Antelope- Horns, ( Asclepias asperula ) Milkweed family. Bloom period March--November.
Almost all of the Asclepias are considered very poisonous yet they are some of the major medicinal herbs. A native pernnial plant.
For more info see the Plant Files, http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/54138/index.html
Mexican Hat, ( Ratibida columnaris ) Sunflower family.
Native Perennial, bloom period March-November, most of the these flowers are bicolor in various combinations, although there is a solid yellow.
For more info see the plant files http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/801/index.html
Carolina Modiola (Modiola caroliniana), Malvaceae Family, Texas native, annual/biennial/perennial, blooms early spring to late summer, subshrub/shrub/
The color of the 1/2 inch or less bloom is difficult to describe and the color varies somewhat in hue. The leaves can be several types of shapes.
For more information see its entry in the PlantFiles: http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/65514/index.html
Country Sida, Southern Sida, Country Mallow, Heartleaf Sida, Bala, Flannel Weed, Wire Weed (Sida cordifolia), Malvaceae Family, Texas native. perenial/annual, blooms late spring to early fall
Country Sida is considered to be a weed by many and can be invasive because of its self-seeding. Although it is also classified as a subshrub or shrub, I am entering it here because its bloom color and shape closely resembles other plants that I am posting here. I will make another entry in the "Shrubs" thread with a link back to this thread.
I could not find much information about its distribution in Texas; but, found lots of information referring to its use as an herb and in herbal products (can be dangerous - see below). iIt is commonly found in fields, pastures and abandoned home sites, as well as along roadsides.
It has erect stems, is ligneous (a plant having woody parts, especially stems) and grows to a height of between 2 and 3 feet. The stem branches several times. The 2.5-5 cm long leaves are cordate (heart-shaped with the leaf stem attached to the inside point of the heart), ovate and oblong with serrated margins. They are covered with fine hairs whcih gives them a felt-like appearance and a light green color. The small blooms may be goldish orange (as shown below) or goldish yellow and are in dense clusters at the end of the branches. The 6-8 mm in diameter seed capsules are divided into 10 chambers and have two fine bristles at one end. Due to its having a well developed tap root, it is very drought tolerant as well as difficult to transplant without killing it unlees it is a very young plant. Used as an external poultice, the leaves provide a cooling effect and are an astringent.
Warniing: Although this plant is tauted to have all sorts of medicinal uses when ingested internally as a tea or powder, the same stimulating ephedrine alkaloid which has caused the Chinese plant Ma Huang to have much notoriety when used as a cardiac stimulant is found in country sida. The concemtration is weaker, however, than is found in Ma Huang. Small amounts of these alkaloids are marketed and labeled as being useful for body building, weight loss, "pep," and as performance enhancers, as well as a substitute for illicit drugs such as MDMA. These products are described as "natural" or "herbal".
The Food and Drug Administration has reports of harmful side effects resulting from ingesting these products. Among them are heart palpitations, heart attacks, strokes and psychoses. Several states have banned supplements that contain ephedrine, one of these being Ephedra. Its interactions with presceiption drugs and other supplements may cause a fatal reaction. However, if one does a search for "Sida cordifolia" images, most of the images that appear are of bottles of supplements for sale. If one searches for information about this plant, most of what is found describes its medicinal value.
Sooo ... I wouldn't make a tea with it and drink it, smoke it or eat its leaves or roots. Read all the labels on any supplements you may take because I have seen ephedrine and Sida cordifolia listed as ingredients in many of them.
Capeweed, Creeping Lip Plant, Frog-Fruit, Frog's Bit, Licorice Verbena, Turkey Tangle Fogfruit (Phyla nodiflora), Verbenaceae Family, Texas native, perennial, blooms from spring to fall
In its native habitats, frog-fruit can be found in moist sandy or rocky areas and is adaptable to most soils. It prefers a moderately fertile soil, but succeeds in poor soils. Preferring poor sun, when grown in shade the plant makes a lot of vegetative growth but does not produce many blooms. The compact round bloom clusters are about 0.5 to 0.8 inch in diameter.
