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Shrubs

Tomlinson Natal Plum

Tomlinson Natal Plum
By: Deb Pavlosky
I really don’t know why I don’t see more natal plums in our landscapes around here.  Natal plums are really easy to grow and don’t require much care at all to look great all year round.

 

The Tomlinson variety of natal plum is a dwarf, evergreen shrub that will spread slowly to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  And, it grows best in Zones 9a – 11, that’s us! This shrub performs well in full sun and with regular watering initially (especially in the extreme heat).  Over time, this shrub will become quite drought resistant in your landscape; easily withstanding radiant heat from patios or driveways.  It’s an excellent choice for a container planting too.  Natal plums can adapt to many different soil types given good drainage.   Because they are so tolerant of a variety of growing conditions, these plants are great for coastal plantings; their thick leaves protect them from harsh conditions.  This shrub will need to be protected in hard freezes.  Fragrant white blooms will appear heavily in spring and the shrub will bloom intermittently through the fall.  The flowers will produce small fruit that start out green and turn a deep, wine-red when ripe.  These fruit are edible and can be enjoyed fresh or in pies or jellies.  There are thorns on natal plums, but they are small and tucked tightly into the dense arrangement of leaves.  I guess that’s what I love most about Tomlinson natal plums – the foliage is a beautiful glossy green and the arrangement of leaves on stems is just so attractive.

 

So, if you are looking for an easy addition to your full-sun landscape, consider a natal plum.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

Crimson Fire Loropetalum

ppCrimson Fire is a dwarf Loropetalum growing to 2-3 feet in height.  The burgundy-red foliage is a beautiful contrast to the stunning, fragrant, hot pink fringe flowers which are all over  the plant in spring. New growth in spring emerges ruby red maturing to burgundy with a purple tint. This is easy to grow and a well-behaved shrub.

Uses

It’s compact, spreading habit and foliage color and texture make Crimson Fire an excellent choice for: Mass Plantings, Small Groupings, Flowering Shrub Borders, Low Hedges, Home Foundation Plantings, Erosion Control on Slopes and Embankments, Container Gardens, Asian Theme Gardens, and as a Groundcover.

Culture & Care Tips

Crimson Fire Loropetalum does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in well-drained but moist soils with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. During the first season, water enough to keep soil moist but not constantly soggy. No pruning necessary however responds well to it.

  • Resistant To: Deer Resistant, Drought, Insect, Disease, Mildew, Heat
  • Attracts: Butterflys and honey bees
  • Fragrances: Fragrant Flowers

History:

This genus was classified by Robert Brown (1773-1858) of Great Britain in the mid 19th century.. He named it from the Greek loros for Strap, and ptalum for petal. This is the only cultivated species in the entire genus and is native to a large part of southeast China, the Himalayas and Japan. The first purple leaf species were not discovered in the Hunan Province until 1942. This species was originally named by D. Brown as part of the closely related whitchhazels. 

Lore:

Loropetalum is native to China but only recently brought into cultivation in the last few decades when selections and breeding in Asia have produced interesting parents of our mordern American hybrids and cultivars.

Ligularia (Farfugium)

Ligularias are known by many interchangeable names. Leopard Plant, Ragwort and Golden Groundsel to name only a few. They are unusual, old world perennials with big leaves with long leaf stalks and unique daisy-like flowers.
They are excellent plants for growing in boggy areas
or along the banks of stream or pond. 

The ideal location for growing most Ligularias is in a bog garden with fertile, humus-rich soil in partial shade. In areas with hot summers, they will need partial to full shade.
Most Ligularias require constantly moist soil.

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Maas Nursery

ligularia_dentata

Maas Nursery

Ligularia

Maas Nursery

 

 

Type: Perennial 

Blooming Season:Late Summer, Spring, Summer

Color: Yellow Flower

Garden habitat: Boggy Areas, Along a pond or steam

Exposure: Full Shade/ Moderate Sun

Highlights: Slugs and snails can be a serious problem so precautions should be taken

 

Azaleas Rebloom

ReBLOOM™ Azaleas Deliver Color in Three Seasons!

