top of page
Plants for North Texas.


Abelia grandiflora

Semi-evergreen shrub with moderate growth rate. Best flowering in full sun. Blooms on new wood. Pruning should be done by removing the older branches from the base, in order to preserve the arching stems. The trumpet flowers are liked by hummingbirds & butterflies. Some but not all of its leaves take on a burnished or brassy hue in winter with some very coppery red leaves.

Glossy Abelia has no serious insect or disease problems. It is often used as a specimen or grouping for shrub borders or foundations. It is also effective as an informal hedge (plants tend to lose attractive graceful shape if pruned or sheared to a more formal hedge look). 

Attracts butterflies.


Mahonia trifoliolata

Agarita is a rounded evergreen shrub with beautiful gray-green, holly-like foliage and clusters of fragrant yellow flowers from February through April. Birds and small mammals love the fruit which also makes a delicious jelly.The leaves are very sharp and the deer leave this plant alone. It makes a good screening plant. Grow in sun or part shade and give it good drainage.


Deer resistant. Attracts birds.

American Beautyberry

Callicarpa americana

Wonderful, large understory shrub with a naturally loose and graceful arching form. In the fall and early winter, the branches are laden with magenta purple berry clusters that look spectacular as the leaves drop in autumn.  The shrub may temporarily defoliate and lose developing fruit during periods of prolonged summer drought.


The intense metallic purple fruits really become dramatic in mid-September and will hold that color until early December. The intensity of the color will fade with sun exposure, so you may notice the tops “bleaching” before the lower sides of the fruits.


Beautyberry is not plagued by any significant disease or insect problems and will grow well in either part sun or part shade. 

Valuable as a wildlife food plant.  Attracts butterflies and birds.

Blackfoot Daisy

Melampodium leucanthum

Blackfoot daisy has honey scented flowers from spring until fall. Flowers are white with yellow centers and resemble small daisies. Foliage is linear shaped giving the plant an overall fine textured appearance. It is less than a foot tall and two feet wide. 


Blackfoot daisy is a sturdy, mounding plant, that will flourish in rock gardens. It is heat and drought tolerant. Good drainage is essential. In late winter, older plants can be cut back halfway to keep them compact. Can be trimmed as needed when the plant becomes leggy.

Deer resistant.

Blue mistflower

Conoclinium coelestinum

A true butterfly magnet (and a great bee plant), blue mistflower is a must have in a garden. It can spread aggressively by rhizomes, so it should be planted with that in mind and given space. Grows to 3 feet high, but often lower.  It is the happiest in a part sun location, but can handle full sun and some shade. It can be pruned back if it gets too tall or becomes leggy. 

Recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees.

Supports Conservation Biological Control (A plant that attracts predatory or parasitoid insects that prey upon pest insects.) 

Attracts butterflies.

Bur Oak

Quercus macrocarpa

Bur oak is a large, deciduous tree with a very wide, open crown. It is a long lived, stately  tree that can exceed 100 ft. in height and width. The acorns of this species, distinguished by very deep fringed cups, are the largest of all native oaks.

Bur oak is capable of withstanding a wide range of harsh conditions and it is one of the most drought tolerant oaks.  It tolerates limey soils better than other oaks. It is resistant to oak wilt and a number of other problems but as many oaks, it is sensitive to root zone disturbance caused by construction. 


Bur oak makes a good urban tree since it is resistant to air pollution and car exhaust. It attracts songbirds, ground birds and mammals.  It attracts butterflies and is a larval host to Edwards Hairstreak and Horaces Duskywing butterflies. Attracts birds.

Butterfly Bush

Buddleia davidii

Typically grows from 6 to 10 feet tall by 4 to 10 feet wide with a rather open, arching form.  Buddleia attracts many varieties of butterflies including Fritillaries, Western Tiger Swallowtails, Tortoiseshells and Red Admirals. Red varieties may attract hummingbirds!

