Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

August, 2001
Regional Report


How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest
Native plant enthusiast and home gardeners looking for solid how-to information on growing Southwestern native plants now have a first class reference book to rely on, How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest by Jill Nokes (University of Texas Press, 2001; $30).

An experience landscape designer and native plant expert, Jill Nokes has blessed gardeners throughout the South with a first class reference on Southwestern native plants. Her revised and updated guide is destined to become the premier reference for producers and plant enthusiasts for these wonderful species not often found in the standard plant books. This 632-page reference is packed with useful information on several hundred plants native to the Southwestern U.S. including propagation, production and landscape uses of the various species, and tips on gathering, storing and germinating seed, rooting cuttings and establishing new transplants.

This is an easy to use reference manual that's destined to be smudged with dirt and worn through repeated use by serious plant enthusiasts everywhere.

Favorite or New Plant

Mexican Bush Sage
Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) is a superb perennial plant that is definitely underutilized in southern landscapes. Native to Mexico it adapts and is hardy well throughout the lower south (USDA zone 7) if provided good drainage.

From spring to late summer the bush makes an attractive mound of narrow, strappy gray-green leaves on upright shoots. In late summer through fall fuzzy purple blooms appear creating a stunning show. The blooms are quite popular with hummingbirds. The standard type sage sports a purple calyx with a protruding white center flower. It's also available is a form with purple calyx and purple flower. Mexican bush sage prefers full sun to part shade. The bloom stalks also dry well, retaining a light purple-lavender color.


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