Experience a remarkable new series of evergreen, disease resistant, reblooming azaleas that feature large flowers that appear in spring, then rebloom in summer, and continue blooming until hard frost.

Even high summer temperatures won’t stop this beauty from producing loads of late summer and fall flowers.

What’s more, these new azaleas offer better cold hardiness, withstanding temperatures 0 to -10 degrees F (USDA Zone 6). They also offer a wider range of distinctive colors and large, double and even triple-petal flowers that provide big landscape impact. ReBLOOM™ Azaleas stay compact due to the self-pruning nature of the continual flushes of bloom that promote branching. 

After being inspired and mentored by many notable azalea enthusiasts, breeder Bob Head began developing ReBLOOM™ Azaleas. About 15 years ago, he saw an opportunity for improvement on what was currently available in the marketplace. He started out planting 80,000 seedlings and then narrowed the selection down to about 200 plants from which these 9 were selected.

Bob explains, “The ReBLOOM ™Azaleas all have a very diverse parentage, but at least one parent that is hardy to -10 or -20 below zero. That cold hardiness was used to bring in the genetics for developing a series of azaleas that would be very cold hardy and durable in USDA hardiness zone 6b, and there may be some that display even more cold hardiness than that. The azaleas were developed under those particular parameters because of the market need for varieties that have a compact plant form or size, variations in flower color and flower form as well as a greater degree of cold hardiness.”

ReBLOOM™ Azaleas are moderate growers, reaching maturity in 10 to 12 years. They will tolerate some sun, but thrive in partial shade. They perform best in moist, fertile, highly organic and well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Native soils higher than pH 7.0 should be amended with organic matter.

Common Name: Red Magnificence™azalea coral amaze

Botanical Name: Rhododendron x ‘RLH1-10P18’

Height: 24 to 30 inches

Width: 36 to 48 inches

Flower Color: Double, red flowers

 

 

Common Name: Blush Elegance™azalea blush elegance

Botanical Name: Rhododendron x ‘RLH1-12P0’

Height: 18 to 24 inches

Width: 30 to 36 inches

Flower Color: Large, single, light pink flowers

 

 

 

Common Name: Purple Spectacular™azalea purple

Botanical Name: Rhododendron x ‘RLH1-13P11’

Height: 18 to 24 inches

Width: 30 to 36 inches

Flower Color: Single, purple flowers

 

 

Common Name: Fuchsia Extravagance™

Botanical Name: Rhododendron x ‘RLH1-14P14’

Height: 18 to 24 inches

Width: 30 to 36 inches

Flower Color: Single, fuchsia flowers

 

 

Common Name: White Nobility™azalea white nobility

Botanical Name: Rhododendron x ‘RLH1-15P3’

Height: 30 to 36 inches

Width: 36 to 48 inches

Flower Color: Large, single white flowers

 

 

Common Name: Coral Amazement™azalea red mag

Botanical Name:  Rhododendron x ‘RLH1-6P4’

Height: 24 to 30 inches

Width: 30 to 36 inches

Flower Color: Coral, triple-petal flowers

 

 

Common Name: Pink Adoration™azalea pink adoration

Botanical Name: Rhododendron x ‘RLH1-7P14’

Height: 18 to 24 inches

Width: 24 to 30 inches

Flower Color: Large, pink flowers

 

 

 

Antique Rose

IMG_0064If you have ever walked past the League City Library on an early spring day, you are familiar with the wonderful fragrance and beauty of antique roses. These gorgeous red and pink stars of the garden are in bloom year round and are a testament to how hardy antique roses can be. They thrive in our hot Texas summer heat and sometimes drought like conditions. Antique roses have a fragrant old fashioned rose smell that is absent from the modern hybrid tea roses. 
 
