Gerald L. Klingaman
The dense turf grass, buffalograss, is a warm season perennial native to the Central Plains of the North America, from Manitoba, Canada down to Mexico. It is very drought tolerant and was one of the most important food sources for the great herds of bison that once roamed the plains.
This is one of the best native grasses for turf and lawns. It has curly, thin, gray-green blades and spreads by both stolons (above ground lateral stems) and rhizomes (below ground lateral stems). Its grassy late-season...
(Blue Grama Grass, Mosquito Grass)
Blue grama grass is a perennial warm season grass grown for its fine, gray-green leaves and one-sided decorative flowers. A compact grower, it is native to the arid western United States and Mexico where soils are dry and alkaline.
Fine, narrow, gray-green leaves emerge in spring. In summer slender stems rise above the foliage lined with one-sided flower buds that resemble mosquito larvae. The tiny flowers are reddish purple when they open and quite decorative lining the stem tips. In autumn the...
(Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass, Blue Grama Grass)
An exceptionally showy, heavy-flowering selection of blue grama grass, 'Blond Ambition' is a perennial warm-season grass grown for its one-sided, horizontal decorative flowers and blond, light yellow-tan seed heads. An upright, clumping plant larger than the wild grass species, it is native to the arid western United States and Mexico where soils are dry and alkaline. Cultivar 'Blonde Ambition' was discovered and introduced by David Salman of High Country Gardens in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Forest & Kim Starr
(Firecrackerbush, Scarlet Bouvardia, Scarlet trompetilla)
With glossy dark gray-green foliage, Firecrackerbush lives up to its moniker from summer to winter with clustered scarlet red flowers that look like elongated trumpets. A rather open-branched and free-formed evergreen shrub, it is native from the extreme southwestern United States into Mexico and Central America.
Its leaves are oval or lance-shaped, and dark-green with hints of gray-green. The tops of the leaves are glossy while the undersides are lightly hairy. At the tips of the branches, from...
Forest & Kim Starr
(Australian Flame Tree, Flame Bottle Tree, Illawarra Flame Tree)
Australian flame tree has maple-like foliage that drops in time to reveal naked branches lined with thousands of red flowers in late spring and summer. An upright but rounded semi-evergreen to fully deciduous tropical tree, it eventually forms a plump green trunk when mature. The bark becomes ghostly light gray with age. This showy tree is native to the forests of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.
Following the dry winter, the bare gray-green branches bear thousands of small flowers...
Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
(Bush Kurrajong, Pink Flame Tree, Queensland Lacebark)
A stately silhouette of spreading branches atop a bottle-shaped trunk makes the Queensland lacebark attractive even when the rose-colored flowers are absent. Native to the dry forests and coastal scrub of northeastern Australia, the tree has smooth green bark and a pyramidal shape when young. With age, the bark becomes cracked and gray, and the tree's canopy a bit more muscular and spreading. Tap the trunk and it sounds hollow, although packed with fibers.
The tree tends to drop leaves during...
Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
(Bottle Tree, Kurrajong, Whiteflower Kurrajong)
Bottle tree is so remarkably drought-tolerant that it remains lush and green even in brutally hot, desert climates. It originates in eastern Australia where it grows in both humid and arid regions, but all with a long dry season. The large, glossy leaves are poplar-like, creating a dense, shade-giving canopy with a slightly weeping character. The trunk is wider at the base, an adaptation to drought for storing moisture.
The sun-loving tree produces clusters of tiny white flowers in spring, flushed...
(Brachyscome, Surdaisy™ Mauve Brachyscome, Swan River Daisy)
A tender perennial most often grown as an annual that's killed by subfreezing temperatures, the Surdaisy™ Mauve Swan River daisy produces pale blue-lavender flowers. This cultivar -- 'Bonbrabu' -- resulted from controlled cross-pollination efforts in 2004 by Andrew Bernuetz of Bonza Botanicals in Yellow Rock, New South Wales, Australia.
The bright emerald green leaves are narrow and deeply lobed, create a soft-looking frilly mass. The delicate leaves make an attractive foil to the yellow-eyed...
(Brachyscome, Surdaisy™ White Brachyscome, Swan River Daisy)
Commonly grown as an annual that's killed by subfreezing temperatures, the Surdaisy™ White Swan River daisy, a tender perennial, produces angelic white flowers. This cultivar -- 'Bonbraho' -- resulted from controlled cross-pollination efforts in 2004 by Andrew Bernuetz of Bonza Botanicals in Yellow Rock, New South Wales, Australia.
The bright emerald green leaves are narrow and deeply lobed, create a soft-looking frilly mass. The delicate leaves make an attractive foil to the yellow-eyed daisies...
(Brachyscome, Surdaisy™ Pink Brachyscome, Swan River Daisy)
A mounding plant with brown stems that freely branch and sprawl outward, the Surdaisy™ Pink Swan River daisy produces pink to soft, delicate rose blossoms with yellow and green centers. A hybrid tender perennial, it's most often grown as a seasonal bedding annual that's killed by subfreezing temperatures.
A striking oddity for this Swan River daisy selection are the jagged oval leaves of a dark green. New leaves are purplish. The coarse-looking leaves make an effective background for the Easter-worthy...