The milder and wetter summer here has been a boon to flowers. By mild, I mean that the highs are in the 90’s rather than the usual 100 plus. Usually by mid July, everything would be shriveling up.
This Flame Acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var wrightii) is still sprouting flowers every day. It’s also known as a Hummingbird bush and Mexican Flame.
Flame Acanthus is native from west and south-central Texas into northern Mexico. It is named for Charles Wright, botanical collector, who collected extensively in Texas from 1837-1852. He also collected in Cuba and his native Connecticut.
Flame Acanthus is a deciduous shrub that blooms from summer to the end of fall. It dies in the winter and new shoots come up in the spring.
Even a few Balloon Flower or Chinese Bell Fowers blossoms are opening. Balloon Flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus) bloom consistently every year. I just need to remember to deadhead them more often because they won’t bloom without that.
The Blue Mist Flowers (Conoclinium greggii) are just coming into their own and attracting butterflies like honey draws flies. Grow it in full sun where it thrives, and they will come.
Gold Lantana brightens its corner.
New Gold Lantana is a Texas Superstar Plant, which means it’s drought tolerant and survives many different soil and weather conditions.
The older varieties of Lantanas are hardy but are considered weeds because the birds eat the seeds and spread them. Also, they tend to be tall and lanky and drop their flowers after rains.
The new improved varieties have been sterilized. They bloom profusely without the berries and spread out. They are an asset to the garden. Just keep the spreading characteristic in mind when planting. Another bonus: all Lantana is considered deer resistant.
Each morning the wind blows through this spreading White Gaura. It provides a good morning wave and makes me chuckle.
White Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri) is also called Lindheimer’s Beeblossom. It is a perennial native to the U.S. The four petal white flowers open early in the morning. I’ve read that the flower fragrance smells like cat urine. I don’t really detect any smell.
The buzz of the bees on the Gaura was loud when I was up close photographing them. A few landed on me but took off with a shake of my hand. These bee were constantly on the move. Near the top of the picture one is visible. These are smaller bees than the bumble bees on some other bushes in the yard.
This species is named after Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer (1801-1879), who is often called the Father of Texas Botany because of his work as the first permanent-resident plant collector in Texas. He was a German immigrant, who came as a political refugee. Lindheimer is credited with the discovery of several hundred plant species.
Remember the lyrics:
Every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright
You look happy to meet Me.”
It’s a joy to look out my windows and be greeted by all the flowers.
“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.” John Ruskin