There are several different types of antique roses. Some do better in our zone 9 climate and humidity than others. The roses we carry at Maas are especially suited for our area. Most of our antique roses come from the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas. There are 3 groups of rose titles at the Emporium. All of the roses are classified as old roses. Old or antique roses are defined as rose varieties that were introduced prior to 1867. Antique roses can also be defined as roses that have been in cultivation for at least 75 years and that have old rose qualities such as flower form, color, and fragrance. Some of the antique roses have the EarthKind designation. EarthKind roses are screened by the Texas Agrilife Service through Texas A & M University. These roses are selected for their durability and ease of care. They go through a rigorous testing program before they are rewarded the EarthKind label. Texas Pioneer Roses are roses that have been rescued by the Texas Rose Rustlers.These rose enthusiasts have traveled Texas taking cuttings from abandoned old homesteads and cemeteries. These roses have survived on their own with no care for years proving their toughness.Monsieur Tillier
 
Antique roses are in these classes: Gallicas, Musks, Centifolias, Damasks, Chinas and Teas. Crosses of these classes of roses produced other antiques such as the Noisettes, Bourbons, Portlands, Hybrid Perpetuals, Polyanthus and Hybrid Musks. Further crosses produce the more modern but still antique Old Hybrid teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras. All of these rose types vary in form, size and appearance. Antique roses can be 2 to 3 feet tall to over 20 feet tall. They can be small to very large shrubs, climbers or ramblers. Antique rose colors tend to be muted or pastel. There are some vibrant pink, red or yellow colored blooms. The soft colors of antique roses blend well with any type of garden. All antique roses have a fragrance although some are stronger than others. 
 
Caring for your antique rose is very easy. Roses need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. They need well draining acidic soil and regular watering when first planted. Plant your roses above soil level as explained in the Maas Planting Guide. If you do not have one of these guides ask for it at your next visit to our store. Mulch is the secret to happy roses. Mulch your roses to 2 to 3 inches deep. This will keep the water in and the weeds out. Fertilize your roses every 6 to 8 weeks during their bloom period with a good organic fertilizer for acid loving plants. When first planted, water roses regularly. A good, deep watering 2 to 3 times a week is preferable to watering shallowly every day. Deep watering promotes deep root growth and helps with good drought tolerance. In February around Valentine’s Day cut your roses back to your desired height. Roses benefit from a good pruning. I prune my roses in August also. This promotes a fresh flush of fall blooms. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful blooms and the fantastic fragrance of these old fashioned roses.They are definitely my favorite flower of my garden.
 
Here at Maas we get most of our antique roses from the Antique Rose Emporium. The roses we are getting this year (2015)are:
 
Abraham Darby
Aloha Climbing
Belinda’s Dreamaloha
Caldwell Pink
Cecile Brunner
Cecile Brunner Climbing
Chrysler Imperial
Cramoisi Supérieur
Don Juan Climbing
Drift Pink
Duchesse Brabant
Felicia
Graham Thomas
Heritage
Joseph’s Coat Climbing
Lady Banks White Climbing
Lady Banks Yellow Climbing
Lamarque
Maggielady banks
Marie Van Houtte
Mermaid
Monsieur Tillier
Nacogdoches
New Dawn
Old Blush
Old Blush Climbing
Peggy Martin
Pinkie Climbing
Pioneer Spirit
Red Cascade
Republic of Texas
Rev D’Or
Rosarium Uetersen
Sea FoamRepublicoftexasrose
Seven Sisters
Souvenier De LA Malmaison
Sweet Pea
Thomas Affleck
Valentine
White Dawn
Zephirine Drouhin.

Bamboo

bamboo asian lemon picBamboo Cultivars Available at Maas Nurserybamboo planter idea

The information found in the following table has been compiled from various growers’ websites. Most of the bamboo cultivars we offer are clumping (C) and are non-invasive. Running bamboo (R) can be invasive if not contained by an underground barrier. Dwarf (D) and giant (G) varieties are indicated.

 

CULTIVAR

BOTANICAL NAME

C/R G/D

HEIGHT

DESCRIPTION

CARE GUIDELINES

ALPHONSE KARR

bamboo alphonse karr pic

Bambusa glaucenscens aka Bambusa multiplex

C

20-30’

Great for hedges or tall screens. Attractive stems are brilliantly striped green on yellow with new growth pinkish and green. As a hedge can be maintained at 8 to 10 ft. tall with occasional pruning. Non-invasive. Evergreen. Hardy to 18°F

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Full to partial sun.

