It's Charleston, SC, it's the Fourth of July, and no surprise, it's waaay too hot. A few natives in my garden seem to bloom with indifference to the killing temperatures. Here's one I'm enjoying now...and for many weeks to come: Smooth Oxeye, Helianthus helianthoides aka False Sunflower. What tough beauties are shrugging at the heat in your garden?
What's a good Heat Beater native in your garden?
Butterfly Weed , asclepias tuberosa ,and some of its hybrids .
All the milkweeds...and goldenrod, ironweed, and all the native asters that I can't name.
Our faux winter this year along with an early spring and summer from Hell has resulted in abnormal growth of a number of the natives I grow.
My Tall Bellflower – Campanulastrum americana is displaying a dense flower spike more like a 5 foot tall Campanula glomerata.
My Downy Skullcap – Scutellaria incana that normally grows 30 to 36 inches tall is just starting to bloom at nearly 6 feet.
The Short-Toothed Mt. Mint – Pycnanthemum muticum is reaching 4 feet instead of 3.
Naked-Flowered Tick-Trefoil – Desmodium nudiflorum is noticeably more floriferous than usual, and taller.
Downy Rattlesnake-Plantain – Goodyera pubescens doing well despite the weather.
WOW! Greenthumb99, your photos are wonderfully inspiring! Are most of these shade lovers? I'm especially envious of your Downy Rattlesnake-Plantain. I've got a thriving Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium, but I've never heard of the Rattlesnake-Plantain. I looked it up and found it has lovely foliage as well as blooms! Would you recommend trying to grow it from seed?
Nothing in my yard gets more than 3 hours of direct sun. The Skullcap and Mt. Mint also get bright/high shade most of the day. The Bellflower, Tick-Trefoil and Rattlesnake-Plantain receive only dappled, woodland shade. My Rattlesnake-Plantain was given to me, so I'm unsure about raising it from seed. Haven't seen the seed being offered anywhere. Here are my notes from my potting up the bare root plants I obtained in early March:
Used a mix of:
¼ Pro Mix
¼ Leaf Gro (commercial leaf compost)
½ coarse builder’s sand
Filled 4”x4”x4” pots to within 1 inch of top.
Placed rooted stem/rhizome on top of mix.
Added about ½ inch or so of leaf mold with some of the above mix added in. Very loose and light.
All the plants have done well. When I planted them out I dug out the planting area to a depth of 8 or 10 inches and replaced the soil with the above mixture. Everyone seems to be thriving.
Coreopsis, also tends to feed the hungry deer, but it reseeds well!
Im enjoying Esperanza, Zexmenia, Salvia coccinea, lady in red and coral nymph, Ruellia brittoniana, pink and blue. All are full sun. photos tomorrow.
I have two different Ruellias--not the Mexican ones. They're both natives, I'm told. The creeping version (R. humilis) is thriving in full sun, and its flowers are a rich, bright purple. The upright version is a delicate lavender. It has abundant flowers that seem to last one day only. I don't know whether their short life span is natural or whether they're protesting the triple digit torture treatment. Still, they do open, and they do make a lovely (if brief) show. The color of this photo doesn't do them justice.
This message was edited Jul 9, 2012 2:09 PM
Sorry, not me.
Not in bloom right now, but prickly pears are somethings i have not worried about in the least with this extreme heat.
You sure it's Ruellia and not Mexican Petunias? Not that there is a HUGE amount of diff..
Well, now I'm wondering if the species "nudiflora'' is a clue to their habit of dropping all the blooms! Kittriana, in another location I do have some Mexican petunias--also a type of Ruellia, I believe. They're taller by quite a bit, and their leaves are longer and more pointy. Also, they're persistent and slightly aggressive. I pulled bunches of the Mexican petunias by the roots last year, hoping to free up a rose bush, and this year...well, you can guess. There they are, survivors and descendants of last year's thugs. No, I'm trying to grow and propagate native plants only in my little backyard hobby nursery: Rootsandshootsnursery.com
Mexican petiunias are Mexican ruellias- weeds- Texas has several native var of their own ruellias, I have a creeping one that doesn't thug out the little spot I put it, gets weed eated constantly, blooms every morning and trails down an edge embankment - blooms gone by heat of noon, and come rain or shine is there - but the Mex pets my dau likes we hack dwn and stick into hard to grow places to keep em. Frostweed knows these better than I. Mine was a volunteer at another home...
