How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest
How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest by Jill Nokes, (University of Texas Press, 2001; $30) has been updated and revised for 2001. The author added 75 plant descriptions to the original version's list of 350, creating a valuable reference on native plants for our area. Plant listings contain a general description, information on flowers, fruit, habitat, and preferred growing sites, how to collect and store seeds, propagation, species descriptions, and the plant's general history, care and cultural significance. The book contains general information on the basics of gathering, storing, and germinating seeds, propagating with cuttings, and how and when to transplant for best results. This is an excellent reference for the hands-on gardener or anyone who wants to learn more about Southwestern native plants.
Favorite or New Plant
Bat-faced cuphea (Cuphea llavea) features brilliant scarlet flowers in striking contrast to the deep green foliage. This plant will bloom spring through fall, flowering even during the heat of summer if water is supplied. It's also a hummingbird magnet.
Bat-faced cuphea grows best with some late afternoon shade. Supposedly the blooms resemble tiny bat faces, thus the common name. Bat-faced cuphea isn't hardy below the mid-20oFs but will recover from winter's cold well when the warm weather of spring arrives.