Butterfly bushes grow very fast and can reach mature size in 1 to 2 growing seasons. Butterfly bush flowers on new wood and therefore is best pruned low in the spring. Deadheading therefore is necessary and prolongs flowering time.

To trim the butterfly bush, with loppers chop back the weeping side branches to a cluster of main stems in the center of the bush. The center stem are left as tall as possible without having the tops droop down. Usually this means  some of the top growth is cut back a bit also. Even beefy side stems are removed if they are arching away from the main cluster of center stems. The result is a columnar plant that looks like a plucked chicken, but within a few weeks the bush is covered with fresh new growth.

Attracts butterflies.


Cephalanthus occidentalis

Buttonbush is a multi-stemmed shrub which grows 6-12 ft. or occasionally taller, and can be trained as a small, multi-trunked tree. Hundreds of ball-shaped, creamy white flowers appear sometime between June and August. Butterflies and insects find the nectar irresistible. 


Buttonbush is a handsome ornamental suited to wet soils and is also a honey plant. It serves as a nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Waterfowl and other birds relish the seed. It provides protective cover for all kinds of birds.


Buttonbush is naturally found in wet and boggy areas that are usually too wet for other perennial species to establish and thrive, but will grow just about anywhere you plant it, including upland sites. We had one grow in a typical urban setting in Fort Worth and it survived the drought years with very little supplemental irrigation after it was well established.


Thanks to its fast growing root system, buttonbush can be used as an erosion control tool. 

Recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees.  Special Value to Native Bees ; Special Value to Bumble Bees ; Special Value to Honey Bees. 


Attracts butterflies and birds.

Catmint 'Walker's Low'

Nepeta x faassenii 'Walker's Low'

Catmint is a very pretty mounding perennial easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. It thrives in dry soils and is very drought tolerant. It appreciates some afternoon shade. Shear flower spikes after initial flowering to promote continued bloom. Must be propagated by division because seeds are sterile.


It grows about 1-2 feet tall and about 2 feet wide. A good trim twice a year keeps the plant more compact. It features lots of small lavender-blue flowers and aromatic, gray-green foliage. Blooms from spring to fall under optimum growing conditions and proper shearing of spent flower spikes. It works well in rock gardens, border fronts, herb gardens or naturalized plantings. Also a good edging plant or small-scale ground cover.

Cedar Elm

Ulmus crassifolia

Cedar elm is a tough, hardy, drought tolerant shade tree that tolerates broad range of soil types, including heavy, infertile soils. Fall color is yellow. No need to rake the small leaves—they compost nicely. Young trees have corky wings on their branches.


Cedar elm is a larval food source for the Mourning Cloak and Question Mark butterflies. It is used by birds and small mammals and is not deer resistant.  It is susceptible to Dutch elm disease, but less so than American elm. It is reasonably fast-growing. It is also known to cause allergy reactions. 

Attracts butterflies.

Columbine, Red

Aquilegia canadensis

Shade-loving perennial with attractive foliage and eye-catching blooms. Also does well as a saucerless pot plant. The compound leaves, divided into round-lobed threes, are attractive in their own right. Attracts long-tongued insects and hummingbirds.  

Red columbine likes moisture but must be in well drained soil. Rich garden soil encourages rank vegetative growth and weak stems and shortens the plants lifespan, while plants in thin, sandy soils maintain a tight, compact habit and can live for many years. It is evergreen unless the temperature exceeds 110 degrees F or -10 degrees F, which will cause the leaves to go dormant until the temperature returns to a more tolerable level. Do not plant in continuous full sun, as growth will be stunted and leaves may burn.

Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Columbine, Texas Gold

Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana

Native to the Big Bend area of Texas. Bushy, clump-forming plant that typically grows 18-24" tall. Features large, butter-yellow flowers with long, outward curving spurs. Blooms in spring. 

