These medium sized plants are probably the most important group of ornamentals for use in building up the landscape picture. They are used to round out sharp corners and tie the taller forms in with the ground cover. It is highly desirable to use massed plantings of the less showy forms as background and (with trees) for skyline effect around the properly lines with group plantings of the more attractive flowering types to give a splash of color.
Among these less showy shrubs for foundation planting we have: Pittosporums, Jasminums, Ligustrums, Pyracanthas, Viburnums, Photinias, Cotoneasters, Cinnamon Jasmine (Artobotrys odoratissmus), Chalcas, Guayacan (Porlieria angustifolia), Coyotillo (Karwinskia Humboltiana), Manzanita (Malpighia glabra), Zitherwood (Citharexylum Berlandieri), Colima (Xanthoxylum Fagara), Elaeagnus pungens, and Sea Grape (Coccolobis uvifera).
Of the very showy flowering shrubs which might be used, there is such a long list of excellent material to choose from that it is difficult to select a few. Of the better known species, one might use Bush Allamanda, Caesalpinia, Cassia, Duranta, Surinum Cherry, Yellow Sophora, Crape Jasmine, Hibiscus, Native Turks Cap, Bush Morning Glory, Lantana, Crape Myrtle, Althea, Plumbago, Poinsettia, Esperenza, Cenizo, and Vitex.
Meritorious, but less known colorful shrubs include such subjects as: Dombeya, Daedalacanthus, Bottlebrush, Carissa, Clerodendrums, Cigarette Plant, Chinese Hat Plant, Hamelia, Bush Thunbergia, Ixora and Angels Trumpet.
For those who desire a sheared hedge it might be well to consider such plants as Texas Ebony, Carissa, Cenizo, Colima, Brasil, White Brush, Athel, Cherry Laurel, and the Ligustrums.
Acacia amentacea. Black Brush. A tall growing, evergreen shrub having very dark green pinnate foliage and straight spines about an inch long; numerous tassels of light yellow flowers which are followed by ornamental, purple seed pods. (Leguminosae.)
Acacia angustissima. Prairie Guajillo. A low growing plant rarely reaching a height of over three feet. In northern parts of Texas it behaves as an annual but in the southern part it is a perennial. It produces bright green, finely divided leaves and white acacia flowers. This is a valuable pasture plant in southwest Texas.
Acacia Berlandieri. Guajillo. This native acacia is the most famous honey plant in Texas. It is a tall growing shrub having a few thorns, numerous dark green, fern-like leaves; and beginning in the late fall, a few clusters of white acacia flowers which continue to bloom until late spring. The plants produce pods filled with large, round, glossy, brown beans.
Acacia tortuosa. Huisachillo. A low growing, native acacia, up to six feet in height, having foliage and flowers similar to that of the Huisache. The seed pods of the Huisachillo are somewhat like a soybean, whereas the Huisache seed pod is smooth and black. The bark of the Huisachillo is greenish brown compared to the reddish brown bark of the Huisache. The Huisachillo is a honey plant, whereas the Huisache is only a pollen plant.
These native evergreen shrubs are resistant to drought and have ornamental ferny foliage.
Allamanda neriifolia. Yellow-Bush Allamanda. A semi-climbing type with clear yellow, tubular flowers that is well adapted and somewhat resistant to cold. (Apocynaceae.)
Allamanda violacea, Hort. Purple Allamanda. A small bush that produces dark green, lanceolate leaves and rose colored, tubular flowers. Not to be confused with the so-called Blue Allamanda (Cryptostegia) which produces lavender flowers.
These plants, which are shrub-like in form, produce glossy, dark green, lanceolate leaves, and typical allamanda flowers. They are quite tender to cold and will freeze to the ground at temperatures only slightly below freezing.
Artobotrys odoratissmus. Cinnamon Jasmine, False Ylang-Ylang, P.I. 37013. A semi-climbing, evergreen shrub having glossy, bright green leaves about six inches long; and spicy, fragrant greenish-yellow flowers and dense clusters of aromatic yellow fruits. Well adapted; rapid growing; somewhat tender to cold. (Annonaceae.)
Asclepias tuberosa. Butterfly Weed. A native evergreen bush, about three feet in height, having lanceolate, dark green, oleander-like leaves with milky sap, and clusters of orange and red flowers that are produced on the tips of the wand-like branches. The long pods are typical of the Milkweed Family. Sometimes called Mexican Oleander. (Asclepidaceae.)
Atriplex acanthocarpa. Salt Bush. A low growing, evergreen, native bush having dense, silver-gray ovate leaves. Useful as a soil binder along canals or ditch banks, or as a ground cover. (Chenopodiaceae.)
Baccharis neglecta. False Willow. A tall shrub that produces numerous, willow-like branches covered with very dark green, linear leaves. After warm rains, this plant produces a profusion of creamy white flower clusters which are followed by plumed seeds that cover the plant with a white cloud. This is one of the first plants to invade abandoned fields, and care should be taken to plant them only where the seedlings can be controlled. (Compositae.)
Beloperone guttata. Shrimp Plant. A small, tropical, evergreen shrub having rather brittle, spreading branches; medium green, ovate leaves; and showy spikes of brick-red floral bracts which terminate in small, inconspicuous, tubular, white flowers. This attractive plant appears to be well adapted to conditions in this region. (Acanthaceae.)
Berberis. Agrito, Barberry. These ornamental shrubs are native to other parts of Texas. They produce dark green, holly-like leaflets and showy berries. The B. trifoliata (Agrito) produces red berries, while B. Swazeyii (Five-Leaf Berry) bears blue fruits. (Berberidaceae.)
Breynia (Phyllanthus). These oval leafed, evergreen plants produce showy, variegated foliage. The plants are small, having graceful branches covered with soft, colorful oval leaves. Calico Bush (B. nivosa var. roseo-pictus) produces dark green leaves variegated in rose, cream and pink, the new growth being pink. It can be used as a small hedge plant. Snow Bush (B. nivosa var. albus) produces green and white variegated leaves, the new growth being white. The Bronze-Bush (B. nivosa var. autropurpureus) provides a darker tone with bronze colored leaves. None of these types have been proven entirely satisfactory in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. (Euphorbiaceae.)
Buddleia asiatica. White Butterfly-Bush. This type differs from other Buddleias in that the plants have an upright habit of growth and produce lanceolate leaves and sweet scented flowers. It appears to be well adapted. (Loganiaceae.)
Buddleia madagascariensis. Yellow Butterfly-Bush. This rank growing, spreading shrub has gray green, lanceolate leaves and bright yellow spikes of flowers which are produced in great abundance during the early summer season.