( Native ) Plains Coreopsis, ( Coreopsis tinctoria ) Lovely annual that can cover large expanses, 1 to 3 feet high, a very attractive wildflower, often used in cultivated gardens. See plant files; http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/31/index.html
( Native ) Indian Blanket, ( Gaillardia pulchella ) Sunflower family.
Lovely annual wildflower blankets entire fields in the Spring. Also called Firewheel. See plant files http://davesgarden.com/pf/showimage/60111/
Scarlet Pea, Texas Indigo, Butterfly Shoestring-Pea (Indigofera miniata), Papilionaceae Family, Texas native, deciduous, blooms from April through September
It is a prostrate (usually between.3 to 1.0 feet tall) legume with trailing, spreading stems that arise from from a woody base and a large tuberous root. The stems run mostly along the ground and are between 4 and 30 inches long. It usually forms a mat of vegetation and sometimes forms colonies. It is commonly found on prairies, woodlands and along creeks. In Texas, it grows in the Pineywoods, Gulf Prairies and Marshes, Blackland Prairie, Post Oak Savannah, South Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau and the Rolling Plains regions.
It is an excellent plant to use for erosion control. It is eaten by wildlife (is a good deer browse) and livestock including cattle, sheep, goats and horses. As a small mammal cover, it is also valuable. It is a larval host for butterflies including the Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funeralis), False Duskywing (Gesta invisa), Ceraunus Blue, Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), Cassius Blue (Leptotes cassius) and Reakirt's Blue (Echinargus isola).
Kisses Gaura (Gaura suffulta ssp. suffulta), Onagraceae Family, Texas native, annual/perennial, blooms March through June
This gaura grows in the moist rich soils of the Edwards Plateau and mostly east of the Balcones Escarpment. Occasionally, it inhibits disturbed sandy to clayey soils in grasslands and open areas. Look for it along roadsides, in prairies and regularly mown embankments along freeways. It is a bit gangly; but, it is suitable for rock gardens, wildscapes, xeriscapes and other landscape areas that have well drained soil.
Ball Moss (Tillandsia recurvata), Bromeliaceae Family, perennial, epiphyte, blooms (insignificant) all year
There are few plants that I hate, but this is one of them. Ball moss is an epiphyte that gets its nutrients from the atmosphere and does not rob the host plant of its nutrients. However, the fact that heavy infestations keep the sunlight from reaching the leaves, the leaves die and the branches that are covered die. The smaller branches break off constantly with the wind, rain (the moss becomes wet and heavy) and especially squirrels running and jumping on them. Many quite large branches have completely died by being smothered by the moss or because the limbs above are so heavily covered that the sunlight cannot reach the lower limbs.
Velvet leaf, Butter print, China jute (Abutilon theophrasti), Malvaceae Family, naturalized, annual (sometimes a short lived perennial), forb/herb (sometimes called a subshrub because of its size), blooms from June through October, invasive
It has a large taproot and attains a height between 1 foot to over 7 feet. It is covered with short, soft, velvety hairs. The Chinese used (use) the plant for many ailments such as stomachaches, fever and dysentery and in experiments, it has been shown to be a depressant. It produces a strong fiber in the stems, China jute, that can be used in the making of rugs.
Colorado: Noxious weed
Iowa: Secondary noxious weed
Oregon: "B" designated weed, Quarantine
Washington: Class A noxious weed, Noxious weed seed and plant quarantine
The orangey-red color starts appearing in early June and spreads to its fullest extent by the end of November. It reseeds prolifically. Seeds should be planted in January. This plant can handle heat very well.
Queen’s Delight, Queen's-Delight, Texas Queen's Delight, Texas Queen's-Delight, Texas Toothleaf (Stillingia texana), Euphorbiaceae Family, Texas native, perennial, blooms from April through September, yellowish-green blooms are inconspicuous
Texas toothleaf is native to New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. It is very drought tolerant due to its deep woody taproot, prefers dry soil and can be found in open areas in fields and on hillsides. In Texas, it grows mainly in the calcareous soils of the Rio Grande Plains and the Edwards Plateau, but can be found throughout the state.
Texas toothleaf has an erect habit with multiple stems and its alternate, serrated, glossy, thin, linear leaves are quite attractive. Its yellowish-green blooms appear on spikes and are not showy. The leaves are clumped under the blooms. The male and female blooms are found on the same spike with the male bloom being above and female bloom below. It produces a milky sap that may cause skin blisters. It has been used to cure ringworm.