Tolerates wide range of soils except heavy, poorly drained ones. Prefers rich, moist soils with light to moderate shade. This species tolerates heat and sun better than most other species, however remove flowering stems after bloom to encourage additional bloom. Keep soils uniformly moist after bloom to prolong attractive foliage appearance. When foliage depreciates, plants may be cut to the ground. Reseeds well in optimum growing conditions as long as flowers are not deadheaded.

Foliage usually declines by mid-summer at which point it should be cut to the ground.

Attracts butterflies.

Coral Honeysuckle

Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle features red, trumpet shaped flowers that start blooming from spring through July or August then sporadically thereafter. Plants can grow 10 to 20 ft. in moist fertile soils. It needs to be protected from browsing deer. Once established, plants are drought tolerant. Prune after flowering to shape and control. 


Unlike its invasive, weedy relative, Japanese honeysuckle (L. japonica), coral honeysuckle will not spread out of control, and its sparse vines won't strangle your shrubs. It is great for arbors. It benefits from protection from the evening sun.

Wherever coral honeysuckle grows, hummingbirds, bees and butterflies will find it. The flowers produce fruit relished by birds like the cardinal goldfinch, hermit thrush,  American robin and purple finch.  Coral honeysuckle is also a larval host for spring azure butterfly and snowberry clearwing moth.

Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and birds.

Best grown in full sun and average soil, but would also do well in light shade.  Don't over-fertilize.


Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Coralberry is most known for its clusters of coral-pink to purple berries.  The berries remain on the plant through the winter and are a nice contrast to the greenish-white flowers which bloom in the spring and into the summer.

Coralberry has slender stems with shreddy bark and green to blue mature leaves which turn red in the fall.  It forms extensive colonies and spreads by rooting where it touches the ground.  Coralberry grows well in our alkaline clay soils, is heat tolerant, and is a wildlife attractant.  It can also grow in poor conditions such as exposed soils and renovations sites.

Coralberry is an excellent choice for shady areas, especially if you would like to attract birds and bees. It has a natural look that fits well in a informal gardens. It will take some sun, but avoid planting it in full sun or harsh, afternoon sun locations.

Recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees. Supports Conservation Biological Control (A plant that attracts predatory or parasitoid insects that prey upon pest insects.) 

Attracts birds.


Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine  features showy, orange-red, trumpet-shaped flowers. Flower color varies from red to yellow, combination of both or can be completely brick red. It clings to structures without support and it is evergreen. It is relatively well behaved, but can spread. It blooms in the spring.


Crossvine tolerates some shade, but blooms best in full sun. It attracts hummingbirds and is an early nectar source for butterflies and hummingbirds.  

Desert Willow

Chilopsis linearis

Desert willow  is an excellent drought and heat tolerant ornamental tree that is drought tolerant with very decorative blooms and willow-like leaves. Flower color ranges from solid white or muted pink to darker rose and purple, as well as two-toned combinations of those colors. They most commonly come as multi trunk trees. It attracts hummingbirds and a variety of insects and butterflies.


Avoid excessive water and fertilizer, as that can lead to overly rapid growth, fewer blooms, and a weaker plant. Prolonged saturation can result in rot. Desert willow blooms heaviest May to June but will continue to bloom sporadically throughout the warm season after it rains.

Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees. Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and birds.

Fall aster

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium

Fall aster is a showy fall bloomer. It stays under 3 ft tall and does best in full to partial sun. It needs good drainage and it does not do well with wet feet. If it gets top heavy and leggy, prune it back by no more than half in June. After it goes dormant, cut back to the basal rosette  in early spring.

Fall aster is loved by bees and butterflies. In the winter it created a protective cover for the over-wintering birds.

Recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees.  Attracts predatory or parasitoid insects that prey upon pest insects.)

Flame acanthus

Anisacanthus wrightii

Hummingbird bush is one of the best plants to attract hummingbirds. It flowers best in full sun but it will tolerate light shade. The tubular flowers are either red or orange. This plant will lose its leaves in the winter. In favorable conditions it grows up to three feet wide and tall. It blooms from midsummer through frost. It is drought tolerant and heat-loving.