ASIAN LEMON

bamboo asian lemon pic

Bambusa eutuldoides ‘Viridi Vittata’

C

Up to 25’

Bright yellow culms accented by bold green stripes. 1” diameter culms contrast nicely with dark green leaves. New culms have pink/peach tones. Hardy to 21°F. Very versatile, tough. Great for screening.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Full to partial sun.

BLACK TIMOR

bamboo black timor pic

Bambusa lako

C/G

> 40’

Thick, black culms, with some thin, green striping. Large tropical leaves begin 1/3 to ½ way up the culm. Upright growth with fairly open clump. Slow grower. Hardy to 25°F.

Prefers moist soil. Full to partial sun.

BUDDHA BELLY

bamboo buddha belly pic

Bambusa ventricosa

C/D

3-6’, contained. Otherwise, up to 45’.

Excellent bamboo for screens, windbreaks, or containers. Stays dwarf and produces the swollen stems that give it its name only when confined in tubs or grown in poor soil. Evergreen clumping type. Hardy to 18°F.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Full to partial sun.

GIANT BLUE

Borinda boliana

C/G

Up to 20’ in 10 years. >35’

Fast grower. Hardy to 10°F. Feathery green leaves and gracefully arching canes have new shoots that are pale blue in color. Excellent hedge or screen.

Adaptable to most soil types; prefers humus-rich, well drained soil. Needs weekly watering after establishment (more often in extreme heat). Best with some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

GIANT LEAF

Indocalamus tessalatus

R/D

5-8’

Hardy to -10°F.  Forms mound of 24×4” leaves. Great for erosion control, screening. Adapts well to shade.

Prefers loose, loamy soil. Water often enough and deeply enough to keep soil moist. Barrier should be installed to prevent spreading.

GIANT TIMBER aka OLDHAM’S

Bambusa oldhamii

C/G

Up to 65’

Hardy to 20°F. 4” diameter culms. Short branches with long leaves. Fast grower. Small footprint allows great use of horizontal space in urban landscapes.

Full to partial sun. Keep well mulched and watered. General purpose fertilizer like Microlife twice per year.

GOLDEN GODDESS

Bambusa multiplex ‘Golden Goddess’

C

6-10’

Perfect for smaller gardens, Golden Goddess has a well-mannered clumping form that can be easily maintained at under 8 ft. tall. Fantastic container or screen plant. Graceful, arching form for exotic tropical or Asian effect. Non-invasive. Evergreen. Hardy to 15°F.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Full to partial sun.

GOLDEN HAWAIIAN

Bambusa vulgaris

C

25-35’

Staggered green and golden-colored culms. This large ornamental bamboo is highly attractive. Makes a great pot plant and does extremely well in interiors. The size and beauty of this plant makes it look unreal. Fast grower. Hardy to 25°F.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Full to partial sun.

GRACEFUL

Bambusa textilis gracilis

C

Up to 30’

Forms a lovely vase-shaped plant and makes an excellent screen. Tips of culms gracefully arch outward, making this plant one of the most elegant species of bamboo. Can flush up to 3 times a year.  Hardy to 15°F.

 

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Full to partial sun.

HENON or GIANT GREY

Phyllostachys nigra ‘Henon’

R/G

Up to 50’

Green culmed timber bamboo. Culm diameter 4”.  Ages to an olive grey color. Hardy to -5°F. Vigorous grower with feather-like leaf pattern. Barrier recommended.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Full to partial sun.

MEXICAN WEEPING

bamboo mexican weeping pic

Otatea acuminata ‘Aztecorum’

C

15-20’

Long, narrow leaves give overall lacy look. Drought tolerant when established. Grown easily in pots. Fast Grower. Great windbreak. Hardy to 22°F.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring. Partial to full sun.