Common Cocklebur, Rough Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium var. glabratum), Asteraceae Family, Texas native, annual, blooms in late summer through early fall, greenish blooms are inconspicuous, considered a weed by many
Common Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium var. glabratum) is a weedy, taprooted, wetland native plant that is widely distributed throughtout Texas as well as other states. It can be found growing around watering holes, arroyas, playas, cropland (especially corn fields), fallow fields, degraded meadows, stabilized areas of beaches and sand dunes, the floodplain zone of rivers and ponds, vacant lots and disturbed areas. It prefers a loamy or sandy and moist to mesic (neither to moist nor too dry) soil.
Young seedlings give off toxic chemicals that can inhibit germination of other species of plants and/or kill off their seedlings. The toxicity level lessens as the plants mature. All classes of livestock may be poisoned by the cocklebur. Seedlings and seeds are the most toxic parts of the plants. Usually, livestock do not eat the seeds. However, if furnished hay or cottonseed feed contaminated with cocklebur serious problems and even death may occur. Pigs eating a sufficent amount of young plants may be poisoned. It does Deer occasionally eat the upper half of mature plants before the bur-like flowers form. Sometimes horses and cattle eat the mature plants with the bur-like flowers. This can lead to obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract. The purple finch and Franklin ground squirrel eat the seeds with no ill affects.
Common Cocklebur, Rough Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium var. glabratum)
The very conspicuous, hard, spiny, football-shaped fruits have many spines and contain 2 compartments that each house 1 seed. One of the seeds in each bur may germinate the following year with the other seed taking at least 2 years to germinate. The burs stick to fur and clothing and can be very difficult to extract. Often they form tangled clots in the fur of animals which have to be cut out.
Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides), Bromeliaceae Family, Texas native, perrenial, blooms in late spring through early summer, blooms are inconspicuous (chartreuse to blue)
Spanish moss tendrils can grow to 25 feet in length is "Unlike ball moss, Spanish moss does not develop the very dense growth around the limbs and for that reason is not considered to be a problem on trees." (Texas Cooperative Extension Horticultural Service,Texas A&M University). The scaly covering receives and holds moisture, enabling the plant to dispense with roots. Birds and the wind carry fragments of the plant to new locations which is in all probility the commonest means of propagation. The seed pod opens in winter releasing dozens of fluffy seeds that drift in the wind. Many kinds of birds use pieces of Spanish moss for nesting material and/or to conceal their nests. The yellow-throated warbler and northern parula intertwine their nests into the moss itself. Their nests look like tennis balls hanging in the tendrils. Egrets, owls, mockingbirds and squirrels use Spanish moss for nest bedding. Spanish moss serves as a place to roost for several species of bats and one species of spider, the Pelegrina tillandsiae, inhabits only Spanish moss. Chiggers and rat snakes which eat the roosting bats, live in the moss as well. Deer, wild turkey and horses eat it; however, it has little nutritional value.
Spanish moss has been used for many things. Native Americans used it as the first "disposable" diaper, and colonists used the moss mixed with mud to caulk their cabins. In the past, Spanish moss has been used for clothing, bulk livestock feed, bedding and mattresses and kindling for fires. Commercially processed Spanish Moss has been used as packing material, auto seat stuffing (Henry Ford used it in his first Model T seats; but, it hasn't been used since 1975 for this purpose), saddle blankets, bridles, braids, and even filament to repair fishermen’s nets. Because it retains moisture so well and is a great source of nitrogen, it has always made an excellent mulch. It is also used in the arts-and-crafts trade. Herbalists use it in a tea to relieve rheumatism, abcesses and birth pains. In the past, doctors prescribed medicines containing Spanish moss extracts to treat diabetes. In 1998, research was being conducted by Northeast Louisiana University exploring uses of Tillandsia unsneoides to control blood glucose levels.
Burridge's Greenthread is an annual Texas wildflower naturally occurring only in about 7 counties in Texas. Botanical name is Thelesperma burridgeanum. Also available as Cosmidium burridgeanum, the cultivated plant usually grown from seeds. Popular in Britain, but less available here. I suspect it could eventually become endangered in the wild because of limited distribution and increased development. It is 12 to 28 inches tall and has threadlike leaves. It prefers sandy soil and warm temperatures and blooms about April to June.