Buddleia sp. Blue Butterfly-Bush. Of the blue flowered types only one unnamed variety has been found that appears to be adapted.
Buxus microphylla var. japonica. Japanese Box-Wood. This species is not generally planted in the Valley. However, it should be more popular as it does not require heavy shearing, and the plants are quite attractive in appearance. It produces small dark green, obovate leaves. (Buxaxaceae.)
Buxus sempervirens. English Box-Wood, Common Box-Wood. This is a tall growing species which must be sheared. It produces small, dark green, oblong leaves. It is commonly used as a hedge plant and appears to be well adapted.
Buxus sempervirens var. suffruticosa. Dwarf Box-Wood. This is a very dwarf type having very small, glossy oblong leaves. All Box-Wood are dense, evergreen, small-leafed plants and are valuable for borders and low hedges.
Callicarpa americana. French Mulberry. A deciduous bush that is native to East Texas. It produces bright green, verbena-like leaves, and numerous small pink flowers in the leaf axils during mid-summer. These are followed by showing, succulent, mulberry-colored fruits crowded in clusters along the branches. Appears to be well adapted. (Verbenaceae.)
Calycanthus floridus. Sweet-Scented Shrub, Spice-Bush, Carolina All Spice. An upright growing shrub, about six feet tall, having large, glossy, dark green ovate to oval leaves. In late spring, it produces fragrant, reddish brown flowers. Does not appear to be very well adapted. (Calycanthaceae.)
Camellia japonica. Camellia. These evergreen shrubs have glossy, dark green, ovate to oblong leaves. The plants produce showy pink, white or red flowers in the single and double types. Camellias require an acid soil and thrive best in a well drained, sandy soil well supplied with humus. It is suggested that they be grown in a mixture of sandy loam and peat moss and under half shade. (Ternstroemiaceae.)
Canna generalis. Canna. Cannas are well adapted to conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and if given sufficient quantities of water, will bloom satisfactorily over long periods of time. They may be had in a variety of colors and color combinations. These ornamental plants are too common to be duly appreciated. (Cannaceae.)
Cantua bicolor. Sacred Flower. Flowers are mostly yellow, not fringed. (Polemoniaceae.)
Cantua buxifolia. Magic Flower. Flowers pinkish red with yellow striped tube and fringed crimson lobes.
Shrubs up to ten feet high having the young growth covered with velvety hairs. These plants produce small, crowded, oblong leaves and heavy terminal clusters of medium sized, trumpet shaped flowers which cause the twigs to droop.
Carissa Arduina var. nana. Dwarf Carissa. Plants attain a height of about two feet; have small flowers and fruits. Well adapted. (Apocynaceae.)
Carissa grandiflora. Natal Plum. A large growing type having numerous double spines, flowers about two inches in diameter and fruits about two inches long which are useful in jelly making. A rapid growing, well adapted shrub.
Carissa spinarum. Spiny Dwarf Carissa. A very dwarf type having very small leaves, flowers and fruits.
These spiny, evergreen plants produce glossy, dark green, ovate leaves, white flowers and bright red fruits.
Castela texana. Amargosa. A spiny native shrub that produces gray branches, small, dark green lanceolate leaves and small, four petal, red flowers which are followed by a profusion of glossy red fruits. Useful only in a location where a very thorny plant is required. (Simarubaceae.)
Celtis pallida. Granjeno. A large growing, native shrub that is closely related to the hackberry tree. It produces numerous, upright branches that bear a few thorns; small, rough, dark green ovate leaves and numerous small flowers which are followed by orange-red fruits. These fruits are used in making "Algerado" jelly. (Ulmaceae.)
Cephalanthus occidentalis. Button-Bush. A tall native shrub, usually found along canal banks, that produces light green, linear leaves and small, fragrant, white flowers in tight, circular heads. Not used as an ornamental but useful as a screen in swampy locations. (Rubiaceae.)
Ceratostigma Willmottianum. Dark Blue Plumbago. A type having deep green, oblong leaves, and deep blue flowers. The plants are small and less vigorous than the common types. (Plumbaginaceae.)
Cestrum aurantiacum. Orange Jasmine. A slender shrub having long, ovate dark green leaves and open clusters of orange-yellow, tubular flowers. Received from the U.S.D.A. (Solanaceae.)
Cestrum diurnum. Day Blooming Jasmine. An upright growing plant up to ten feet high that produces numerous willowy branches, bright green, lanceolate leaves, and clusters of small fragrant, tubular, white flowers which are followed by succulent, purple berries. Well adapted.
Cestrum nocturnum. Night Blooming Jasmine. An evergreen bush up to five feet in height that produces dark green, oblong leaves and a profusion of greenish flowers which open only at night are intensely fragrant. The flowers are followed by oblong white berries. Well adapted.
Chaenomeles (Cydonia) japonica. Flowering Quince, Japanese Quince. A deciduous plant having oval to round leaves, orange-red flowers about an inch and a half in diameter and round, yellow fruits with a red blush. These plants have not fruited in this region. (Rosaceae.)
Chrysobalanus Icaco. Coco Plum. A large, ornamental shrub having glossy, dark green ovate leaves. It produces small white flowers in erect racemes, which are followed by dry, sweetish, plum-shaped fruits that are sometimes used in preserving. This plant will thrive along the seacoast. (Rosaceae.)
Citharexylum. Zitherwood. There are two species of Citharexylum native to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. They are very much alike in appearance, producing medium green, ovate leaves, terminal spikes of small, white flowers and bunched, orange-red berries. They differ in that the Fruiting Citharexylum, C. Berlandieri (Zitherwood), produces fewer spikes of flowers and a great profusion of berries; the Flowering Citharexylum (C. brachyanthum) produces a profusion of flowers spikes and very few berries. Both types requite some pruning to keep the desirable inverted bowl type of plant. (Verbenaceae.)
Clerodendrum speciosissimum (fallax). Red Clerodendrum. A shrub, up to four feet in height, having four angled stems, large, coarse, ovate leaves and numerous upright, bright red flowers in terminal cymes. The flowers are surrounded by short, toothed sepals having recurved lobes, and are followed by dark purplish berries. (Verbenaceae.)
Clerodendrum foetidum. Rose Glory Bower, Wild Hydrangea. A shrub, up to five feet in height, having strong scented, large, coarse, dark green ovate leaves. The numerous dusty-red flowers are produced in terminal corymbs. Plants multiply by sending up numerous shoots from the root tips, as does the Cologne Bush.
