Landscape & Gardening

What’s Blooming Now

Black and Blue Sage
Black and Blue Sage

Black and Blue Sage (Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’), an herbaceous perennial that will bloom consistently April through the first frost, has been a big attraction for bees and butterflies. I have read that it’s also a hummingbird favorite, though I have yet to see any. The leaves and stems when crushed or broken have a wonderful scent. Now if I can only train my dogs not to charge through it on their way to check out noisy attractions in the alley.

above front: the Blue mistflower; towards the back: White Gaura
above front: the Blue mistflower; towards the back: White Gaura

Blue mistflower has been a huge hit with butterflies. Unlike the Black and Blue Sage, the mistflower has been slow to grow this spring and has just started to bloom. But like the sage, it too will bloom continually until the first frost.

White Gaura, another Texas native, is sometimes called “Butterfly guara”, because of how the flowers seem to flutter above the plant. Even though it’s a beautiful ornamental perennial, there’s one funky drawback: the flower fragrance has sometimes been compared to cat urine.

above front: Pink Skullcap; above towards the back: Zexmenia
above front: Pink Skullcap; above towards the back: Zexmenia

Pink Skullcap may or may not be a Texas native. No one seems to know for sure. Belonging to the mint family with Thyme-like foliage, this plant can take our summer punishment and is perfect for xeriscaping.

Zexmenia is another Texas native with high heat tolerance and long season good looks. I’m currently looking for more of this plant, but none of the local nurseries know when and if it will be available. This just doesn’t make any sense because it’s a native and is blooming in my garden. Perhaps the local growers make more money with non-native perennials such as azaleas. That’s so upside down.

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