Hummingbird bush is late to come out in the spring, and benefits from periodic shearing or even severe cutting back in early spring. As with many other xeric plants, rain triggers blooms.

Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Deer resistant.

Four nerve daisy

Tetraneuris scaposa

Great pop of color for drought tolerant landscapes. Ideal for full sun exposure, slopes, tight spaces or rock gardens. Works well in container gardening. Four nerve daisy needs good drainage and is intolerant of wet spots. It has long blooming period, and sometimes even blooms during mild winters.  

Deer resistant. 

Fragrant mimosa

Mimosa borealis

An open small leaf shrub to be grown in full sun. Plant at the back of the border since it has small curving thorns.

This thorny shrub is covered with small, very fragrant pink puffballs in the spring. It is a good nectar source for bees and butterflies. Great for the xeric garden. Can take extreme heat and harsh conditions once established.

The pink fuzzy flowers are fragrant and stand out while in bloom. It is completely drought tolerant when established. 

Deer resistant.


Phyla nodiflora

Wonderful ground cover that peacefully coexists with other plants. Frogfruit spreads by runners. It is very tough and extremely drought tolerant, but can also tolerate flooding. It works well between stepping stones. Frogfruit  blooms from May to October.  It is a nectar source for butterflies, such as Phaon Crescent, White Peacock and Common Buckeye, as well as other insect pollinators.  It will grow in full sun and part shade. It can be evergreen during mild winters, but will go dormant during hard winters. 

Attracts bees and butterflies.


Oenothera lindheimeri

Tough perennial that is heat and drought tolerant. Best grown in sandy, loamy, well-drained soils in full sun. Good drainage is essential. 

Gaura is a clump-forming, vase-shaped, somewhat shrubby perennial which typically grows 3-4' tall and is perhaps best known for its 4-petaled, butterfly-like flowers and long bloom period (spring to early autumn). Pinkish buds along wiry, erect, wand-like stems open to white flowers which slowly fade to pink. Benefits from periodical trimming.


Calyptocarpus vialis

Great low growing ground cover for shade and sun locations. It will need adequate moisture in full sun, but can handle dry shade as well. Tiny yellow flowers attract small butterflies such as skippers and sulfurs. It goes dormant in the winter, and without adequate moisture can go dormant in the summer, especially in sunny but dry locations.  It can struggle if covered with a lot of leaves that do not decompose quickly. It can be mowed and co-exists well with other plants.

Lantana, Texas

Lantana urticoides

Texas lantana is a very drought tolerant, tough, spreading shrub. The stems develop thorns with age. Flowers are tubular and colorful -  red, orange, and yellow. Lantana flowers from April to October. Its fruit is round, fleshy, dark blue to black. The berries are poisonous to most mammals.

Lantana’s leaves give off a sharp aroma when touched and they can cause a skin rash. Mature plants tend to form large mounds that may be separated into smaller plants in the winter. 

Texas lantana is deciduous, dropping all leaves in the winter and leaving stems of gray, shaggy bark. These can be cut to the ground to keep the shrub small, or left to grow into thick trunk and branches. The wood of the lantana is especially tough and durable and has been used for weaving and crafts.

Texas lantana is a wildlife friendly plant. It provides food/shelter for bees, butterflies and birds. Many birds relish the fruit. Bees use the nectar in honey production. It is an excellent food source for many butterflies, especially swallowtails, hairstreaks, skippers, sulphurs and brush-foot butterflies. It is also a crucial food source for the larva of the Lantana Scrub-Hairsteak butterfly. Texas lantana is highly deer resistant.

Lantana is intolerant of insecticidal soap. Spraying with insecticidal soap will damage or kill it.

Attracts butterflies and birds. Deer resistant.

Lyreleaf sage

Salvia lyrata

Tough perennial for shady and partial sun spots. Lyreleaf sage makes a great evergreen groundcover, with somewhat ajuga-like foliage and showy blue flowers in spring. It takes periodical mowing and light foot traffic. 

