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Go Native By Mario Villarino

Native plants in the landscape: Go Native

The Hopkins County Go Native initiative is a horticultural educational effort to educate, evaluate and disseminate information in the use of native plants as ornamental components in our landscapes.  As part of this project, the Hopkins County Extension Office will seek learning opportunities for Master Gardeners to learn about landscaping with native plants, have selected native plants for sale for the community to evaluate and set up landscape sites using those native plants thru out the year.  Special emphasis will be directed to those varieties that might be attractive to landscapes and pollinators (bees, wasps and butterflies) of the genus Calylophus Spp, Coreopsis Spp, Salvia Spp, Sedum Spp, Scutellaria Spp,  and Echinacea spp.

Native Vs Weeds

By definition, weeds are plants occurring in areas where are not wanted. Any plant can be a weed depending of its location, the time of the year, use of the land or owner perspective. Introduced or naturally occurring plants both can be weeds. There is a general concept of native plants to be considered as weeds by a group of gardeners. There are other gardeners and landscapers however that will consider native plants as part of their landscape. Like many other issues in gardening, if the gardening like the plant and see it fit in his/her landscape, is not a weed. Native plants once adapted, can become however invasive. I thing this has to do with adaptation to their environment and out competing other plants in the landscape. Because native plants have many years of adaptation advantage over other plants, native plants can take over landscapes.  Some natives however, are known to be low maintenance plants because the same adaptive process working towards survival in the landscape.

Know you natives:  Salvia “Henry Duelberg

Common names: ‘Henry Duelberg’ salvia, Duelberg sage, Mealy sage

Botanical names: Salvia farinacea

General information: Texas Superstar plant. A native Texas plant, Salvia farinacea belongs to the family Lamiaceae (Labiatae). The Henry Duelberg Salvia is a variety of the mealy cup or blue sage and is a perennial native plant of South and Central Texas. It’s a Texas Superstar® known for its low maintenance and heat, drought and humidity tolerance. A growing favorite of Texas native plant gardens, plant this gem in the rear of flower beds due to its three foot height and width. It grows thicker and will flower better in fall if cut back in mid-summer. It is a hardy plant up through Zone 7.

Characteristics

Size: 3 feet wide and 3 feet in height at maturity

Flowers: Medium dark blue spike flowers on tall stems; less flowering during height of summer.

Bloom time: Spring through fall

Leaves: Serrated grey-green, medium size leaves

Pests and Disease Problems:

Deer and goat resistant, virtually disease and pest free. Fungal problems may arise when soil remains wet over extended periods of time.

Growing in North Texas

Prefers well drained soil, full sun and is drought tolerant once established. Water regularly until established, then once a week through the height of summer if weekly rainfall is less than one inch. The plant is low maintenance although deadheading spent blooms will help produce more flowers. A general fertilizer in spring and summer will produce more flowers, but this activity is not at all required if soil has good fertility. Maintain two inches of mulch. Cut to ground after first frost and mulch over for winter. The plant will reseed itself after established and seedlings are easily transplanted to other areas in the garden.

Notes:

The Henry Duelberg Salvia was discovered by Texas horticulturist Greg Grant in a Central Texas cemetery on the gravesite of Henry Duelberg. Mr. Grant also discovered and named the white flowered Augusta Duelberg salvia he found nearby on Augusta Duelberg’s gravesite. These two salvias make a pretty pairing when grown next to or mixed together.

Warnings:  None

References:

  1. Texas Agrilife Extension Service; East Texas Gardening (May 2013).  http://www.agrilife.org/etg/2013/05/15/salvias-for-texas-tough-summer-color/
  2. Texas Superstar® http://www.texassuperstar.com/plants/salvia/index.htm/
mario

Mario Villarino DVM, Ph.D.
Hopkins County Extension Agent for Ag and NR
1200B Houston Street
Sulphur Springs, Texas 75482
903-885-3443

Author: Staff Reporter

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