NARROW LEAVED aka

SICHUAN

Borinda angustissima

C

16-18’

A rare plant species valued for its delicate foliage and its extremely narrow, clumping growth habit, developing a vase shape as it matures. Tolerant of heat, cold and drought. Fast grower. Hardy to 15°F.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Water more often in extreme heat. Watering can be reduced after establishment. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring. Part sun to shade.

PAINTED BUDDHA BELLY

Bambusa ventricosa ‘Kimmei’

C/G

>40’

This beautiful form of Buddha Belly bamboo has culms that emerge green and soon turn a beautiful golden-yellow with green stripes. It has two forms, a dwarf with bulging internodes that are great for pots on patios or it can grow as a giant with large zig-zagging culms and straight slender, given ideal condition.  Sometimes the dwarf form is encouraged by lack of water, planting it in tight spaces, or growing in a container. This bamboo is best as a container plant where with proper care and pruning it can be a delightful specimen. Hardy to 18°F.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Full to partial sun.

PUNTING POLE

Bambusa tuldoides

C/G

>40

Fast grower. Thick, rigid stems (2 inches across at the base.) Dense tall screen, excellent for privacy or windbreak. Evergreen. Hardy to 15°F.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Full to partial sun.

ROYAL aka WONG CHUK

Bambusa textilis ‘Kanapaha’

C/G

Up to 50’

Moderate grower. Hardy to 18°F. White powdery bloom on culms. Culm diameter is 2.5”. Small leaves with long internodes.

Full to partial sun. Well-drained, moist soil.

SEABREEZE

Bambusa malingensis

C

>40’

Extremely fast growing, tough and bushy. Non-invasive. Tolerant of drought, salt and flood. Hardy to 20°F. Slender branches with small leaves. Can be kept small. Culms are 2.5” diameter.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Full to partial sun.

SUNBURST

Bambusa pervariabilis ‘Viridistriata’

C

>40’

Similar to Asian Lemon but taller with larger diameter culms. Hardy to 25°F.

Full to partial sun. Well-drained, moist soil.

SUNSET GLOW

Fargesia rufa

C

Up to 8’

Orange-red sheaths at each node add color to the green culms. Perfect specimen for smaller gardens and courtyards. Leaves do not curl in the sun as with some bamboos. Non-invasive. Evergreen. Hardy to -15°F

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Partial sun.

WEAVERS

Bambusa textilis ‘Maculata’

C

20-30’

Delicate in appearance. Smooth, thin culms arch when heavy after rain. White powdery bloom at nodes. Long internodes, small leaves. Hardy to 20°F. Evergreen.

Full to partial sun. Well-drained, moist soil.

WHITE STRIPED DWARF

bamboo white striped dwarf pic

Sasaella masamuneana ‘Albostriata’

R/D

3-5’

Attractive striped foliage on low, dense clumps. Perfect for low border or groundcover; nice in rock gardens and used as erosion control. Fast grower. Spreads with underground stems. Can be invasive if not contained. Evergreen. Hardy to 5°F.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment to weekly (more often during extreme heat.) Feed with a general purpose fertilizer like Microlife before new growth begins in spring.

Performs best in shade.

 

Pyracantha

pyracanthaPyracantha is an evergreen thorny shrub whose layman name is firethorn. This hardy shrub is native to China and produces dainty white flowers in the late spring and early summer to be followed by clusters of berries. The berries mature during the fall and winter months and can be colors of orange, red or yellow. Jelly can be made of the fruit and it is said to taste of apples. See a great recipe here: http://www.pyracantha.co.uk/how-to-make-pyracantha-jelly

Pyracantha is a wonderful shrub for barriers, fence lines and anywhere that a dense and thorny bush is needed in a landscape. The flowers attract bees and other nectarpyracantha1 feeders in droves. It can grow up to 10′ -12′ tall and wide. It’s a hardy shrub able to handle dry and clay heavy soils so long as it does not water log. It can grow in full sun to partial shade and has very few illnesses. The two most common being fire blight and pyrantha scab. Both of which are easily treated should they occur. The lovely masses of leaves, white flowers and Christmas berries make Pyracantha an all around stunning addition to any landscape.