Umbrella Plant, Umbrella Papyrus, Umbrella Palm (Cyperus involucratus), Cyperaceae Family, naturalized, perennial, blooms all year
( Note; Cross-referenced in Aquatic and Bog Plants)
Altough this plant is perfect for ponds and bogs, it grows in theregular landscape as well and does not require as much water as may be sugested in its description. With less water. it does not grow as tall. I love this plant because it gives a tropical feeling to the landscape area in which it growing. It will die back after a hard freeze, but returns quickly in the spring. It is suitable for growing in containers.
This species was first identified by Scheele and are native in limestone soil in slopes, canyons, outwashes, and flats from the northeastern Rio Grande plains to the hill country and Edwards Plateau of Texas. Texas Green Lily blooms in the late spring with tiny greenish flowers and have extruded pinkish stamens and a faint sweet scent. Not showy but very interesting. The grassy leaves remain in active growth for most of the year and the plants are not invasive. They can be planted in a poor, dry spot, where they will persist; but I grow them in clay pots to ensure the well-drained conditions they need to thrive.
Dwarf Indian Mallow, Small Leaf Indian Mallow, Littleleaf Abutilon, Small-Leaved Abutilon (Abutilon parvulum), Malvaceae Family, native, perennial
Its native habitats include disturbed areas, rocky slopes, dry plains, gravelly flats, foothills, grasslands and desert scrubs. The bloom color varies and includes red is a brick-red and to a goldish-orange. Because it has a small, trailingly or sprawling habit, it may be grown in containers including hanging baskets. It is sutable for rock gardens, wildscapes and xeriscapes.
The male flowerheads are pendulous meaning they hang down with the anthers exserted meaning that they are stuck out of the heads. The female heads are located beneath the male heads on the inflorescence stalks and above the highest leaves. The pollen can cause allergic reactions
Common Ragweed, Annual Ragweed, Short Ragweed, Annual Bur-Sage (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
A very close view of the Common Ragweed, Annual Ragweed, Annual Bur-Sage (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) male flowerheads showing the fine hairs and some of that infamous pollen falling from the top right flower ...
A larger leaf and faster growing version of Dutchman's Pipe Vine It is a larval host for the Pipevine Swallowtail.. A beautiful Butterfly that is often mistaken for the Black Swallowtail, yet it is poisonous to their preditors, unlike the Black Swallowtail.
I have seeds and will plant this in my host garden in 2007, then I will have my own photos of this plant, however until then here is what I can post now with permission.
Narrowleaf marshelder, narrow-leaf sumpweed (Iva angustifolia), Asteraceae Family, native, annual or biennial, blooms flowering occurs from July to October or September thru October depending upon how far north its habitat is
Narrowleaf marshelder is located in all vegetational areas of Texas except the Panhandle Region. In areas of high rainfall, it tends to be habitate elevated, well-drained areas; whereas, in regions of low rainfall, it can be found in drainage ditches, along creek beds and low-laying areas. It inhabits roadsides, disturbed areas, fallow fields, fallow rice fields, wet fresh water marshes, wet meadows, around ponds and lakes and wet prairies.
Narrowleaf marshelder is usually an annual , but can be a biennial. It has fibrous roots and can grow to 6 feet tall; however, it usually reaches half this height. The stems are hairy, erect and branched. The stems of young plants are often purplish. The 2-5" long, 1/2-3" wide leaves are hairy, mostly opposite, simple, oval-shaped, entire or only slightly serrate along margin and pointed at end tips. They are reduced to bracts in the head-bearing area. The yellowish green to cream in colored flowers with no petals are in small heads with several heads arranged in a group of crowded racemes up to 15cm long, each head up to 4mm long. The heads are crowded and inserted in the leaf axils. The flower parts can not be seen with the naked eye. The pollen may cause serious hay fever, asthma snd allergic conjunstivitis. The leaves produce a skin rash in some people. Being a member of the sunflower family, the fruits are achenes. The inconspicuous dry fruits are 2-3mm dark brown, flat, triangular-shaped which contain 1 seed. Narrowleaf marshelder has a scent similar to ragweed and can be mistaken for it. The seeds are eaten by small ground feeding birds, puddle ducks, pheasants and bob-white quail.
