Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Native Plants That Bloom In January

Native plants are great inclusions into an existing garden or as a stand-alone wildflower garden. They help keep native fauna in existence by providing a food source and a cover location. Introduced plants can choke out native plants and animals, becoming invasive. These native plants are all listed in the Native Plant Information Network as those that bloom in January.

Autumn Onion (Allium stellatum)

Also known as the prairie onion, this native is a member of the lily family of plants. It grows one to two feet high with slender leaves and balls of flowers. Foliage is green and dies as the flowering stalk starts to appear. Flowers are rose-pink or lavender. Early explorers ate the bulbs, but it is listed as a poisonous plant. Autumn onion should be planted in partial shade with a moist soil. Propagate by seed or by bulb division.

Mexican Olive (Cordia boissieri)

Also known as Anacahuite or Texas wild olive, this native is a member of the borage family of plants. It grows up to 30 feet high and is a perennial shrub or tree. Leaves are dark and soft while flowers are trumpet-like and large. Flowers are white with a yellow throat. Flowers bring butterflies to the landscape while deer and birds enjoy the fruits. Plant a Mexican olive in full sun or partial shade with an alkaline or nearly neutral soil pH. Propagate by softwood cuttings, seed, or semi-hardwood cuttings.

Heartleaf Rosemallow (Hibiscus martianus)

Also known as Tulipan del Monte or heartleaf hibiscus, this native is a member of the mallow family of plants. It grows one to three feet high. Leaves are heart-shaped and have a silvery hue. Flowers are red and solitary, appearing at the tips of the branches. Heartleaf rosemallow prefers full sun or partial shade with a dry well-drained soil. Propagate by seed.

Beach Sunflower (Helianthus debilis)

Also known as the cucumberleaf sunflower, this native is a member of the aster family of plants. It grows up to six feet tall with hairy stems and green leaves. Flowers are yellow with a reddish center disk. Beach sunflower prefers to grow in full sun lighting and can be propagated by seed. It is an annual.


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