prince's plume, wichitaw soldago, false stiffleafed goldenaster, penstemon segundiflora. Mentzelia decapitala

There are so many great natives.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 12:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maden_theshade(8 - Austin)

Where do you find Mountain Pinks? I've been looking for that one a long time.

My favorite native in bloom right now is Prarie Verbena. I dug up a small plant a couple years back and it has really gotten big this year! So pretty!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 1:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

we had a drought here in the houston area last year, so things i'm listing have survived it. some are near-natives...

daylilies, ginger, turk's cap, zephranthes (rain lilies), dwarf gladiolas (glaminis), spider lilies (red), amaryllis, narcissus, freesia, bluebonnets, spirea, iris, lorapetalum, calla lilies, star jasmine, honeysuckle (red/yellow), gardenia (in shade), aloe vera, caladiums, coreopsis, salvia, and that's about it.
I had one petunia come back, but it's probably a fluke.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 3:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another one I love love love but might not be as appropriate for all of you in the Austin/SA area, but good for Dallas and points east is dwarf wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera var. pumila (Myrica pusilla)). They do take a little more water in really bad drought but generally do fine.

They are evergreen, well behaved, take sun, shade, dry and wet and best of all you get those little waxy berries that attract Yellow Rumped Warblers (aka butter butts). The butter butts have enzymes that allow them to digest the wax on the berries so they can get benefit from them. Few species can eat them so the BBs use them as a main food source in the winter. I have the DWM right outside my kitchen windows and get to watch the BB's hang out in those bushes all winter long.

That's my idea of a good foundation planting. Takes no care and provides a great benefit for wildlife ;-)

As for plant sources, one sale that's not listed on the schedule I posted earlier is Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park in Dallas. You can easily do a search for it. It's all natives and/or valuable butterfly host/nectar plants that are adapted and (hopefully) well-behaved.

Also, if you've never been to any of the native plant sales plan to get there early, they are always very popular and you might be disappointed if you arrive late and all the natives are gone.

Who is going to the Wildflower Center sale in April? I'll go but I cheat and take off work on Friday and go on the members only day. It's my personal spring break!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow this is like going to school: I need to copy and research and keep these.

I don't think anyone mentioned euonymous americanus aka strawberry bush. Brazos penstemmon. Is Jerusalem Sage a native? Probably but not sure. Mine is very big and very woody and very happy to be here no matter what it gets.

I have Henry Duelberg Salvia in a pot. I could dig some out if you want some. I plan to move some shortly to a more open area.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 1:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For a low, silver-green groundcover, you might check out wooly stemodia. I set out three last spring. They got pretty ragged this winter, but have started to bounce back well. I chose them over pony's foot because they're more cold tolerant (down to 10 deg.). They spread well, but look easy to contain. May be a little hard to find.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lou_texas(8a N Central TX)

tx_ag_95, I'm in the minority with you on the mesquite trees. Those and the native desert willow (chilopsis linearis) are so interesting with their erratic branching that I always want to pick up a pencil and sketch them. Too bad I can't draw. Another thing I like about them is that they provide only lightly filtered shade which lets the beds underneath them get the sun they need.

Another favorite is salvia greggii and the macrophylla hybrids and other sages. Blackfoot daisy brings a cheerful look to the garden. I like it too. Lou

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I was walking in the front pasture and it was sprinkled with Oenethera triloba. The flowers are stemless and are just at the highth of the barely sprouting summer grasses. They open at sunset and close at noon. I also discovered a Phacelia patuflora (scorpion weed) Not the tall variety .... but VERY Blue and very low. I planted them 6 years ago and now they made an appearance. I also like Heteratheca villosa. I collected a variety in the Wichita mountains and they bloom all summer, even in last summers drought.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If your looking for native plants , i have a West Texas Native Plant List at anyones request. (texican@zipnet.us)
Were are here in Mertzon and have been since 1986.
Trees , shrubs wildflowers, cactus, ect.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 7:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


That scorpion weed is gorgeous but looks like it might not be hardy this far north. Probably hates clay as well :-( Otherwise I'm be begging for it!

I those the stemless primrose in my yard as well, I love those little things. And because they are so low, they even survive in areas that get mowed which is cool.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I think the scorpion weed is an annual so just as long as it seeds itself, I am happy. It likes gravely rocky soil and that is what I have it in. I would love it to be a perennial. My other scorpion weed is a annual It grows in West Texas ( I think) and that is colder than where I am.

This evening , I love madrone and escarpment Black cherry. I havr been out caging 10 of the so the deer won't eat them..

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 10:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need ballpark figure for irrigation
We recently put in a pool. Pool, landscaper, irrigation...
Golden groundsel - evergreen groundcover for rabbit infested shade
The past few seasons we've been trying to find a ground...
California Poppies
The first bloom opened on my California poppies. The...
briaustex 8b
oxblood lilies
tying to find some bulbs in the college station area.. anyone...
garden bed holding to much water?
I have a 8x14 and a 4x14 garden bed . The top of the...
Sponsored Products
Forever Green Art Wall Sconce In Burnt Orange Grasses
Beyond Stores
133" Red Cedar Canterbury Arbor w/Gate & 2 Wings
Natalia Rose Lily Bulb - Set of Five
$18.99 | zulily
Jaipur Notion Tori Area Rug - RUG111261
$132.00 | Hayneedle
Cedar Spiral 4-foot Silk Tree with Decorative Vase
Breville Die-Cast Citrus Press
$199.95 | FRONTGATE
Staked Out Tea Light Holders - Set of 3
$14.99 | Dot & Bo
Eangee Mini Square Orange Accent Lamp
$56.91 | Lamps Plus
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™