Ruellia is the genus. There are many species. I have R. brittoniana which is known as Mexican petunia. The R. nudiflora is also a Texas native but not declared invasive. There is Ruellia elegans which is red and beautiful and not thuggish. There are several others. Strangely perhaps, I adore my brittonianas but I have a different perspective on gardening than most. I love their dependability no matter the crazy Texas weather. I have them planted in masses and they are gorgeous. They do not spread quickly as a clump by roots but they cast a lot of seed. I have one bed that is surrounded by concrete so they are contained and my other beds are heavily mulched so no volunteers there. I have one border on a path and I just mow down the sprouts when they come up outside the border. Even grown plants are easy to pull if you pull sideways instead of up. If I get one where I dont want it, I just pull it up. I dont have an elm tree and I get thousands of elm seeds. If I miss one of the volunteers of this, there is no pulling it. It has to be dug. It is far more problematic than my "purple showers". They are a sea of blue until about 1 PM and the wind blows that day's blooms away but tomorrow there is another purple sea of blooms. Love those plants!
I guess I'll never have to buy another R brittoniana !
With the heat and drought both. Everything I'm not watering is dead. I have'nt gone into the woods to check on my Rattlesnake Plantian.(We also have a bear around.) And a deer is desperate for green stuff and has invaded my daylillys. My wild dwarf iris is hanging in there with only a one time water boost.
Just checked out the photos of the R. elegans. It's really gorgeous. Though I do have some non-native plants in my landscape, I'm trying to resist adding any. Unfortunately the R. elegans is native Chile to Brazil. Drat! On the other hand, all the little R. humilis are thriving and blooming, spreading along to create a nice groundcover. Here's the first shot I took before they went in the ground.
Shorthog, You're not far from me, Is the drought as bad in Barling as it is east of you?
It's been so hot and dry that even my Monarda and Liatris are wilting. I'll have to break down and water them tonight if it doesn't rain.
It is dry in the Arkansas river valley but the tops of the hills are starting to brown out from dying bushes and treees We need rain. I've been watering flowers / plants to keep them alive. My wild passion flower has really grown and bloomed. It has become the food source for hundreds of Gulf fritillary caterpillars. Hopefully I will have lots of beautiful butterfles this fall.
Definitely ruellia humilis. And the rudbeckias and echinecias.
The wildflowers in Illinois have bloomed, seeded and gone dormant- the Queens Anne Lace, however, doesn't appear to even be slowing down
I can't believe the Missouri Botanical Gardens website has this to say about your absolutely gorgeous Scutellaria incana;
" Although an interesting wildflower, this species is infrequently sold by nurseries because its ornamental values are somewhat marginal."
Marginal ornamental value?? I am absolutely going to find one and plant it ASAP. I think it's spectacular! Also, I ordered a Rattlesnake Plantain, inspired by your photo. I love learning about new and slightly unusual native plants. Thanks!
Here's my Wisteria frutescens, only one year old, and doing fine despite infernal temps.
Jane - Don't know why my Scutellaria incana is doing so well. I have a patch in a shadier location that is only 30 -36 inches tall and not as filled out. All my plants were winter sown in January two years ago. The photo below shows the three-one year old plants (about 24" tall) after planting last summer that produced the clump in my above photo this year. As you can see, our soil is not exactly a gardener's envy, and all I did was add compost to the hole at planting time. Would you believe that the two photos were taken exactly one year apart - July 22.
Red sage, coral honeysuckles, coreopsis, and Indian blankets are doing well.
I see the Smooth Oxeye, Heliopsis helianthoides mentioned quite often . Sounds like a good one for our heat .
The only think that seems to prefer this hot dry weather is my Lemon tree - which is not native to Colorado!
I am still trying to start Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium) from seed. Supposed to be great for xeric conditions.
Checked USDA plants database. E yaccafolium is not native here but it looks like it would grow here. I might have to try it.
Does anyone have Red, White, or Blue things blooming now?
My red is Monarda, I have big white seed pods on my Asclepias syriaca, and blue blooms on the Stokes asters and agastaches. Unfortunately, I didn't get the blue penstemon seeds planted this year. That's on the "to do" list for next year.
I guess that I need to do like my neighbor; plant lots of USA flags around the house. Red, white, and blue flowers would be limited to non natives. A deep red hibiscus, white pentas, and blue larkspur.
Some of the my natives are flourishing. The wild ruellia, pinks, and liatris.
A glorious fourth !!!!
I love love love the Rattlesnake Master. First saw it in a meadow at NEWFS botanic garden in Massachusetts. I wanted to plant it in my white memory garden for my dog, but that's mostly shade. In any event, I must be working too hard at trying to germinate them. I did read this spring they might need some stratification, good grief!
Last year I started some Echinops ritro to get the round thing out of my system. They are about to bloom the first time, and I have been enthralled at images. I can only hope the real thing is half as pretty.
Most of my reds are the gaillardia 'burgundy', achillea red, pentas.
Whites - oakleaf hydrangeas, obedient plant, Shasta Daisy 'Becky', fleabanes, Solidago ptarmicoides, mountain mint . ...and I do believe the mystery monarda is in fact the bradburiana.
Blues: liatris, balloon flowers, West TX Mistflower (!), Black and Blue salvia, Agastache,
If the rain would keep to itself for a little while, more flowers might emerge.
Thankful to be free,