Clerodendrum fragrans. Cologne Bush. A rapid growing evergreen bush three to four feet tall that produces coarse, dark green, ovate leaves, and fragrant, white camellia-like flowers. The foliage, when crushed, is quite malodorous.
Clerodendrum Siphananthus (Siphonanthus indica). Turks Turban. A tall, slender growing shrub up to ten feet high, that produces dark green, oblong leaves and slender cymes of tubular, white flowers which are followed by showy, glossy, deep purple fruits surrounded by thick, waxy, deep red, toothed sepals, the lobes of which are recurved. The fruiting branches remain attractive for a considerable length of time after being cut.
Coccolobis uvifera. Sea Grape. A rank growing, tropical, evergreen shrub that produces large, glossy, prominently veined, deep green, ovate leaves and racemes of fragrant white flowers which are followed by clusters of dark, reddish-purple fruits that make excellent jelly. This plant will thrive on saline soils but is tender to frost. (Polygonaceae.)
Coldenia. Several species of Coldenia are native in this region. These perennial plants are all evergreen. The plants are usually about 18 inches high and produce small, gray leaves and very small, white flowers in the axils of the leaves. Especially useful in soil erosion control. (Boraginaceae.)
Colubrina texensis. Hog Plum. A native, thornless, drought resistant shrub that attains a height of five feet. The light green ovate leaves are produced along numerous gray, tortuous branches. In the early spring, it produces a profusion of peculiar, greenish-yellow flowers which are followed by small, oblong, seed capsules. This plant is of use chiefly in droughty locations. (Rhamnaceae.)
Coprosma Baueri. Coprosma. This evergreen spreading shrub seldom reaches a height of more than a few feet. The glossy, varnished appearance of the oval to oblong leaves and graceful habit of growth makes this an excellent foundation plant. (Rubiaceae.)
Cotoneaster horizontalis. Rock Cotoneaster, Horizontal Cotoneaster. A dwarf type having very small, dark green, oval leaves and a profusion of dark red berries. Its spreading habit of growth makes it useful as a ground cover. (Rosaceae.)
Cotoneaster pannosa. Silverleaf Cotoneaster. An evergreen shrub up to ten feet in height that produces willowy, arching branches; small, oval, dull green leaves which are silvery underneath; numerous clusters of small, white flowers which are followed by small, red fruits. Subject to fire blight and requires frequent pruning to remove dead wood.
Cotoneaster pannosa var. nana. Dwarf Cotoneaster. A dwarf, slender bush having dull green, oval leaves. Fairly well adapted.
Cotoneaster Parneyi. Fruiting Cotoneaster. An upright plant having dark green, small, oval leaves and a profusion of berries; semi-deciduous.
Cotoneaster prostrata. Prostate Cotoneaster. A large, dense, spreading shrub having glossy, bright green, oblong leaves, few clusters of flowers, and very few, orange-red, flattened berries. The plants are quite tortuous.
Coursetia axillaris. Baby Bonnets. A native, evergreen, thornless bush that produces numerous small leaflets and throughout the early summer is covered with small, pink, pea-shaped flowers. (Leguminosae.)
Cuphea hyssopifolia. Narrow-Leaf Cuphea, Elfin Herb. Very dwarf plants up to nine inches high which produce very small, dark green, linear leaves and small, five petaled, lavender flowers throughout the year. (Lythraceae.)
Cuphea lanceolata. Firefly Cuphea. A small, upright plant that behaves as an annual in this region. It produces dark red stems about two feet high, dull green lanceolate leaves edged with red, and five petaled, flaming red flowers, having deep blue veining and white throats.
Cuphea micropetala and miniata. Cigarette Plant. C. micropetala is a native, evergreen plant, usually about five feet in height, that produces medium green, smooth, ovate leaves and numerous, orange-red, tubular flowers, followed by small, red fruits. The seedlings which appear under the old bushes are easily transplated. All three Cupheas are well adapted. C. miniata is a more floriferous type having velvety foliage and showy orange colored tubular flowers.
Datura arborea. Tree Angels-Trumpet. A tree-like form that produces large, pure white flowers. Very desirable. (Dolanaceae.)
Datura chlorantha. Yellow Angels-Trumpet. A type having dark green foliage and yellow flowers, that appears to be well adapted.
Datura Metel. The Jimson-Weed of Texas. It is a valuable ornamental in some parts of the country, but must be considered inferior to D. arborea in the Valley.
Datura sanguinea. Rose Angels-Trumpet. A species having rose colored flowers that does not appear to be adapted to our conditions.
Datura suaveolens. White Angels-Trumpet. A double flowered type that produces white flowers tinged with purple. The plants appear to be well adapted.
Large spreading plants that produce coarse, dull green, lanceolate to ovate leaves, and large trumpet-shaped flowers which open early in the evening and close during the day.
Dombeya (Assonia) hybrida. Blanche. A large shrub having white flower heads of typical Assonia type. (Sterculiaceae.)
Dombeya (Assonia) punctata. Rose Bouquet. This species has an upright, open habit of growth; upright terminal heads of deep pink, large florets. Plants are well adapted to Valley conditions.
Dombeya (Assonia) Wallichi. Pink Ball. A compact shrub having drooping heads of delicate pink flowers. Well adapted.
Rank growing, tropical shrubs which produce large coarse, cordate leaves and terminal heads of hydrangea-like flowers in colors ranging from white to pink.
Duranta repens (plumieri). Lilac-Flowered Golden Dewdrop. A rapid growing type having dense foliage and lilac colored flowers. Very desirable. (Verbenaceae.)
Duranta repens var. alba. White-Flowered Golden Dewdrop. A slow growing, sparse foliaged type that is not well adapted as the lilac-flowered variety.
Large, evergreen shrubs that produce graceful, drooping branches, a few thorns, bright green ovate leaves and numerous small flowers throughout the year which are followed by numerous, small, golden "balls." These plants are resistant to disease and insect attack.
Elaeagnus pungens. Elaeagnus, Russian Holly. A large growing, evergreen shrub having small, dull green, holly-like leaves that are silvery underneath. The very fragrant, small, waxy, white flowers appear periodically throughout the year, and are followed by a few oblong, orange-red fruits. This plant is well adapted and makes rapid growth. (Elaeagnaceae.)
Ephedra antisyphilitica. Joint-Fir, Popotillo. This peculiar native plant produces numerous green branches having no leaves. After blooming early in the summer, the plant produces numerous red fruits in June and July. (Ephedraceae.)
Eranthemum (Daedalacanthus) nervosum. Daedalacanthus. An evergreen shrub up to five feet in height that produces dark green, deeply veined ovate leaves and spikes of small, deep blue flowers which appear during the winter and spring season. (Acanthaceae.)