Yaupon Holly

Yaupon1 (1)Christmas is just around the corner and it is definitely holly season. Yaupon holly is a great holly choice for our region. Yaupon holly is native to central Texas and can be either a large shrub or a small single or multi-trunked tree. The native shrub can reach an average of 25 feet high but there are cultivars in every shape and size. Dwarf yaupons are 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. Columnar or weeping varieties can be up to 15 feet tall. Dwarf yaupon holly Nana reaches from 4 to 7 feet tall and can be 10 feet wide. Yaupon holly have both male and female plants. Only the female plants have the bright red berries. Nurseries typically sell only the female varieties to assure the plants have berries. The decorative berries are long lasting on the shrub. The small evergreen dark green leaves are the perfect background for the berries and the ornamental gray trunks marked with bright white patches add visual interest. Everything about the yaupon is decorative.

yaupon3 (1)Yaupon is very versatile and can be planted in full sun to part shade. At least 1/2 a day of sun is needed for good berry production. Water your holly well for the first year after it is planted to establish a good strong root system. Once the holly is established, it is drought tolerant. Yaupons are not picky about soil and can tolerate clay soil to sandy soil although they will do better in a well drained location. Severe pruning will not hurt your holly so it can be kept in any shape, height or width you desire.

If you are looking for a good small tree or shrub for a habitat garden, Yaupon is a good choice for wildlife. The berries provide much needed food for birds in the winter. The flowers of the holly provide nectar for bees and butterflies and the dense habit of this shrub provide cover and nesting areas for birds and other wildlife. Yaupon is also the host plant for the Henrys Elfin butterfly.

Whether you are planning a formal garden with a Yaupon topiary or a habitat garden with a wild Yaupon shrub to attract birds and butterflies your garden will be fabulous with this holly. Plant a Yaupon holly in your garden this December for a great festive look.

Turk’s Cap

Turk's CapTurk’s Cap, Malvaviscus Drummondii, is in the Mallow family. This shrub was named after the Scottish Naturalist Thomas Drummond, who came to America in 1830 to collect plant specimens from the western and southern United States.  It is also known as Drummond Wax Mallow, Texas Mallow and Sleeping Hibiscus. This evergreen shrub is drought and heat tolerant.  It will grow in full sun to part shade or full shade.Turk’s Cap will flower from early spring to first frost.  Bright red flowers resembling a Turkish Turban, twist into hat shaped tubes with extended red stamens,  After the flower drops, marble sized fruit remains.  The fruit is attractive to birds.  The flowers provide nectar for both hummingbirds and butterflies. Turk’s Cap can grow 5 feet wide and 5 feet tall, but can be easily trimmed to fit into a smaller location.  It will have the most blooms during the hottest weather at the end of summer and into the fall.  A new pink variety has been introduced by Texas A&M. The red Turk’s Cap was designated a Texas Superstar in 2011. It would make an excellent hardy addition to any garden.
 
Go green!
Photo and article by Kim Messer

Beauty Berry – Variegated

Variegated Beauty Berry

Variegated Beautyberry “Duet” is the first variegated cultivar. The leaves are edged in a creamy white trim. The flowers form in petite white clusters along the arching branches. Once pollinated the flowers will then grow into radiant white berries. Beautyberry is a deciduous shrub for zones 5-9 that is hardy, low maintenance, disease and insect resistant. It grows in a rounded form from 4’ to 6’ tall and slightly wider spread. It can be trimmed back in late winter to early spring to promote more compact growth. Trimming the plant back will also promote heavier flowering. Beautyberry grows best in medium moisture soil, neither too wet nor too dry. For ideal flowering and fruiting plant it in more sun, for stronger variegation, partial shade. Moderate shade with early morning sun for the best of both worlds. The shrub makes an excellent border plant, and many birds will feed off of the bush. The leaves tend to drop in the late fall with the berries hanging on for a few more weeks after.