Know Your Natives: White Mistflower

Once established, white mistflower holds its own through the toughest weather.

Mistflowers have a well-deserved reputation as important pollinator plants. When they bloom, they’re covered in tiny flower bouquets that are irresistible to nectar-seeking insects.

While many people are familiar with more common blue mistflowers like Gregg’s mistflower and fragrant mistflower, white mistflower is a slightly overlooked relative that is deserving of a little more attention.

White mistflower’s unique characteristics set it apart from other mistflowers and allow it to fill roles the others cannot. To start, it’s evergreen so it requires less trimming than the mistflowers that die back after freezes. Also, its evergreen nature means it can be a mainstay in your landscape year-round, providing seasonal interest and a backdrop for smaller plants.

Native to the Edwards Plateau, white mistflower is often seen growing in well-drained soils under the shade of live oak and juniper. Leave it plenty of room since each shrub can grow up to six feet.

flowering white mistflower

White mistflower has important habitat benefits as well. The fragrant flowers are prolific and cover the shrub in an autumn blanket of white. It begins blooming in October (just in time for migrating monarch butterflies) and continues to bloom much longer than other mistflowers — into December in 2023 — where they provide a much-needed resource for wild pollinators after most other flowers have already gone dormant.

Some years white mistflower might also grace your yard with an impromptu spring bloom. To top it all off, it’s also a host plant for the Rawson’s Metalmark butterfly. The flowers also provide nectar for all pollinators from hummingbirds to tiny solitary bees.

So if you’re looking to build or improve a butterfly garden, consider white mistflower. It’s a resilient, drought tolerant plant that grows well in shade or sun and retains its leaves through the winter. Bonus: White mistflower is a Watersaver Landscape Coupon plant!

In my opinion, this plant should be a mainstay of San Antonio landscapes.

Picture of Cleveland Powell
Cleveland Powell
Cleveland Powell is a conservation planner for SAWS. He is enthusiastic about grass taxonomy and milkweed propagation. In his free time, Powell enjoys hiking around area parks in search of intriguing bugs, birds and plants.
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