Caution: Narrowleaf marshelder is toxic in its early stages of growth. The toxin in is unknown. Being a very abundant plant, it is unavoidably heavily grazed. It has been documented that when cattle ate large amounts of the young plants in the 2- to 8- leaf stage of growth, consumption has been associated with abortions at 4 to 8 months of gestation. Cows in mid-gestation should not be placed in dry pastures that contain areas heavily infested with narrowleaf marshelder. To avoid pre-mature birth during mid-gestation, the time of breeding can be altered so that plants are large enough for cows to ingest with no ill affects. In experiments, rabbits consuming the plant as half of their diet either had stillborn pups or gave birth prematurely or had weak pups that died by 3 days old.
Cheeseweed Mallow, Little Mallow, Small-flowered Mallow (Malva parviflora), Malvaceae Family, naturalized, annual/biennial/perennial, blooms late winter through mid-spring, considered a weed by many
Cheeseweed mallow can grow in semi-shade, such as a light woodland area, or full sun.. It requires moist soil, but is noit picky about soil type nor soil pH. Its foliage is a beautiful deep green and the leaves have a lovely shape having 5 to 7 toothed, rounded lobes. The .25 inch wide bloom is may be white, pale blue-lilac or pale pink. They are hermaphroditic (having both male and female organs). The flowers emerge from the leaf axils are are not easilt seen unless you are looking for them. The fruits are disk-shaped, wrinkled and have sections. They resemble a sliced wheel of cheese; hence, one of the plant's common names, "cheeseweed". This "weed" is very attractive and obviously needs no care, but it requires a large space in which to grow. In addition, rabbits don't eat it (don't know about deer). Sow seed in early spring in situ.
The leaves and seed are edible. The leaves may be eaten raw or cooked as a potherb. Some people use the leaves as a sustitute for lettuce. They have a pleasant mild taste. IImmature seeds may be eaten raw or cooked and they are used to make a creamed vegetable soup similar to pea soup with a few leaves thrown in for coloring. Because the seeds are so small, not many people bother with collecting them. They have a nut-like flavor.
A hair rinse to remove dandruff and to soften the hair has been made from the leaves and roots. Cream, green and yellow dyes can be produced from the plant and the seed heads. The whole plant has been employed as a poultice on swellings, running sores and boils.
Caution: This plant is listed as a poisonous plant in the PlantFiles which is a bit misleading. Many crop and weed plants accumulate nitrate to potentially toxic concentrations when growing under certain adverse environmental conditions such as drought. The following weeds are nitrate-accumulating: pigweed (Amaranthus spp.), lambsquarter (Chenopodium spp.), dock (Rumex spp.) and nightshades (Solanum spp.). The following c rop plants are nitrate-accumulating: corn, sorghum, oats, barley, beet tops and wheat. Fertilizers containn itrate and it is a common contaminant of water. If exposure ito these sources is of a sufficient amount, nitrate intoxication can occur. Soooo, watch what you eat and know from where it has come.
Cheeseweed Mallow, Little Mallow, Small-flowered Mallow (Malva parviflora)
The plant in its native habitat in early spring growing in almost pure caliche ... it is much larger now. Cheeseweed mallow needs a lot of spce in which to grow. Although the blooms may be considered insignificant especially for such a large plant, the plant is beautiful. It reseeds easily ... so if you want to try growing it, watch out. It may take over your yard. :o)
Bloom Color: White, Green
Bloom Time: Apr, May, Jun
Native Habitat: Thickets on rocky hillsides; found in Bell, Burnet, Palo Pinto, and Parker counties, as well as Brown, Comanche, Eastland, and Johnson counties. Central, south and west Texas. (This photo was taken in west Bexar county).
Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Conditions Comments: Green milkweed vine is not a bold plant but the green star-shaped flowers with a pearly irridescent center are lovely and curious. Use as a novel woodland-edge garden feature. Blooms best with plenty of sun, but does well in some shade also. The Large interesting seed pod open up to release silky seed threads and many seeds. Members of the Milkweed family are host to Queen and Monarch butterflies.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: High
Propagation Material: Seeds
My comment: Can be invasive if given garden conditions
USDA: Find Matelea reticulata in USDA Plants
ITIS: Find Matelea reticulata in the Integrated Taxonomic Information System
FNA: Find Matelea reticulata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Matelea reticulata
Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: LMD, NPIS
Native Plant Bibliography: 286
Gulf Indian Breadroot, Brown-Flowered Psoralea, Redflower Scurfpea (Pediomelum rhombifolium), Papilionaceae Family, native, perennial, blooms March through July
Gulf Indian breadroot a native of the South Texas Plains and Edwards Plateau is typically found growing in sandy soils; however, it also is found in rocky soils as well. It is a trailing herb that grows from a large tuber and branches at the crown. The branching can be up to a meter long and it grows to about 6 inches tall. The leaves are pinnately trifoliate (have 3 leaflets) and vary in shape depending upon what part of the branch the leaves are located. Some are sort of arrow shaped, others are roundish-oval and others are of various shapes inbetween. The bloom clusters are small; however, they are worth a close look. The colors are very unusual. It waa difficult to find the plant's identity due to it having a bloom color that is so different from other members in the Pediomelum genus as well as its differing growth habit. I finally found it at a website based in Mexico. The corolla may be brick-red, rust colored, an orangey-rust, an orangey-pink or very rarely white with the banner (top petal) having a nice splotch that sets off the other colors. The banner is a somewhat paler or lighter color than the other petals. A beautiful plant that is very suitable for wildscapes, rock gardens and other landscape uses. I don't know if it would be suitable for containers unless they are very deep due to its deep growing rootstock.
Basket Flower, Basketflower, American Star Thistle, American Knapweed, Thornless Thistle, Powderpuff Thistle, Cardo del Valle, Shaving Brush (Centaurea americana), Asteraceae Family, native, annual, blooms from May through August
I am always so happy to see the basket flower begin blooming. I think that the bloom buds are as beautiful as the fully opened blooms. The flower grows in sandy or clay-loam soils in edges of fields, prairies disturbed areas, over-grazed pastures, roadsides in all regions, but especially in the Edwards Plateau and South Texas Plains. It is most commonly found growing in prairies. Basket flower is the most common wildflower in the state and is considered by many as being the showiest (besides the bluebonnet, of course).
It may grow as tall as 5 or 6 feet with a 3 foot or more width, but typically reaches a height of 4 feet. It has a solitary stem that is marked by grooves or ridges. The spineless stem is thick and sturdy with many branches in the upper section. The 2.5 to 3.5 inch, alternate, stalkless leaves are lance-shaped. They may be shallowly toothed or entire. The up to 4-inch in diameter flowerhead is constructed entirely of disk flowers. Each one has an extremely long corolla. The pink to lavender, rarely white, petals look somewhat like a thistle with a cream colored center. They are held in a basket-like structure made up of distinctive green, prickled phyllaries. Itt has a basket weave pattern to it; hence, the most widely used common name of the plant. Butterflies relish the blooms and the seeds serve as food for dove and quail. The blooms are frequently used in fresh as well as dried floral arrangements.
Note: The basket flower plants near me bloomed right on time - May 1st. The plants and blooms are huge this year. It sure makes a difference when the wildflowers are blessed with lots of rain.
Linda, I have seen some that are already about 5 feet tall. I guess you have too. I was wondering today why I see many of the basket flowers all by themselves when they produce so many seeds. I thought maybe the ones I see that are solitray have been "planted" by animals or wind so they are not by the mother plant.
I wonder, Josephine, why you haven't had any luck with them. Did you sow the seeds in the fall?
Narrowleaf Goldshower (Galphimia angustifolia), Malpighiaceae Family, endemic, perennial, subshrub, blooms from April through September
Narrowleaf goldshower usually grows in rocky limestone soils from the Edwards Plateau Region south to Mexico in open or lightly wooded areas and open rocky slopes. Preferring to be sheltered from the hot afternoon sun, it requires some morning sun to prosper so it can be found at the edges of woodlands. It typically occurs in very small colonies. A subshrub that has a semi-woody base, it has a hard woody root, numerous erect stems and attains a height between 6 and 12 inches. Being a plant that is small in stature and having small blooms, it is easily overlooked.