Lyreleaf sage reseeds aggressively, which may be desirable if used as a fill plant or ground cover. If not desired, removing spent blooms before going to seed will prevent re-seeding. Tolerates periodic flooding and can take drought and overwatering. 

Attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Mexican Buckeye

Ungnadia speciosa

Mexican buckeye is a large shrub or small tree that is most commonly multi trunked. It has a tight look when grown in full sun and more open growth habit when grown as an understory tree. It has an overall irregular shape and pink flowers in early spring, just after the bloom of the redbuds. Brilliant yellow fall color and decorative seed pods on bare branches in the winter. Bees make an excellent honey from the flowers. The seeds are sometimes used by children as marbles or in crafts. The seedpods are mildly poisonous.


Mexican buckeye is very easy to grow in sun or shade in any well drained soil. It is moderate-growing, drought-resistant and resistant to cotton root rot.

Attracts butterflies. Deer resistant.

Mexican Bush Sage

Salvia leucantha

Tough, drought tolerant, highly pest resistant salvia with showy spikes of purple and white, or solid purple, blossoms. Also good as cut flower.

Native to Mexico and tropical Central America this salvia is a great addition to that sunny spot in any garden. Does well in areas with full sun and dry soil. Fuzzy lavender with white flowers.

Mexican Bush Sage blooms in the summer and fall and it is great for attracting hummingbirds into the garden. 

'Santa Barbara' is a compact variety.

Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Mexican Hat

Ratibida columnifera

This is a drought tolerant plant that withstands competition. Plants with rich, brown-purple ray flowers. Mexican Hat is a fast growing wildflower that is not fussy about soils and is easy to grow from seed. Showy flowers bloom over a long season. Foliage has a strong odor that repels deer.

Special Value to Native Bees (Recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees.) 

Attracts bees and butterflies. Deer resistant. 

Mexican Plum

Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum is a small single trunk ornamental tree that grows 15- 30 feet tall. It will produce showy white flowers early spring that are followed by purplish red fruit in late summer. The fruit is great for making jelly and preserves. Mexican plum is deciduous and leaves will turn yellow in the fall. It does well either as an understory tree, or in a sunny location.


Mexican plum can be slow to get established but is a fast grower once it does. It does best in a deep well drained soil.  It is relatively drought tolerant when established.


Trees in full bloom are sweet scented and often buzzing with nectar bees. Wildlife and birds love the fruit. As the bark matures, it gains character with a dark, papery exfoliation.

Special Value to Native Bees (Recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees.) 

Attracts butterflies and birds.


Rivina humilis

This short (12 to 18 inch) native perennial is an understory plant in local woodlands. The leaves are rather nondescript. The real attraction is the plant’s lovely flowers and brightly colored berries. The fruits are numerous, red and almost translucent, often appearing on the lower part of the stem while the upper part is still blooming.   The berries are much loved by birds providing them with winter food.  It will go dormant during drought, but will return when given ample water. Grow it in well drained moist soil in dappled to part shade.

Attracts birds.

Possumhaw Holly

Ilex decidua

A small tree grown in full sun or as an understory plant. The female plants have showy red fruit that persists in the winter unless the birds and wildlife are hungry.  The leaves are small and light green.  It makes a nice accent plant.

It is the widest ranging of all Texas hollies and can adapt to a wide range of soil conditions. It can be grown in shade, but it fruits best in partial shade to full sun. Females need a male pollinator for good fuit set. 

Berries attract songbirds. Possumhaw provides nesting sites for birds and nectar for the insects. 

Attracts birds.


Rosa spp.

Earth Kind and some old roses do very well in our gardens. There are some tried and true varieties that will leave you hungry for more. They can deal with our heat and are more drought tolerant than given credit. 

