Looking like wild mustard or wild radish, the garden yellowrocket bears small cross-shaped yellow flowers from early spring to early summer. This biennial or very short-lived perennial typically grows in the cooler months, from autumn to spring, becoming dormant in the heat of summer.
The long taproot supports a rosette of medium green leaves that are elongated with lobes. The flower stem arises from the center of this rosettes and branches many times to support scores of tiny lemon yellow blossoms...
James H. Schutte
(Crested Philippine Violet)
Sandpapery leaves nestle around the trumpeting lavender-purple flowers of the crested Philippine violet in autumn. A semi-evergreen shrub native to India and Southeast Asia, it is upright in habit with a rounded silhouette. The leaves are oval, medium-green, roughly haired. Blooming most heavily in autumn, but a lesser degree in spring, it has lavender-purple or pinkish flowers at the tips of its stems. Each blossom is trumpet-like with a throat that is white-streaked. In a cool or droughty winter,...
James H. Schutte
(Golden Barleria, Primrose Barleria)
Pleasantly rounded in habit with deep green foliage, primrose barleria bears upright green spikes that have delicate light yellow blossoms from fall to spring. This tender tropical shrub is native from southern Mexico to Colombia. It is the only Barleria native to the New World and has commonly been mistakenly labeled in the nursery trade as Barleria micans, which is from Africa.
The many upright branches on this shrub creates a rounded clump. Leaves are slightly hairy or fuzzy...
James H. Schutte
(Ceylon Spinach, Indian Spinach, Malabar Spinach)
Pretty in flower and with edible, spinach-like foliage, Malabar spinach is a fast-growing vine that has both ornamental and culinary qualities. This heat-tolerant native of India is perennial and fully evergreen where hardy and has densely twining, rambling stems that can become thick and may require some management to keep them from overtaking supports.
The long, fleshy, green stems of Malabar spinach readily twine around anything upright and are lined with rounded, heart-shaped leaves of a...
(Ceylon Spinach, Malabar Spinach, Red Malabar Spinach)
Red-stemmed and pretty in flower, red Malabar spinach is a fast-growing vine that has both ornamental and culinary qualities. Its tender leaves can be eaten like spinach and colorful stems add season-long interest. A native of India, Malabar spinach is a fully evergreen tender perennial with densely twining, rambling stems that can become thick and often require management to keep them from overtaking supports.
The long, fleshy, reddish purple stems of red Malabar spinach readily twine around...
A fast-growing annual with dense foliage on upright stems, Burning bush is showy in autumn as its leaves turn reddish purple. Native to Eurasia, this species is usually considered a weed elsewhere because it reseeds itself abundantly.
The leaves are thin and oblong or linear, ranging in color from light green to a light gray-green. The soft, fleshy stems are blushed salmon-red and can readily flop or break in a rain or wind downburst. Flowers occur in summer but are inconspicuous. In autumn the...
(Butterfly Vine, Orange Bauhinia, Orange Butterfly Vine)
Attracting butterflies with its pretty clusters of yellow and orange springtime flowers, orange butterfly vine also has two-lobed leaves that resemble a pair of angel's wings. A frost-tender, rambling evergreen liana (woody vine), it is native to southeastern Asia from Thailand to Malaysia.
The unusual two-lobed leaves of orange butterfly vine are bright green when young and mature to a dull medium to dark green. Each leaf has five to seven prominent veins. In the warmth of spring and early summer,...
Forest & Kim Starr
(Butterfly Tree, Nasturtium Bauhinia, Red Bauhinia)
When in bloom, the nasturium-bauhinia looks like a reddish-orange bougainvillea from a distance due to its habit and profuse flowers. A semi-deciduous tree native to southeastern Africa, it grows upright, but has drooping, spreading branches that flop to the ground or on to nearby plants.
The leaves are rounded and divided into two lobes like other Bauhinia. They are a light to medium green and shed during the cool or lightly frosty winter season. The five-petaled flowers bloom most...
(Butterfly Tree, Orchid Tree)
Extraordinary orchid-like blossoms make this tropical tree one of the most beautiful available. Orchid tree is native to Southeast Asia and is well adapted to hot tropical climates as well as more mild ones. It grows to a medium height and has an open canopy.
This semi-evergreen tree loses its leaves in early spring just before it blooms, which really helps the showy flowers stand out. The exotic blossoms are spidery and rich magenta to pink in color. They literally cloak the entire tree creating...
(Bottle Palm, Ponytail Palm)
Heat and drought are no problem for this tough plant. Ponytail palm is a tall, palm-like plant that is not a true palm but is closely related to agave. It has an upright, fleshy, trunk-like stem that becomes swollen at the base, where is stores water. This is topped with clusters of long, curved, sword-shaped leaves that hang down giving the appearance of a pony’s tail. When mature, it produces panicles of fragrant cream colored flowers that are pollinated by bats.
Ponytail palm thrives in hot...