Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Tisket, A Tasket

A pink and white basket, flower, that is. The American Basketflowers are coming into bloom. I might say this is my favorite annual wildflower, but that would mean the bluebonnet is not my favorite and that would be un-Texan. So, American Basketflower is my second favorite annual wildflower.


The name comes from the bracts that enclose the flowerbud and remain under the flower once it opens.

Although the flower looks like a thistle, there are no spines on the leaves.


Nearby, a Standing Cypress is blooming with bright red flowers.


Mexican Hat flowers vary in color from plant to plant. These flowers are mostly dark red with yellow edges.


The petals of this flower are almost equally divided with red and yellow. I will need to pay attention to this plant to see if the red expands the flower matures.


The flower petals  of this plant are pure yellow and remain that color.


Soon there will be a sea of purple flowers on the Heartleaf Skullcap that is expanding across the front rain garden.


St. Augustine grass still grows along the west side of my house and driveway. I removed some of the grass near the alley because I needed a place to dump excess soil while I was constructing pathways. It turns out I dumped a bunch of seeds along with the dirt. Gailardia, Horsemint, Prairie Verbena, Gaura, Clammyweed, Datura, Rock Rose, Mealycup Sage, Eryngo and several other plants all appeared voluntarily.


Here is a closer look at the Gailardia, Horsemint and Gaura. Not a bad display for an unplanned garden. I had other ideas for this space, but I may just observe and let nature do her thing.

15 comments:

  1. I`m speechless, it all looks just awesome! I did get some basket flower to come up from seed gathering. It should be blooming soon. Still haven`t given up and getting up there , Michael.

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    1. Glad you got some basket flowers growing, Randy. Your beebrush plants are looking pretty good. The ones I have in the ground are blooming. Yours in pots have not bloomed yet.

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  2. Pretty. I planted Heartleaf Skullcap for the first time last year and I am so pleased. Of course after I put it in the ground I read that it required full sun but I have found it has tolerated part shade conditions -- gently spreading and with the nicest blue flowers. Do the basketflowers come in other colours? I think I saw something very similar but it was yellow.

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    1. Debra, I think Heartleaf Skullcap will grow in sun or shade. I have not tried deep shade yet, but it is typically promoted as a shade tolerant plant. I have not seen basket flowers in other colors. I can't think what a similar looking yellow flower would be.

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    2. Darn, I was hoping you knew. The search for the name of mysterious flower continues ....

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  3. I was recently hiking at the park in Austin and spotted some basket flowers. I didn't know what they were, so thanks for the ID. I knew they were something special. They really stood out amongst the meadow plants. Beautiful!

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    1. You should try some, Ally. It is a great flower. Butterflies like it too.

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  4. I had wondered if I had basketflower in my secret patch of native plants across the creek but it must be a thistle. I might plant a few anyway as they are a pretty color. Now that I see the difference I will go back out there and check.

    Your surprise garden looks so good with all the combinations. I find I've spread clammyweed all over the garden as I move plants or use soil stored near them last fall. It's a great plant for a native garden with deer as they don't touch it and it needs no attention at all.

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    1. Shirley, I think I had a Texas Thistle come up in my decomposed granite pathway. I had to move it because it was spiny and in the way. I hope it survives the move. It had a deep tap root. My surprise garden (good name for it) is looking better every day as more plants begin blooming.

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  5. Your garden is always fantastic! I'll have to check out the basket flower as an option to add to my garden or my wildflower strip out front.

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    1. Basket flower should do well for you, Misti. Somebody commented on a post last year that they had lots of them. I think they were in Houston.

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  6. Beautful pictures! I have some Basketflower as well and it's a nice native garden addition. These plants grow profusely at the Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas. On a separate note, I have a wildflower growing in my garden - that I've also seen at the Heard Museum - and need help identifying it. Where could I send a few pictures for help? Thanks!!!!

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    1. You can send me an email using the Contact Me By Email feature in the right margin. I don't think you can attach a photo, but I will get reply to your email and then you can send a photo. I will do what I can to ID the flower.

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