To name a few - Ducher is a great white flowering rose that does very well in part sun situation. Martha Gonzales is a wonderful, smaller red rose that is tough as nails. If stressed it will defoliate, but the foliage will come back as soon as the conditions improve. Cecile Brunner is an outstanding, very tough rose. It is very drought tolerant, reblooms several times a year and does not need much in terms of care. Belinda's Dream does not mind the Texas weather one bit and will reward you with wonderful medium tone pink blooms that are very fragrant. 

The key to growing roses is full sun location with good air flow, and proper irrigation (deep, infrequent watering at the root level).

Warning: Rose Rosette disease is rampant in North Texas. It has spread all over Fort Worth. It is fatal, and currently there is no cure. If you see diseased roses in your neighborhood, do not plant roses in your garden.

Roughleaf dogwood

Cornus drummondii

Roughleaf dogwood is a clumping shrub or small tree, to 16 ft., with flat-topped clusters of creamy-yellow flowers and hard, white fruit on reddish brown or gray branches. If grown as an understory tree it is open and delicate.  If grown in full sun it grows more like a dense shrub.  Clusters of small white flowers bloom in late spring.  White clusters of berries appear in late summer. White berry-like fruit, which is eaten by many birds and small mammals. It spreads by suckers and can form thickets, especially in moist soils.

This is a very adaptable plant and is found in nature in a variety of wet to dry situations. However it grows best in moist soils. The large showy clusters of tiny flowers provide nectar for many butterfly species. Many birds eat the white fruit clusters. Leaves turn red in the fall. 

Roughleaf dogwood is recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees.

Attracts birds and butterflies.

Rudbeckia, hirta

Rudbeckia hirta

This cheerful, widespread wildflower is a short-lived perennial across its range. Coarse, rough-stemmed plant with daisy-like flower heads made up of showy golden-yellow ray flowers, with disk flowers forming a brown central cone.

It is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Best in moist, organically rich soils. Tolerates heat, drought and a wide range of soils except poorly-drained wet ones.

Deadhead spend flowers to encourage additional bloom and/or to prevent any unwanted self-seeding. Whether or not plants survive from one year to the next, they freely self-seed and will usually remain in the garden through self-seeding.

Deer resistant. Attracts butterflies and birds.

Rudbeckia, fulgida

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'

Rudbeckia Fulgida is an easy to grow and long blooming perennial with cheery yellow flowers. It prefers a sunny location and prefers consistent moisture.


'Goldsturm' is an upright, compact cultivar with large bloom heads It spreads slowly through rhizomes, it is clump forming and usually grows to 2-3 ft tall. It flowers in summer through fall, is bee and butterfly friendly and makes excellent cut flowers.

Special Value to Native Bees (Recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees.) 

Attracts butterflies and birds.

Russian Sage

Perovskia atriplicifolia

This semi-woody perennial carries a cloud of small blue flowers on widely arching stems that grow 3-4ft tall and as wide. The effect is a charming, airy haze of soft blue against silvery gray, pungently aromatic foliage.

Bloom begins in July and continues right through September, which makes it an exceptionally long-blooming perennial. Plants are vigorous and very hardy, ignoring heat, drought, and pests, while always looking fresh.

Russian Sage becomes dormant in winter, losing all its leaves, and re-sprouting on the old wood again the next spring. In colder areas, it may die back all the way to the ground. Flowers may be pruned any time, but it is best to wait and see what re-sprouts in the spring before pruning branches.

Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum

Viburnum rufidulum

Rusty blackhaw viburnum is a small deciduous tree, usually growing to 18 ft. but sometimes taller. It  does well in partial sun to partial shade and prefers a deeper well drained soil.  It tends to spread in the sun and be more upright and open in shade. It has lustrous bright green glossy leaves, beautiful clusters of white flowers in spring, and attractive blue fruit in fall. 

The fruit tastes similar to raisins. The leaves turn gorgeous shades of red, yellow and orange. Rusty blackhaw is good for understory plantings. Loads of blue/black berries are a favorite treat of resident songbirds. It also serves as nectar for bees and butterflies.

