|[ Burgundy Heirloom Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum 'Burgundy') | Posted on May 21, 2012 ]
A beautiful ornamental cotton developed by Texas A&M years ago. The common name in Texas is Aggie Cotton (Texas A&M's school colors are maroon and white) and the deep purple leaves with the pristine white open bolls is stunning.
|[ Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) | Posted on May 21, 2012 ]
In the warmest zones, 9b-11, plant can reach 6'x4' and remains evergreen. In Dec 2011-Jan 2012 there were 75-100 monarch cats at different instars feasting on a huge plant in my yard - Texas Gulf Coast.
|[ Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Little Orange Tex') | Posted on May 18, 2012 ]
Often in the top 10 popularity poll of AHS Region 6 (Texas and New Mexico) since its introduction in 1985, 'Little Orange Tex' is a wonderful evergreen landscape daylily. Although the flowers are small at 3-1/2", high bud count, multple branching, sun/wind/rain proof flowers, and rust resistance contribute to its appeal. Rebloom scapes are typically single branched and usually appear 2 months after the main flower period given adequate fertilzation and moisture.
|[ Eggplant (Solanum melongena 'Fairy Tale') | Posted on May 18, 2012 ]
This charming compact plant is suitable for containers. The fruit is striped purple and white and tends to form in clusters. Fruit is small, 2"-4" long, with few seeds. Could be sold as a gourmet "baby" vegetable. Disease and insect resistant (so far) in Zone 9b in a container planting. The seed company recommends low nitrogen (for all eggplants) for maximum fruiting.
|[ Firecracker Plant (Crossandra infundibuliformis 'Orange Marmalade') | Posted on May 17, 2012 ]
Bred by Sakata Ornamentals, 'Orange Marmalade' is a more compact plant than the species. Tolerates high heat and humidity very well. Is root hardy in Zone 9b at least. In my garden, the plant hasn't set seed in 5 years, so don't know if this is a sterile cultivar or not.
|[ Scarlet Sage (Salvia splendens 'Dancing Flames') | Posted on May 16, 2012 ]
'Van Houttei' is itself a cultivar of Salvia splendens even though it looks quite different than the stubby cultivars. It may be closer to the native Brazilian species. Neither ITIS nor The Plant List even have it as a synonym.
|[ Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans Gold Star) | Posted on May 15, 2012 ]
Tecoma stans Gold Star was selected by noted Texas horticulturist, Greg Grant, from a garden in San Antonio, TX. It's intermediate between the west Texas Tecoma stans angustata and the tropical Tecoma stans stans. Unlike either of its parents or other Tecoma stans subspecies, Gold Star blooms when very young and never stops until cold weather hits. Sun-poof golden yellow flower clusters are so plentiful that they often weigh down branchlets. The sweet fragrance, while not perfuming a whole neighborhood, is strong enough to be noticeable when walking past.
|[ Argentine Rain Lily (Habranthus robustus) | Posted on May 15, 2012 ]
One of the largest-flowered and robust rainlilies, the aptly named Habranthus robustus hails from Argentina and Brazil. Unlike rainlilies in the Zephyranthes genus, its flowers face at an angle to the stem giving them the look of a multi-flowered miniature amaryllis. Each trumpet flower is 3"-4" long and as wide at the flared petal tips. It's common for the Argentine Rainlily to repeat bloom throughout the warm season. In warm climates, the nicely arching flat leaves remain evergreen. It's a fast multiplier by both fresh seeds and bulb off-sets. Although it can survive some drought, it performs best with adequate, even substantial, rain throughout its growing season and revels in the steamy heat of a Deep South summer.
|[ Texas wild olive (Cordia boissieri) | Posted on May 12, 2012 ]
Typically a 2‘-3‘ tall scrub shrub in the the most arid portions of the lower Rio Grande Valley and adjacent Mexico, but a little TLC makes a rapidly growing handsome small tree (or large shrub) with clusters of 2"-3" long trumpet-shaped flowers that flush repeatedly with adequate moisture and warmth. There‘s no waiting for flowers either -- flowering begins when the plant is only 2‘ tall.