Last week my place of employment sent me to Austin, Texas to spend some time at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. I was there for a native plant conference put on by the American Public Garden Association. I had been wanting to visit the Wildflower Center for a long time, so it was great to finally get the chance. Their gardens are truly amazing. I spent three days there, but could have easily stayed much longer. The native plant conference was great, too. I learned a lot about native plant horticulture, and I left feeling inspired to put those things into practice. If you are wondering “why native plants?,” the Wildflower Center has a good answer to that on their website.
While I was there I took dozens of photos, so I am sharing some of those with you in a two part post. The plant name following each photo or series of photos links to a corresponding entry in the Native Plant Database which is managed by the Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Information Network. The quotes that accompany the plant names are taken from the Native Plant Database entries.
Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel). “The fragrance of Texas mountain laurel flowers is reminiscent of artificial grape products.”
Ranunculus macranthus (large buttercup). “This is one of the largest flowered native buttercups. The large butter-yellow flowers and attractive foliage of this plant immediately attract the eye.”
Echinocereus reichenbachii (lace cactus). “Lace cactus is unpredictable in its development, one plant forming a single stem, while its neighbor may branch out and form a dozen or more.”
Dalea greggii (Gregg’s prairie clover). “Grown mostly for its silvery, blue-green, delicately compound leaves, the shrub is awash with clusters of tiny, pea-shaped, purple flowers in spring and early summer.”
Viburnum rufidulum (southern blackhaw). “In Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas, Correll and Johnston noted that the fruit tastes similar to raisins.”
Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita). “Songbirds eat the fruits, and quail and small mammals use the plant for cover. It is considered a good honey source.”
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