Sage, Autumn

Salvia greggii

Autumn sage is a mounding shrub 2-3 ft. tall, with small, aromatic green leaves that are evergreen. The flowers can be red, pink, purple, or white. Autumn sage is wonderful to use as a small, flowering shrub in a perennial bed or as a low hedge. It is disease and insect free and drought tolerant, and once established, should not be fertilized.


Autumn sage needs well-drained site and will sulk in shrink-swell clay soils. In clay soils amend the soil properly and improve drainage. The plant is very brittle and breaks easy, so it is best to plant it away from heavy foot traffic. It flowers from spring to frost. Flowers attract bees and hummingbirds. As with many salvia species, leaves can be used fresh or dried for seasonings and teas, and the flowers are edible.


Trim or pinch tips continuously for nonstop blooming. In early spring, prune it a third to halfway back to produce thicker, more compact foliage and a shorter flowering plant. Pruning may delay flowering for several weeks, but it is important if you want to prevent leggy plants. On the other hand, if you want to encourage the plant to assume its maximum natural shape, however tall, only pick-prune.

Deer resistant. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Sage, Cedar

Salvia roemeriana

Fine plant for the well-drained shade garden. Its scalloped, rounded leaves and crimson blooms are as eye-catching in pots as they are against the limestone outcrops of its native habitat.

Has a hard time perpetuating itself under deciduous hardwoods, as the large leaves on the ground will block the emergence of seedlings and of the new years growth. It really is adapted to live under junipers/cedars. If you do plant them in areas with large, fallen leaves, keep leaves cleared from areas you want the plant to naturalize in. Also, it can become stressed and stunted in continuous full sun, so plant in dappled shade. 


Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Deer resistant.

Sage, Mealy Blue

Salvia farinacea

Mealy blue sage grows well in perennial borders and wildflower meadows. The foliage is aromatic and deer resistant. When new basal foliage appears, cut the old flower stems to keep the plants lush. Will bloom off and on throughout the summer. Butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy the nectar.

Mealy blue sage provides an attractive mass of color in beds, borders and naturalized areas. Wet soil will make the plant leggy and weak. It is an excellent plant for a flower bed, and is often planted in groupings to create an attractive mass of color. The leaves have a grayish cast which make a good contrast to lush green foliage of other plants. It is a good plant for a rock garden.

'Henry Duelberg' is a popular cultivar that reaches about 3 ft tall. 'Victoria Blue' is a smaller, more compact variety.

Deer resistant.  Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Special Value to Native Bees (Recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees.) 


Spiraea spp.

Spireas are very graceful bushes that vary in size and colors. They are very tough plants that are fairly drought tolerant.

Vanhoutte spirea (Bridal Wreath)

Bridal Wreath is a vase-shaped, deciduous shrub with branching that arches gracefully toward the ground. It is particularly noted for its showy spring bloom. Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Prune as needed immediately after flowering.


Spirea cantoniensis 'Lanceata' (Double Reeves)

Mounded shrub with graceful arching branches. Abundant double white flowers April-May. Moderate to rapid growth. Drought tolerant and very hardy. It is slightly smaller than Bridal Wreath.


Spirea bumalda 'Anthony Waterer'

Summer bloomer with a low shrubby growth habit. Anthony Waterer is a dwarf cultivar. The foliage is deciduous with a wine-red to maroon tinged new growth in the fall. The blooms are grown in flat clusters that are rose pink from late spring into the summer. 

Sumac, Aromatic

Rhus Aromatica

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of wide range of soils except those that are poorly drained. In fall it displays brilliant orange, red and yellow color. The fuzzy red fruit is enjoyed by many species of birds, including wild turkey, ruffled grouse and flickers; also by raccoons, opossum and deer.

For the most desirable shape and fall color, aromatic sumac should be grown in full sun. However, as it is thicket-forming, it makes an excellent ground cover in shade and is well suited for erosion control.In spring, fragrant sumac flowers appear before the foliage.

Attracts birds and butterflies. The flower is a nectar source for adult butterflies. The berries are winter food. Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees. Deer resistant. 