Ervatamia (Tabernaemontana) coronaria. Pinwheel Jasmine. Similar in appearance to the commonly planted Crape Jasmine, except that the flowers are single and smaller. Not to be confused with the Pinwheel Jasmine Vine. (Apocynaceae.)
Ervantamia (Tabernaemontana) coronaris var. flore-pleno. Crape Jasmine, Clavelle de India, Indian Carnation. A tender, evergreen shrub bearing glossy, bright green, ovate-lanceolate leaves with milky juice. The bushes are somewhat similar in appearance to those of the Cape Jasmine. The very double, white flowers are about three inches across, and the petals have wavy margins. Well adapted.
Eugenia paniculata var. australis (myrtifolia). Surinum Cherry. A large, tree-like shrub having oval, glossy green leaves two to three inches long. Useful principally as a hedge plant. (Myrtaceae.)
Eugenia uniflora. Surinum Cherry. These compact plants have small, deep green, ovate leaves and bright red, ribbed fruits.
Large evergreen shrubs that produce glossy, dark green leaves; small circular, white flowers; and edible, red fruits about the size of cherries.
Euonymus europaeus. European Burning Bush, Bush Bittersweet. An erect shrub having dark green oblong leaves. In the spring, this plant produces clusters of small, yellow flowers, which are followed in the fall by rose colored berries that split open, disclosing the orange colored seed. Leaves of this plant turn red in the fall in other regions, but have frailed to change color or shed in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. (Celastraceae.)
Euonymus japonicus. Evergreen Burning-Bush, Japanese Euonymus. An upright, evergreen plant that produces dark green, obovate leaves. These plants appear to be short lived and are subject to chlorosis.
Euphorbia heterophylla. Mexican Poinsettia, Hypocrite Poinsettia. A small native plant having hollow, pithy stems and milky sap. The leaves, oblong-lanceolate, have notched margins and are splotched with red and yellow. The inconspicuous, greenish flower heads are borne in terminal clusters at the tips of the branches and are followed by small round seeds. This can be made into a useful foliage plant by roguing out the undesirable and poorly colored specimens. (Euphorbiaceae.)
Euphorbia pulcherrima. Poinsettia. These plants are upright in habit of growth and produce large, ovate, dark green leaves. During the fall and winter seasons, the terminal leaves surrounding the flower clusters develop a bright scarlet-red color. Certain strains produce terminals having densely clustered scarlet leaves. The Pink Poinsettia is a type having pale pink to greenish-pink terminal leaves. Less showy than the red variety. The White Poinsettia is a type which produces green-white terminal leaves. Less desirable than the red variety.
A group of plants having hollow stems and milky sap. These showy ornamentals produce terminal leaves that take on a bright coloration in the fall and have the appearance of large flowers. The true flowers are small, greenish-yellow heads surrounded by floral leaves.
Eysenhardtia texana. Rock-Brush. A native thornless shrub or small tree having gray bark on its branches and numerous aromatic pinnate leaves. The small, white aromatic flowers are borne in great abundance. (Leguminosae.)
Fallugia paradoxa. Apache Plume. An evergreen shrub, native to the Winter Garden area, that is quite similar to the wild rose in its general appearance. The plants have a spreading habit of growth and produce small divided leaves, numerous white, rose-like flowers and seeds having feathery plume-like appendages. (Rosaceae.)
Feijoa Sellowiana. Feijoa. A large, symmetrical, evergreen shrub which produces gray green, oval leaves, and a profusion of rosy-white flowers having conspicuous red stamen. The red birds and orioles relish the petals of the flowers, and remain in the vicinity of the bushes as long as they are blooming. The bloom is followed by oval, green fruits about the size of a plum, which do not mature in this region. Hardy to cold and very desirable. (Myrtaceae.)
Forestiera angustifolia. Elbow Bush. An evergreen native bush up to four and one half feet high that produces many short, right angled branches and dense, dark green, linear leaves about 3/4-inch long. In early spring the staminate bushes produce a profusion of small flowers which have no petals but are composed of numerous yellow stamen. The flowers are followed in mid-summer by a profusion of dark blue, oblong drupes. (Oleaceae.)
Fuchsia hybrida. Fuchsia. The commonly grown hybrid fuchsias demand shade and moisture. The leaf color ranges from light green to dark reddish green; while the range of colors in the flowers include white, violet, pink, red and blue. Hybrid fuchsias do not thrive out-of-doors in this region, and the Valley Experiment Station is including F. arborescens, a species from Mexico, in their trial plantings with the hope that it will prove adapted to outdoor culture. (Onagraceae.)
Gardenia grandiflora (florida). Cape Jasmine, Gardenia. A large bush having glossy, dark green leaves and fragrant, double, white flowers of medium to large size. These plants require an acid soil, and should have periodic applications of iron sulfate worked into the soil to prevent chlorosis. (Rubiaceae.)
Genista hispanica. Spanish Broom. A multiple branched shrub having very dark green, linear leaves and short racemes of bright yellow, pea-shaped flowers. This plant appears to be well adapted to conditions in the lower Rio Grande Valley. (Leguminosae.)
Gyminda latifolia. Wild Box-Wood, Cross Thorn. This native bush will reach a height of about three feet. It produces coriaceaous, cuneate leaves, and small white flowers, which grow directly out of the sides of the stems. The green, globe-like fruit (1/2-inch in diameter) adhere to the stem like galls. The plant bears occasional quite large thorns on either side of the stem. (Celastraceae.)
Hamelia erecta (patens). Scarlet Bush. An evergreen shrub having bright green ovate leaves veined with red. The young twigs and foliage are also red. This plant produces cymes of scarlet-orange, tubular flowers. Plants are tender to cold but will sprout from the root if frozen back. (Rubiaceae.)
Hibiscus calycinus. Yellow-Flower Hibiscus. A single, yellow flowered variety that appears to be well adapted. (Malvaceae.)
Hibiscus cannabius. Double Yellow Hibiscus. A double, yellow flowered variety that is very showy. It appears to be less hardy that other species.
Hibiscus cardiophyllus. Silver-Leaf Hibiscus. This small native shrub produces attractive red flowers and will thrive under conditions that are unfavorable to other species.
Hibiscus heterophyllus. Australian Hibiscus. Plants of this variety have dark green, red veined leaves and produce single, white flowers having maroon colored markings.
Hibiscus mutabilis. Cotton Rose, Confederate Rose. A large shrub or small tree having large, dull green foliage. It produces terminal flower clusters which open in the morning, white in color, turn pink by noon and red by nightfall. Plants can be obtained in single or double flowered varieties. This is a rapid growing, well adapted plant.
Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis. Chinese Hibiscus. This group includes both single and double flowered types of the common hibiscus in a wide variety of colors.
Hibiscus schizopetalus. Fringed Hibiscus. This is the fuchsia-flowered type of hibiscus and the deeply cut, lacy, fringed petals are recurved about rather prominent pistils. It is well adapted and should be useful in hybridizing work.
Hibiscus syriacus. Althea, Rose-of-Sharon. A large, deciduous shrub which produces hibiscus-like leaves and medium size, hibiscus-like flowers in both single and double forms. The color types range from pure white to deep red, and include a number of multicolored varieties.
These showy subtropicals are most useful because of their attractive appearance and ever-blooming habit. The shrubs resemble cotton plants in appearance, and there is a wide range of colors from which to choose. All types, except some of the hybrid yellows, appear to be well adapted.
Holmskioldia sanguinea. Chinese-Hat Plant, Christmas Plant. A rapid-growing, evergreen shrub up to ten feet in height that produces dull green, ovate leaves. The plants have graceful, drooping branches and, in fall and winter, are covered with a profusion of small, red, tubular flowers having circular, brick-red calyxes. Well adapted to Valley conditions. (Verbenaceae.)
Hydrangea macrophylla (opuloides). Hydrangea. This plant has not proven well adapted under average soil conditions found in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. However, if the soil is built up with peat moss, leaf mold and manure, and if the plants are given sufficient shade and moisture, they can be satisfactorily grown. The color of the blossoms can be intensified to deep blue by adding aluminum sulfate to the soil, or can be changed to pink by adding iron sulfate. (Saxifragaceae.)
Ilex vomitoria. Yaupon. The plants have small, dark green, elliptic leaves and dark red berries. Not entirely satisfactory in the lower Rio Grande Valley. (Aquifoliaceae.)
Ipomoea crassicaulis. Texas Bush Morning-Glory. A native, evergreen bush up to fifteen feet high, that produces large, ovate, dull green leaves and a profusion of lavender to pink morning-glory flowers which are followed by woolly seed capsules. Well adapted, rapid growing. (Convolvulaceae.)
Ixora fulgens. Ixora, Indian Flame-Bush. A tropical, evergreen shrub that produces glossy green, oblong leaves, and panicles of showy, orange-red flowers. This plant appears to be well adapted to conditions in this region. (Rubiaceae.)
Jacobinia (Justicia) carnea. Pink Jacobinia. A shrub one to three feet tall having lanceolate to ovate leaves and large spikes of pink flowers. (Acanthaceae.)
Jacobinia (Justicia) velutina. Rose Jacobinia. This is a dwarf plant up to one foot high producing medium green, lanceolate leaves and showy, rose-colored flowers. For best results, plants should be replaced every year.
Jasminum floridum. Florida Jasmine. This plant was formerly called Humile Jasmine. A graceful, evergreen shrub having angled, reflexed branches; very dark green, small, three to five-foliate leaves; and very small, golden yellow, star-like flowers that are borne in open clusters. Well adapted and very desirable. (Oleaceae.)
Jasminum grandiflorum. Spanish Jasmine. An evergreen shrub that produces dark green, five to seven-foliate leaves and fragrant, pedi-celled white flowers about three-fourths of an inch in diameter, which are borne in open clusters. Well adapted and quite desirable.
Jasminum humile. Italian Jasmine. An evergreen climbing shrub up to fifteen feet in height that requires support. It produces angled, green branches, 3 to 7-foliate leaves, the leaflets being medium green (1 1/2 to 2 inches long); bright yellow, fragrant flowers in open clusters. Well adapted but not as desirable as Jasminum floridum.
Jasminum primulinum. Primrose Jasmine. A rapid growing, hardy evergreen shrub that produces graceful, arching branches, four angled stems, medium green, three-foliate leaves, and bright yellow, solitary flowers about two inches in diameter. Well adapted.
Jasminum Sambac. Arabian Jasmine. An evergreen bush having thick, glossy, dark green, oblong leaves about one and one half inches long and a profusion of very double, fragrant, white flowers about an inch and a half in diameter. Well adapted and easily propogated by cuttings.
Jasminum Sambac var. Maid of Orleans Jasmine. A trailing type of bush that produces thin, medium green, ovate leaves about two inches long, and semi-double, fragrant white flowers three-fourths of an inch in diameter. Well adapted but less hardy to cold than Grand Duke Jasmine.
Jasmine bushes and vines are popular landscape subjects and appear to be well adapted to conditions in this region, except Cape Jasmine (Gardenia) which becomes chlorotic unless treated regularly with iron sulfate (copperas). Many species of plants belonging to several different botanical families are commonly called jasmine. Only the plants indicated as Jasminum are true jasmines.
Jatropha Curcas. Physic Nut. A large shrub that produces beautiful, deeply-lobed leaves which are glossy red when they first appear; small yellow flowers, and small yellow fruits which contain poisonous seed. (Euphorbiaceae.)
Jatropha spathulata. Leather-Weed. This native plant reaches a height of about two feet, and produces numerous, dark green, spatulate leaves and small white to pink flowers in the axils of the leaves. The reddish brown branches can be bent in any direction and tied into knots without stopping the growth of the plant. The mucilaginous substances had led people to believe that the plant contains latex; however, according to Mr. H. B. Parks of the Texas Experiment Station, analysis has proven that it does not. The Mexicans call the plant "Sangre de Grado," meaning the blood of the dragon, and use the root as a dentifrice, believing it will kill pyorrhea. (Euphorbiaceae.)
Juniperus chinensis var. Pfitzeriana. Pfitzers Juniper. Somewhat similar to the Horizontal Juniper, but having dark green foliage. Makes an excellent foundation plant, responds to shearing. (Pinaceae.)
Juniperus horizontalis var. Douglasii. Waukegan Juniper, Horizontal Juniper. A large spreading conifer with blue-green foliage. Seldom attains a height of more than five feet, but may spread out as much as eight or ten feet.
Karwinskia Humboltiana. Coyotillo. A low growing, native, evergreen shrub with smooth bark, and beautifully veined, deep green ovate leaves. During the summer the plants produce numerous green flowers which are followed by shiny brown berries. This plant always presents a fresh, thrifty appearance and grows under a wide range of conditions. (Rhamnaceae.)