The 25-50 mm long, linear lanceolate, opposite leaves are sessile (lacking stems) or nearly so. The racemes are about 15 cm long and produce 5-petalled, windmill-like blooms that are about 1/2 inch in size. They each may be one of the following colors: yellow, orange, gold, red, red-orange or yellow-orange. The blooms appear to turn red with age. This variety of bloom colors which frequently occur on the same raceme adds interest to the plant. The blooming period begins in April and continues through September or so. The blooms are followed by tiny (3-4 mm), roundish in shape, 3-lobed capsules which split when dried to release the seed.
This plant would make an interesting addition to wildscapes, xeriscapes and rock gardens. It is a very interesting looking plant. I found it growing in an area that will be bulldozed. I have never seen it growing there before. I am thinking that the rains have helped it become established from seeds that had been there in a dormant state. Then, again, it is a small plant and perhaps I had not noticed it in years past. I hope I will be able to dig one up, plant it somewhere in my yard and save it from destruction. It may be an infrequently found plant. I can not find much information about it.
Gray Five Eyes, Gray False Nightshade, Ground Saracha and Prostrate Ground-Cherry (Chamaesaracha conioides or coniodes), Solanaceae Family, native, perennial, blooms May through September
Gray Five Eyes (Chamaesaracha conioides or coniodes) is a native plant that is found in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. It can tolerate more shade than other Chamaesaracha species. A low, reclining plant, it is typically densely hairy and emerges from a woody rhizome. It is sticky to the touch due to glandular hairs on its foliage. Its leaves are up to 2 1/8 inches long and 3/4 inch wide, wavy, shallowly toothed to deeply lobed. It produces1/2 inch wide white to pale yellow to yellowish-green blooms that have darker stripes from the center to the rim. The petals are sometimes tinged with purple on the outer edges of the lobes. It produces white fruit.
Cheeses, Common Mallow, Round-leaved Mallow, Running Mallow, Round Dock, Umbrella Mallow (Malva neglecta), Malvaceae Family, naturalized, annual (rarely biennial), blooms April or May through September, referred to as a weed by many
Common mallow has a straight-taproot which is short. The hairy stems branch at the base and lay close to the soil surface, nearly erect or spreading with tips turned up. The 2 to 6 cm wide, alternate, circular to kidney-shaped leaves are blunt- to sharp-toothed and inconspicuously 5-9 lobed. The petioles are long. Short hairs are on both the upper and lower leaf surfaces, leaf margins and petioles. There are 2 stipules at bases of the leaves which are lanceolate and between 0.5 and 1 cm long. The seedling cotyledons are 5 to 7 mm long, 3 to 4 mm wide, heart-shaped, have 3 main veins and are hairy on both surfaces.
From May through September, the flowers appear singularly or in clusters of 2 to 4 in the leaf axils. The 5-lobed petals are white or white tinged with pale pink or purple. Common mallow produces flattened lengthwise fruit capsules which are round and cheese-shaped (disc- or button-like). They are composed of 12 to15 small hairy, 1-seeded, 5 to 8 mm in diameter wedge-shaped segments which are rounded on the back.
Common mallow is often misidentified as ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) which has square stems. Ground ivy leaves have more prominent rounded teeth and are opposite. Ground ivy often has a minty odor.
Hoary Mountain Mint/pycnanthemum incanum is an herbaceous perennial native and, is one of several species in the area.
The leaf arrangement is opposite, mostly ovate and toothed with short petoiles. The color of the leaves appear almost white from a distance and grayish-green underneath. The leaves are velvety soft to the touch. The flowers are tiny lilac/white with purple spots in dense top clusters. Blooms mid-summer and continues into early fall in a sunny to partly shady site. Found in dry thickets and woodlands. Bee and butterfly plant, culinary and medicinal. Usually used in teas,the leaves are edible raw or cooked and have a hot, minty flavor. Although the scent reminds me of a camphor-mint. The herb was once widely used by a number of Native American tribes as a general relaxing tonic that also soothed indigestion. It has also been used as a natural insecticide, and a number of other ailments such as colds, fevers, mouth and gum diseases-to name a few.
If you find this growing like I did, don't pass it up!!