When people talk about the "best" of something they usually have a specific trait in mind. In this list of my best flowers for North Central Texas my definition of the best includes:
- Absolutely low maintenance
- Able to tolerate heat/direct sun or part shade
- Able to tolerate clay soils
- Perennial or hardy annual
- Nice showy flowers that last more than a short blooming period
- Attract butterflies, hummingbirds and insects to the garden
- Can withstand dogs, cats and nibbling horses and deer
If you don't have all those criteria in your home garden then these flowers and flowering bushes will be a sure fire hit!
Beautiful Lantana Flowers
I absolutely love this perennial bushy plant that is perfect in the hottest, sunniest locations in your yard. It is incredible quick growing and the flowers are brightly colored, very vibrant and last for the entire summer season. The plant itself is part of the verbena family and the colors can range from pinks to yellows, deep oranges to reds and less commonly in blues or whites. The flower is actually a ball of multiple small flowers and multicolored flowers are very common. The leaves are a deep green and are similar in shape to a mint leaf.
These plants are terrific for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. I have also discovered that they are relatively resistant to deer and horses and most of the common insects and pests that tend to damage many of the flowers in this part of the country.
Like Lantana verbena is a wonderful plant for north central Texas climates. It can tolerate direct sunlight and heat as also a good option as a border flower since it blooms from mid spring to late fall but only grows about six to ten inches in height. The flowers are clustered like that of the lantana but the plant is more upright and less sprawling. This is also a great flower for hanging baskets, patio container gardens and window boxes. In Texas it can be a perennial provided you protect it if there is a chance of frost in the winter months.
Flower colors on the verbena are typically more of the purple colors including mauve, lilac, white pink, deep purple, apricot and a beautiful rich red color. The leaves are a dark almost murky green and they are scalloped at the edges, giving a really nice look to the entire plant.
The purple coneflower grows wild in the ditches all over the state but is also a wonderful garden flower as well. It is actually the herb echninacea and you can harvest the leaves and roots if you have the time and energy!
As the name implies the flowers are pink to purple in color, depending on the specific variety of coneflower. They are similar in shape and size to the cultivated daisy but the flower petals tend to fall down to create an inverted cone shape. It is a great filler in the flower bed and will grow to be about 8 to 12 inches in height. It is the ideal flower if you don't want to have to spend time pruning, watering and pampering the plant. This plant will come back year after year and is easy to transplant and break up if it starts to spread too far in the garden.
There are other species of coneflowers that are yellow, pink and more of a reddish to orange color. These will attract bees and butterflies to the garden and they bloom all summer long. They are considered to be drought resistant but they do need to be in a well drained area.
My Favorite Clematis Last Spring
For the north or cooler side of your house where there is some shade at least part of the day, clematis adds a wonderful burst of color and foliage. This is a climbing vine like plant that needs a trellis but will really add a wonderful burst of color in the spring and early summer months. You can choose different varieties to ensure you have flowering plants throughout the entire growing seasons. I have found that the key to growing these in Texas is to plant them very deep and use a lot of mulch to help keep the roots as cool as possible. They do need regular watering and will quickly wilt and drop flowers if they get too hot or miss a regular watering. This is a perennial that can tolerate a freeze in the winter and still come back as lush as ever in the spring.
Colors of the flowers are very bright and vibrant and come in almost every shade and color imaginable. There are two tone flowers, typically with darker petal edges or solid flowers in red, blue, purple, yellow, white, orange and pink. Flowers can be huge and up to 6 inches across or they can be small, delicate and even bluebell shaped.
This more of a shrub but it is so beautiful on the edge or back side of a garden. It will stay green all year round and forms a natural mound shape that can be up to four feet in the middle and tapering down to the edges. It is really fast growing and does best in full sunlight. This plant spreads quickly and is a perfect option for ground cover on the side of a hill or where you want color without a lot of fuss. Like all the flowers mentioned above this is an absolute must if you love hummingbirds and butterflies in your garden or around your home.
This is a part of the Salvia family of plants and flowers with calyces that are a different color than the actual flowers. The calyces are the brilliant purple to lavender-blue spikes that are so colorful on this shrub. Very tiny white flowers will be visible on the calyces if you look closely. It is also a great plant for fall color in the garden when some of the annuals are starting to fade away.
Cathi Sutton on November 21, 2013:
I truly LOVE Lantana! I love the way the flowers just keep on popping, and Ilove the deep almost pugnant smell of this plant. It has been known to cause a mild rash on some people, but I could slow dance with it an be just fine!
I was VERY happy to get a few new cuttings this year from a Lantana with varigated leaves! So exciting for me. The leaves are the usual deep green, with a "lime" green varigation. The two greens have almost equal amounts of shared color. The plant the cuttings were taken from had yellow flowers. So it is a very eyecatching !
My next Lantna pursuit is the illusive Lemon Lantana with it's pale yellow flowers, and lemoney scent!
Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on May 07, 2012:
Coneflower is another name for Echinacea which is a well-known immune system stimulant used to prevent infections. Its root is the part of the plant that is used by herbalists. A quote from "The Little Herb Encyclopedia" by Jack Ritchason, N.D. "Echinacea blocks the receptor site of the virus on the surface of the cell membranes preventing cell infection." (page 77) Enjoy the flowers and utilize the root!
Mardi Winder-Adams (author) from Western Canada and Texas on February 29, 2012:
Thank you Movie Master. I am partial to the lantana but always put in a big patch of verbena. The colors are so fantastic and cheery!
Movie Master from United Kingdom on February 27, 2012:
Hi Mardi, some of my favourite flowers here, I love the Verbena and coneflower especially.
An interesting and useful hub thank you and voted up.
Best wishes Lesley