Kerria japonica. Globe-Flower, Corchorus. An attractive, low growing, semi-evergreen shrub that produces bright green stems and ovate leaves and small, flat, yellow flowers about an inch and a half in diameter. There is also a White Kerria (Thodotypos kerriodes) which produces dark green foliage, that is of value chiefly because it can stand neglect and abuse. The Globe-Flower is similar to our native shrub, Mentzelia oligosperma, in appearance, but is not as well adapted to conditions in this region. (Rosaceae.)
Koeberlinia spinosa. Crown-of-Thorns, All-Thorn, Junco. A leafless, native shrub that is composed of a mass of slender branches covered with sharp green thorns. In the spring, it produces small, white flowers along the branches. These flowers are followed by small black berries. (Koeberliniaceae.)
Lagerstroemia indica. Crape Myrtle. A well adapted shrub that will thrive under adverse conditions. The lilac-flowered and watermelon-pink varieties appear to produce the heaviest bloom, but the white and light pink-flowered varieties are also well adapted. (Lythraceae.)
Lagerstroemia speciosa. Queen Crape Myrtle. A tree-like shrub that produces large, elliptic leaves and large panicles of pink to purple-colored flowers that average two inches in diameter.
Deciduous shrubs or trees that produce spike-like panicles of crinkled (crape-like) flowers in a wide range of colors.
Lantana camara. Lantana. This plant produces showy, flat, circular verbena-like flower clusters in color combinations of orange and red, pink and yellow, or pure yellow, lavender or white. The native variety, L. camara var. horrida produces orange and red flowers in profusion followed by numerous purplish berries. (Verbenaceae.)
Lantana involucrata. White Lantana. A native plant having willow-like branches bearing small clusters of white flowers.
Lantana macropoda. Long Stem Lantana. A slender native bush which produces clusters of lilac and white flowers.
Lantana Sellowiana. Weeping Lantana. A prostrate plant having drooping branches and deep lavender, flat flowers clusters.
Aromatic, semi-evergreen bushes, three species of which are native to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. These plants produce verbena-like leaves and ornamental flower clusters during the greater part of the year.
Larrea tridentata. Cresote Bush. This native evergreen shrub resembles the Roman Myrtle. It produces small, hoof-shaped leaves and small five-petaled, yellow flowers. The foliage produces a cresote odor when crushed. This plant makes an excellent hedge plant. (Zygophyllaceae.)
Lawsonia inermis. Reseda, Mignonette Tree. A rapid growing evergreen shrub from Mexico that reaches a height of about six feet. It produces small lanceolate leaves. The small yellowish flowers, which are produced in large, spike-like panicles, have a pleasing fragrance and contain volatile oil which is used in perfume. The young leaves and twigs are used in making dye. L. rubra is similar to L. inermis except that it produces fragrant red flower panicles. (Lythraceae.)
Leonotis Leonurus. Lions Tail. A shrub up to about four feet high that produces aromatic, bright green ovate leaves and spikes of peculiar, orange-colored, woolly, tufted flowers. Well adapted. (Labiatae.)
Leucophyllum frutescens. Cenizo, Barometer Bush. A popular, native, evergreen shrub having small, silvery-gray oval leaves. After warm rains, the plants are covered with masses of lavender-colored, snapdragon-like flowers for several days. Some plants produce white flowers. This plant is valuable for use in group plantings to give pleasing color effects and makes an excellent hedge plant. Due to the fact that it is drought resistant, it can be used in locations that are not suited to other subjects. (Scrophulariaceae.)
Ligustrum amurense. Amur River Privet. A rapid growing, evergreen to semi-evergreen privet which makes an excellent plant for sheared hedges. It is also useful as a screen for unsightly spots. It produces small, dark green, oval leaves. Spikes of dainty white flowers appear in mid-summer. (Oleaceae.)
Ligustrum lucidum var. compactum. Glossy Privet, Wax-Leaf Ligustrum. A tall, compact, evergreen shrub that produces glossy, thick, evergreen ovate leaves and terminal panicles of fragrant white flowers in midsummer, which are followed by clusters of purplish fruits. Well adapted; hardy to cold; resistant to insect pests; very desirable.
Lippia Berlandieri. Red-Brush. A small-growing native bush which produces aromatic, verbena-like leaves, and small spikes of rose-colored flowers during the spring and summer. (Verbenaceae.)
Lippia ligustrina. White-Brush, Bee-Brush. An evergreen plant up to seven feet high having small, medium green, narrow, aromatic leaves; brittle, whitish, willowy branches and mignonette-scented spikes of small white flowers.
Lycium sp. Lycium. Several species of Lycium are found growing in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. These large evergreen shrubs produce long slender branches that are densely covered with small narrow leaves. The flowers are similar in appearance to tomato blossoms, and the fruits are reddish. (Solanaceae.)
Malpighia corigera. Holly Malpighia, Micro-Holly. An evergreen shrub having small, bright green, holly-like leaves. The plants produce small, crinkled, pinkish flowers and small, bright red fruits. Sometimes called Dwarf Holly. (Malpighiaceae.)
Malpighia glabra. Barbados Cherry. Both the cultivated form and the Wild Barbados Cherry make desirable ornamental shrubs. The cultivated form is a large shrub having shining green ovate leaves, small, pink, crape myrtle-like flowers, and glossy, red, edible fruits. Manzanita, or Wild Barbados Cherry (Wild Crape Myrtle), is an evergreen, native shrub that resembles the cultivated Barbados Cherry in leaf, flower and fruit characteristics except that each of these is smaller than that produced by the cultivated plant. The small, glossy, dark green leaves; small, crinkled, rose-pink flowers; and glossy, red fruits makes this plant a desirable ornamental. Manzanita bushes should be pruned annually to keep them symmetrical and compact in appearance. Well adapted and very desirable.
Malvaviscus Drummondii. Wild Turks Cap. A native bush up to thirty inches high having small, red, tubular flowers which are followed by showy, scarlet-red fruits about one-half inch in diameter. Well adapted and very desirable. (Malvaceae.)
Malvavis grandiflorus. Turks Cap. A large, rapid growing, tropical plant up to fifteen feet high that produces red flowers about three inches long. Easily established and easily grown.
Leafy, evergreen shrubs that produce dark green, notched ovate leaves. During the fall and winter, these plants are covered with a profusion of bright red, partly closed, bag-shaped flowers.
Maytenus phyllanthoides. Leather-Leaf. This plant thrives in the alkaline soils along the coast. It produces dark green, thick, hard, ovate leaves and very small, pinkish white flowers which are borne in the axils of the leaves. (Celastraceae.)
Michelia (Magnolia) fuscata. Banana Shrub. A large, evergreen shrub belonging to the magnolia family that produces large, glossy, dark green foliage somewhat smaller than that of the magnolia. The small flowers (one inch in diameter) are brownish yellow, edged with red and have a banana-like fragrance. (Magnoliaceae.)
