Wildflower Wednesday

This is my first time joining Gail’s Wildflower Wednesday. I am looking forward to the opportunity to see everyone’s collections.

Leucophyllum frutescens is my favourite shrub. It usually flowers after a rain storm. The limbs are all twisty and bonsai-like. I believe the one growing on our property is a cultivar of the Texas native plant. I usually prefer wild things but in this one case

cenizo
cenizo

I simply love the combination of white flowers with silver leaves.

Leucophyllum frutescens
Leucophyllum frutescens

Rain lilies are another barometer plant that will predictably spring up when it rains.

rainflower4
Cooperia pedunculata

The autumn sage took this rain as its cue to begin flowering, too.

autumn sage Salvia greggii
autumn sage Salvia greggii

Esperanza has been blooming in Austin everywhere else for weeks now but mine is just beginning. It has been a long time since I’ve seen any colour so all these blooms are so welcome.

Tecoma stans
Tecoma stans

I admit to being obsessed with Commelina erecta. Whole hillsides at Willowbrook Reach are dotted with crayon blue. I always had a few growing here and there but now I want more. It looks great combined with Gregg’s mistflower.

commelina erecta
Commelina erecta

One of the so-called ‘deadly’ nightshades:

Solanum ptychanthum
Solanum something or other

The berries are black when ripe and they are delicious. No, really. When I was a girl I remember this poor plant being singled out as a particularly dangerous plant. Now I grow them on purpose. They are not nearly as toxic as people seem to believe. Of course your mileage may vary and people can be allergic to all kinds of things so … use some caution.

This next one (silverleaf nightshade) really is toxic but I thought the berries looked interesting. I found it growing in a ditch. When the berries are ripe they turn a bright yellow. Cow killers. Beware.

Solanum elaeagnifolium
Solanum elaeagnifolium

The flowers are purple; the leaves silver.

Solanum elaeagnifolium flower
Solanum elaeagnifolium flower

Wild petunias …

 

Ruellia wild petunia
Ruellia wild petunia
ruellia
ruellia

The nightshade family is so diverse! Tubers, trees, vines, forbs … Some are annuals; some are perennial. Some are poisonous while others are part of our everyday diet.

This family includes many well known commercial plants: peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, tomatillos, gooseberries, tobacco, petunias …

I am not sure what they all have in common besides having flowers with five fused petals. I think it is interesting that so many of them were native to the warmer regions of North and South America.

Thanks again to Gail for the opportunity to share some colour.

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9 thoughts on “Wildflower Wednesday

  1. I enjoyed seeing your blooms. The native petunias grow in SE Nebraska, where I live, too. They are one of the last plants to come up in the spring, but grow quickly, once they are up.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. =)
      I always loved petunias when I was a girl. We grew the domesticated kind. When I first saw the wild ones I almost wondered why they bothered messing with them. They are really lovely.

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    1. ty, Chloris. As far as I know they all come from the wild. I guess that is one thing a prairie excels at: a diversity of flowers. I do like the flowers of the Leucophyllum but I also like its twisty form. It gives a nice architectural focus for the small things growing around it.

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  2. What a beautiful collection of wildflowers. We’ve all had such a hot summer, that our wild & caged plants have taken a hit. Soon I hope they will be blooming their little heads off as well.

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  3. Gorgeous shots here but I’m especially smitten with the Widow’s tears. There is something about blue flowers that really grabs me. (and nice Cenizo – I so rarely see one with white flowers – ours are all the much more common pink to purple).

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    1. Thanks. I do love that cenizo but they all are pretty. I really have been obsessed with the dayflowers and I am seeing them everywhere — usuallu cropped low in people’s lawns haha. But when they are allowed to grow to full stature their leaves are like thick solomon’s seal. I could happily fill every planting space with them.

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