Rock Rose ?>

Rock Rose

Now later in the season, the Bluebonnets have faded, and the roadsides turn into a myriad of color.  One of the most commonly seen flowers is the Horsemint or Lemon Beebalm.  This purple flower with long stalks of radiating rings of lavender purple are common to our central Texas area.  They are a member of the mint family and are actually considered an herb.  They are the perfect plant to survive both the long droughts and flooding rainfall in the area.  This plant can be used as a culinary herb in food and tea, but probably the most impressive use is the essential oil of the plant.  It contains citronellol, which as you guess is used to repel mosquitoes during those backyard barbecues. 

As the name implies, these flowers are important to sustain the ecosystems of our bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  They prefer a sunny location with clay soils, often found in central Texas.  They are easy to grow from seed and will continue to propagate themselves year after year.

The next spotlight flower is the Rock Rose or Rose Mallow.  These bright pink woody shrubs are commonly seen in many native landscapes.  Naturally adapted to the central Texas area, they were first located in the heart of Texas from the Edwards Plateau down into the Rio Grande Plains. These plants prefer the more rocky areas of limestone soil. 

Extremely drought resistant they stand up to the tough heat of the summer Texas sun.  These showy beauties again are favorites for the hummingbirds and butterflies. These guys will bloom from late spring well into the fall.  The flowers resemble tiny pink hibiscus, mimicking their early morning opening and closure of the pedals in the evening.  They are very low maintenance and are perennial.  They are also easy to propagate by seed.  So be sure to share some with your friends, who are looking for showy xeroscape friendly landscape options. 

With all of the saturation we have had this year, I have noticed an abundance of day flowers around. They are also known as Narrow-leaf Dayflower, and are a member of the Spiderwort family. These beautiful cornflower blue flowers are known for their short lived duration. They grow through rhizomes.  They have flexible soil requirements, growing in clay as well as sand.  These guys do prefer a moister environment, but will go dormant until the next rain appears.

I must say, the Texas Wildflowers are out in full force this season. I recently went to see the best counselor in Austin for a visit.  He really has done a lot for me and my family.  His site is:  www.russellkauitzsch.com, if you ever need a wonderful counselor.  Anyway, I had to stop several times on the side of the road to take Wildflower pictures.  I know.  I know.  I’ve got issues.  Which is why I go see Russell. Lol  I’ll post the pics I took in the next post.


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