Mortonia Greggii. Mortonia. A slow growing, native shrub having numerous lateral branches about an inch long which are covered with crowded bright green linear leaves that hide the main stem. In the spring, these plants produce numerous, small, white flowers at the tips of six-inch pedicels. (Celastraceae.)
Murraea (Chalcas) paniculata. Orange Jasmine. An evergreen shrub belonging to the citrus family. This plant produces dark green, compound leaves and small, bell-shaped, fragrant, white flowers resembling orange blossoms, which appear several times during the year, and are followed by small red berries. This shrub will attain a height of ten feet. It can be sheared to advantage and makes an excellent hedge plant in protected locations. These plants are about as tender to cold as lime trees. (Rutaceae.)
Myrica cerifera. Wax Myrtle, Swamp Myrtle. A small bush, usually three to four feet in height, that is native to the swampy lands along the eastern Gulf Coast and East Texas. It produces small, wand-like branches and yellowish-green ovate leaves. The whole plant is aromatic, the leaves and seed pods being covered with a white wax during the fall season. The bayberry candles of literature were made from this wax, according to Mr. H. B. Parks of the Texas Experiment Station. (Myrtaceae.)
Myrtus communis var. compacta. Dwarf Myrtle. Dwarf Roman Myrtle produces very small, bright green, linear leaves and small, white, circular flowers. Well adapted and highly desirable for shearing. (Myrtaceae.)
Myrtus communis var. microphylla. Narrow-Leaf Myrtle. This Roman Myrtle is similar to the commonly planted Sweet Roman Myrtle, except that the leaves are narrower. A desirable intermediate type.
Myrtus communis var. romana. True Roman Myrtle, Sweet Roman Myrtle. A tall growing, upright myrtle that produces shiny, deep green, narrow leaves and small, circular, white flowers which are followed by clusters of purplish fruits. Desirable for use with other types of myrtle.
Evergreen plants having small, glossy, dark green, ovate-lanceolate leaves. Myrtle bushes are frequently used as sheared subjects.
Nandina domestica. Nandina. An upright growing, evergreen shrub that produces small, dark, glossy green, ovate-lanceolate leaves which have a reddish-bronze color while they are immature. Panicles of white flowers are produced in the spring, and are followed in the fall and winter by showy red berries. Some pruning is required to attain compactness of plants. (Berberidaceae.)
Nerium oleander. Oleander. Oleander shrubs are well adapted to conditions in this region. They grow readily from cuttings, make rapid growth, and produce a profusion of bloom if pruned regularly. They are too easily grown to be duly appreciated. There are many colors to choose from in both the double and single flowered forms. The double rose flowered and double white flowered varieties appear to be the most popular. (Apocynaceae.)
Pachystachys (Jacobinia) coccinea. Scarlet Jacobinia, Cardinals Guard, New Zealand Honeysuckle. An evergreen shrub reaching a height of about five feet that produces glossy, bright green, lanceolate leaves. The plant is topped by slender, spike-like, panicles of small, waxy, dark red, tubular flowers. Well adapted. Not to be confused with the true Red Justicia (J. secunda). (Acanthaceae.)
Photinia serrulata. Low Photinia. A large, evergreen shrub that produces dark green serrated ovate leaves. The white flowers are produced in panicles and are followed by small, bright red berries which persist into the winter season. Well adapted and quite desirable. (Rosaceae.)
Phytolacca americana. Pokeberry. A small, well adapted shrub that is native to many parts of Texas. It produces dark green, ovate leaves and spikes of small white flowers which are followed by bunches of ornamental purple berries. The berries are said to be poisonous. (Phytolacceae.)
Pisonia aculeata. Pisonia, Wild Bougainvillea. A compact, thorny, evergreen, native shrub that produces dark green, ovate leaves somewhat similar to the Bougainvillea foliage, and small, inconspicuous, greenish flowers. This shrub requires regular pruning when used as a hedge or foundation plant. Well adapted, but somewhat tender to cold. (Nyctaginaceae.)
Pithecolobium brevifolium. Gulf Coast Guajillo. A tall growing, native, evergreen shrub having numerous, finely cut, dark green leaves. In the spring, and again after the summer rains, it produces a profusion of small, cream-colored flower clusters followed by straight bean pods. The plant is covered with numerous spines about one-fourth inch long. (leguminosae.)
Pittosporum daphniphylloides. Daphne-Leaf Pittosporum. A U.S.D.A. introduction (P. I. 99195) smaller in size than P. Tobira that appears to be well adapted. It produces oblong leaves. (Pittosporaceae.)
Pittosporum phillyraeoides. Narrow-leaf Pittosporum. A dwarf type having bright green, linear leaves and a spreading habit of growth. Well adapted and quite desirable.
Pittosporum Tobira. Japanese Pittosporum. A large, sturdy shrub having very dense, dark green, obovate leaves and creamy white, fragrant flowers. Well adapted and very desirable.
Pittosporum Tobira var. variegata. Variegated Pittosporum, Variegated Japanese Pittosporum. A variety having glossy, obovate leaves similar to Japanese Pittosporum, except that they are variegated with white. Not as vigorous as the Japanese variety.
A group of plants that are valued chiefly for their dense, dark green foliage and their ability to thrive in exposed, windy locations.
Plumbago capensis. Blue Plumbago. A variety having light green, oval leaves and sky blue flowers. Rapid growing, vigorous plants; well adapted to this region. (Plumbaginaceae.)
Plumbago indica. Pink Plumbago, Red Plumbago. A variety having large, dark green, ovate leaves and deep rose-colored flowers. Trailing in habit of growth and less vigorous than the common white or blue varieties.
Plumbago scandens. White Plumbago. Native along the Rio Grande and Cameron County resacas. It is similar in appearance to Blue Plumbago, except that the flowers are white and the plant is more inclined to climb. Well adapted.
Plumeria alba. White-Flowered Frangipani, Suchel, Zuchel. Flowers white with yellow center. (Apocynaceae.)
Plumeria rubra. Pink-Flowered Frangipani. Flowers rose colored. Less showy than the white flowered type.
Plumeria tricolor. Tricolor Frangipani. Flowers white with rose markings and yellow centers.
Deciduous, tropical shrubs having dull green, thick, succulent branches filled with milky sap. They produce large, dark green, oblong, Ficus-like leaves, and open clusters of fragrant, tubular flowers.
Poinciana (Caesalpinia) Gilliesi. Bird-of-Paradise Bush. A native of West Texas that produces gray green, mimosa-like foliage and heavy clusters of pea-shaped, yellow flowers having conspicuous red stamens. (Leguminosae.)
