Have you been wondering about any of the plants in our habitat garden? The list is long, and we still have more plants that we hope to get in our garden as soon as they become available! You can also view this list regularly on its own page in this blog — eventually I will add pictures of each plant to the page. For details on the native plants, be sure to visit the Wildflower Center’s plant database. Where can you buy them? Most of our local nurseries carry them, including Natural Gardener, Barton Springs Nursery, Shoal Creek Nursery, and more. The Wildflower Center also sells fantastic and sometimes hard-to-find native plants each spring and fall, and there’s a big sale this weekend!
Native to Texas (* indicates Native to Central Texas)
*Anacacho Orchid (Bauhinia lunarioides): a small deciduous tree that likes both full sun and shade; it makes a great understory tree. Its fragrant white blooms are show-stoppers in the spring, and butterflies and other pollinators love them.
*Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii): a drought-tolerant evergreen shrub of the mint family and a great hummingbird plant. In the wild, red is the most common color, but we have selected red, white, pink, and purple to additional beauty to our garden. A plant with aromatic foliage, it tolerates both shade and sun.
*Basket grass, or Texas Sacahuista (Nolina texana): a clumping grass-like plant that forms dense white clusters of flowers; it actually is a member of the lily family rather than a true grass. It is a larval host for the Atea hairstreak butterfly and the Sandia hairstreak butterfly. It provides nectar and cover.
*Big Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindeimeri): a large-growing bunchgrass with feathery seedheads and blue-green leaves; it is endemic to the Edwards Plateau. It provides nesting material for birds and cover for small animals.
*Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta): an annual to short-lived perennial with hairy leaves; pollinators love its blooms, and many birds love its seeds. It is a caterpillar larval host for the Gorgone Checkerspot and Bordered Patch butterflies.
*Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum): a small growing bushy plant with lovely white daisy-like flowers. It provides nectar and pollen, and birds like its seeds.
Chocolate Daisy (Berlandiera lyrata): small native plant with blooms that smell deliciously like chocolate; a nectar source
Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens): an evergreen high-climbing vine with red tubular blooms that hummingbirds and butterflies love; it also is a larval host for the Spring Azure butterfly and the Snowberry Clearwing Moth. Finches and thrushes love its fruits.
*Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana): low-growing fragrant evergreen shrub with small yellow blooms; highly drought tolerant. Provides cover and nectar.
*Flame Acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii): a deciduous shrub with cheerful red or orange blooms from summer to fall – hummingbirds and butterflies love it! It is a larval host for Janais Patch and Texan Crescentspot butterflies.
*Four-Nerve Daisy (Tetraneuris scaposa): heat and drought tolerant that blooms much of the year; it is a nectar source for many pollinators
*Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri): heat-tolerant plant with butterfly-like flowers; looks lovely with limestone
*Gregg’s Mistflower (Concolinium greggii): an incredible butterfly magnet that particular invites Queen and Monarch butterflies in the fall; a pollinator’s favorite; also a larval host for Rawsons Metalmark butterfly
*Lantana, Texas (Lantana urticoides; Lantana horrida): the true native Texas lantana with bright red, orange, and yellow flowers; its nectar is prized by butterflies
*Mealy Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea): a perennial with gray-green leaves and dark-blue to white tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds and pollinating insects
Mexican Feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima): graceful, delicate grass that billows in the breeze; soft and pleasing to the touch
*Prairie Verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida): a small, spreading plant with purple flowers that attract birds and pollinators
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea): a pollinator favorite of the aster family; its attractive pink-to-purple blooms attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and birds such as northern cardinals and finches love its seeds
*Resinbush, or Skeleton-Leaf Goldeneye (added to our school sign bed) (Viguiera stenoloba): a drought-tolerant shrub with narrow leaves and nectar-providing yellow-orange flowers; provides cover and nesting sites
*Scarlet Sage, or Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea): showy hummingbird plant with red blooms; butterflies and other pollinators also love it; tolerates both sun and shade
*Skullcap, Shrubby (Scutellaris wrightii): a low-growing, low water-usage shrub with small purple blooms. It is a nectar source for wildlife.
*Standing Cypress (Ipomopsis rubra): a hummingbird favorite with fern-like leaves that give it the look of a Dr. Seuss plant straight from Whoville
Texas Betony (Stachys coccinea): a shade-tolerant hummingbird plant with soft, fuzzy aromatic leaves with red blooms that hummingbirds love
*Texas Sage, Compact (Leucophyllum frutescens): an evergreen gray-green shrub that often blooms with rain, earning it the nickname Texas Barometer Bush. It provides nectar and nesting and cover sites for small animals, and it is a larval host for the Theona Checkerspot butterfly and the Calleta silkmoth.
Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans angustada): we have two colors of this native TX plant – the traditional yellow and the orange-flowered Sangria version. This lovely shrub has clusters of bright trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom much of the year. It attracts hummingbirds and nectar-loving insects, and small mammals like its seeds. It is a larval host of the Dogface butterfly and the Plebeian sphinx moth.
*Zexmenia (Wedelia texana): a small woody shrub with yellow daisy-like flowers that attract many butterflies; it is a larval host plant for Bordered Patch, Sierran Metalmark, and Lacinia Patch butterflies
Firebush (Hamelia patens) Amazing hummingbird bush with bright-red flowers. It thrives in the hot sun. Native to Florida.
Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica): larval host to Monarch and Queen butterflies, the nectar-filled flowers attract a variety of other flowers –while this species is not a true Texas native, it is the one most commonly available in our local nurseries
Skullcap, Pink (Scutellaria suffrutescens): a low-growing pink version of the purple that’s native to Texas. It is an evergreen mounding plant that provides nectar and tolerates our Texas heat.
Woolly Butterflybush (Buddleja marrubiifolia): a sun-loving butterfly plant with orange flowers and velvety-soft silver-green leaves
Lavender, Goodwin Creek: a lovely scented herb with a tolerance for dry soil
Oregano, Dittany of Crete: a mild-scented oregano with super-soft leaves
Orange Thyme: low-growing herb with a pleasant scent
Society Garlic: aromatic plant with bulbine-like leaves and garlic-like scent
Parsley: Larval host for the Swallowtail butterfly – wonderful caterpillars in the fall
Dill: Larval host for the Swallowtail butterfly – wonderful caterpillars in the fall
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