Texas Mountain Laurel

Sophora secundiflora

Drought-tolerant, prefers rocky limestone soil.  Like many woody plants native to rocky soils, it is slow growing. The fragrance of Texas mountain laurel flowers is reminiscent of artificial grape products. Needs good drainage. 

Texas Mountain Laurels usually reach a height of six to twelve feet, which allows them to fit well into the scale of the smaller modern garden. They often produce multiple trunks, and over time grow into show-stopping specimens. Texas Mountain Laurels are generally disease and pest-free, and tolerate a wide range of well-drained soils. They are native to the alkaline soils of the Texas Hill Country, and are often found growing among granite rocks.

Plant Texas Mountain Laurel in full sun or light shade. It will probably not be cold hardy north of Interstate 20.

Deer resistant. Attracts butterflies.

Texas Rock Rose

Pavonia lasiopetala

Texas rock rose is an extremely drought tolerant Texas native. This shrub-like perennial has loose, open growth habit. It features pink flowers that open in the morning and close in the afternoon. Flowers appear in early summer and last until fall. Its naturally open-branching form may be kept more compact by frequent pruning, which promotes new growth and more flowers. It is an excellent choice for North Texas gardens since it is able to survive the summer heat and adds color to the landscape.


Texas rock rose makes an excellent choice for landscaping. Able to survive the summer heat, its profusion of brilliant flowers adds a colorful touch to a dry landscape. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Texas Sage

Leucophyllum frutescens

Texas sage has delicate silvery to green leaves (depending on variety), and stunning displays of prolific purple blooms from summer into fall. It needs full sun and good drainage to thrive. It is susceptible to cotton root rot if soil does not have good drainage. Although watering in dry summer months will make it grow faster, overwatering or poor drainage will quickly kill it, and shade will promote leggy growth and less flowering. Trim to shape in late winter or early spring before buds form, and possibly again in early summer. It does not need to be fertilized.


Texas sage is extremely drought and heat tolerant and maintenance-free once established. During very cold winters it may lose a few leaves but they will reappear with warmer weather.  The deer do not usually bother this plant.

Deer resistant. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Turk's Cap

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Turk’s cap is a perennial flowering shrub that attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and moths.  It has a woody or semi-woody base and many stems, with leaves that are soft and velvety on the underside. It is usually 2 to 4 feet tall but may reach 5-7  feet.

Turk's Cap flowers are generally red but they also come in white and pink. They bloom from May to November with flowers appearing every day in the warm weather.


This plant is great under trees where you want some color. Drought tolerant after established.  Under cultivation, Turk’s cap will adapt to and thrive in many different sites, including full sun and heavy soil, though full sun will cause its leaves to become rougher, smaller, darker, and puckered. It dies back to the ground in the winter, but comes back in the spring. If kept cut back, Turk's Cap can be used as a tall ground cover.


Leaves, flowers and fruit are edible, raw or cooked. Use young, tender leaves in salads. As the leaves toughen they can be used cooked or used for dolmas. The flowers are welcome salad additions. The fruit is sugary and cucumber tasting.

Turk's Cap is a workhorse in the garden, and is very versatile. It is very wildlife friendly and frequently visited by bees, butterflies, moths, birds and hummingbirds.

Yaupon Holly

Ilex vomitoria

Only the female plants have the red berries that contrast to the dark green foliage during the season when most plants have lost all leaves. 

The evergreen large shrub or small tree is a nice accent or screening plant.   It is grown in full sun or as a understory plant.  Yaupons may reach 15 to 20 feet in height. 

Yaupon is a versatile plant that tolerates drought and poor drainage, with best production of red fruit when shrub gets half a day of sun or more. Many species of birds eat the fruit but usually only in late winter after several freezes and thaws. Mammals eat the fruit as well, and the flowers attract insects. Birds employ the dense branches for nesting sites.

Attracts birds and butterflies.

Please reload

bottom of page