Friday, July 13, 2012

What’s in Bloom – July 2012

As the weather dries out and the heat kicks in for summer, it can be a challenge to find plants that are willing to bloom in these conditions. Two perennials native to some of the U.S. that take the heat and keep on blooming are blackfoot daisy and butterflyweed.

Blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthum, makes rounded mounds full of white flowers with yellow centers. These plants are very drought tolerant. In fact, you can kill them by overwatering them or planting them in soil that does not drain well. They really don’t like “wet feet”.

Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa, is also a waterwise plant. I find that it can tolerate a bit more water than blackfoot daisy. It produces clusters of small orange flowers sporadically throughout the summer. This is also an important butterfly caterpillar host plant. It can take being chewed on, so if you spot some caterpillars on your plants, leave them be.

You can find other native and adapted waterwise plants in my Texas Stars photo album.

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