Plant Some Patriotic Pride

Mark Peterson

Declare your independence from a boring landscape this season with a spark of American spirit. Here’s a list of our favorite plants bursting with patriotic pride.

Red

Scarlet or Tropical sage – Salvia coccinea is a versatile perennial that can be used in sun or shade.
Autumn sage ‘Cherry Red’ or ‘Maraschino Cherry’ – Salvia greggii does best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade.
Tropical Turk’s cap – Malvaviscus penduliflorus is the tropical version of our native Turk’s cap (M. drummondii). The tropical species has larger red flowers than the native.

White

White Mistflower – Ageratina havanensis attracts butterflies in quantities. A Rio Grande cousin, Gregg’s mistflower, is so attractive to butterflies that it sometimes called the butterfly cocaine.
Blackfoot daisy – this is an excellent perennial and groundcover for full sun areas. Find the hottest and driest location for it and the one way to kill it is to water it. So just don’t.
Spider lily – One of my favorite shade plants for San Antonio, spider lily’s broad, strap-like leaves are the perfect antidote to unruly foundation shrubs. The major selection has bright, white delicate flowers with pale yellow center.

Blue

Mealy blue sage – Salvia farinacea is a common blue sage than inhabits our woodlands and pastures, and therefore very adaptable in our landscapes.
Mystic spires – a cross between indigo spires and mealy blue sage, mystic spires has the dark blue of indigo spires with the restraint of mealy blue.
Leadwort or dwarf plumbago – leadwort is a non-native from western China that is one of my favorite groundcovers. It has indigo blue flowers.
Cape plumbago – another non-native, but one of San Antonio’s favorite perennials. The newest cultivar has the darkest blue flowers.

Let your landscape reflect your patriotic feelings throughout the year and not just one day. Plant a little red, white, and blue.

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