Poinciana (Caesalpinia) pulcherrima. Flower-Fence, Dwarf Poinciana. This is probably the most commonly grown species. The plants are deciduous, slightly thorny, upright shrubs that produce pinnate foliage and flattened, flaming red flowers which are edged with yellow. There is a native variety that produces bright yellow flowers, P. Mexicana.
Polyscias. Aralia. Upright, tender, evergreen shrubs that produce light green to grayish green, orbicular foliage, usually with creamy-white splotches and white, serrated margins. P. Guilfoylei is recommended where a tall type is desired, while P. Balfouriana is an excellent shade-loving, patio or tub subject. (Araliaceae.)
Porlieria angustifolia. Guayacan, Soapbush. A large, native, evergreen shrub having dark grayish-green, finely cut, dense foliage. In the spring it produces small, purple flowers followed by heart-shaped, red seed capsules. (Zygophyllaceae.)
Prosopis cinerascens. Screw-Bean. This small relative of the mesquite is found in the grass flats along the coast. It seldom reaches a height of more than twelve inches and produces Mesquite-like foliage and numerous coiled bean pods. (Leguminosae.)
Punica granatum. Fruiting Pomegranate. Plants have bright green, linear leaves, red flowers, and large, purplish-red, edible fruits. (Punicaceae.)
Punica granatum var. Legrellei. Flowering Pomegranate. A type having bright green, linear leaves and large pink, very double flowers but no fruits. Used as a sheared hedge.
Punica granatum var. nana. Dwarf Pomegranate. The plants of this variety are quite small, but produce rather large, showy, red flowers and medium sized fruits. Used chiefly as an oddity.
Pyracantha crenato-serrato. Spreading Firethorn. This species has bright green oval leaves and orange-red berries which are produced on bushy plants heavily armed with thorns. (Rosaceae.)
Pyracantha crenulata. Upright Firethorn. A spreading tree-like shrub having dull green oval leaves and dark red berries. Plants are covered with attractive white flower clusters during March.
Randia mitis. Palo de Pasto, Crossthorn. A native thorny shrub that produces its lateral, thorn tipped branches at right angles to the main stem. Under cultivation, it produces numerous, bright green obovate leaves and attractive white flowers having recurved petals. The short stemmed flowers are borne flat against the branches. (Rubiaceae.)
Reinwardtia indica (trigyna). Gold Eagle Plant. This showy, evergreen shrub produces dull green, elliptic leaves and an abundance of large golden-yellow flax blossoms. It appears to be well adapted to conditions in this region. (Linaceae.)
Rhododendron (Azalea) indicum. Azala. These plants are very demanding in their soil requirements and will not thrive in an alkaline soil. However, azaleas can be grown in this region if planted in a built-up soil of compost or peat moss mixed with leaf mold. Since the plants are surface feeders, Florida growers find it necessary to "lift" the plants every year so that the roots will not feed too deep. The Kurume type of azaleas have been brought into bloom in this region by adjusting the soil to meet their requirements. (Ericaceae.)
Rosa. Rose. Rose bushes are usually short lived in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Varieties that appear to be longer lived and thriftier than the average are: Radiance, Hadley, Gruss an Tepolitz, and K. A. Victoria. Those rating second in vigor are: Francis Scott Key, Talisman, Luxembourg, Lady Hillington, Golden Dawn, and Marchel Niel. (Rosaceae.)
Salvia ballotaeflora. Shrubby Blue Sage. A native evergreen shrub about three feet high that produces small, ovate leaves and small, sky blue, solitary flowers. Not as showy as the other species but useful in droughty locations. (Labiatae.)
Salvia coccinea. Texas Red Sage. A small, native plant having dark green, ovate perennial foliage and terminal spikes of deep red flowers. Produces an abundance of viable seed.
Salvia farinacea. Mealy Blue Sage. A native plant up to two feet tall having the ovate foliage and light blue flowers covered with a mealy-like pubescence. Very attractive and well adapted.
Salvia leucantha. Mexican Purple Sage. Plants of these species are similar in size to the Mealy Blue Sage. The long ovate leaves are gray-green in color and very hairy. The velvety purple flowers are borne in spikes and have conspicuous white sepals.
Salvia Pitcheri. Great Azure Sage. These plants, which are native to the Corpus Christi area, average about two feet in height and produce dark green, ovate leaves. The very dark blue flowers are borne in terminal spikes. Well adapted and very desirable.
Salvia splendens. Scarlet Sage. Plants of this salvia have red flowers and bright green, ovate leaves. Not as desirable as some of our natives types.
Several species of salvia are being grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, three of which are native plants, and another being native to the Corpus Christi area.
Sambucus Rehderana. Mexican Elder. An elder similar to the American Elder in that it is a rather large shrub having bright green, divided leaves; however, the flat, greenish-white flower clusters are considerably larger. Both species produce small, black berries. (Caprifoliaceae.)
Schaefferia cuneifolia. Desert Yaupon. A low growing, native, evergreen shrub having numerous small branches. It produces small, light green cuneate leaves; and in the fall the plant is covered with numerous, small, red berries, which are crowded along the branches. (Celastraceae.)
Severinia buxifolia. Severinia. An evergreen shrub belonging to the citrus family that produces small, oblong, dark green leaves and purplish-black berries that add to its attractiveness. This plant is useful as a sheared hedge plant. (Rutaceae.)
Sophora tomentosa. Yellow Sophora. An evergreen shrub that has become established along the Gulf Coast region of the Lower Rio Grande Valley as an escape from Mexico. The plant has numerous upright, greenish yellow branches, silvery-gray, pinnate, velvety foliage, and produces a continuous bloom of yellow pea-shaped flowers in long, terminal spikes. By keeping the numerous seed pods clipped off, the plant can be kept in bloom throughout the year. (leguminosae.)
Stenolobium (Tecoma) stan var. latifolia. Esperanza, Yellow Elder. A type having bright green foliage that shows a tendency to become chlorotic. Plants produce a superabundance of seed pods. (Bignoniaceae.)
Stenolobium (Tecoma) stans var. Smithii. Esperanza, Yellow Elder. Plants similar to S. stans var. Williamsonii, but thrive in poorly drained soil.
Stenologium (Tecoma) stans var. Williamsonii. Esperanza, Yellow Elder. A variety having dark green, feathery foliage; produces few seed pods. A native of Mexico.
Tall, evergreen, tender shrubs that produce bright green, pinnate leaves and a profusion of clear yellow, tubular flowers. These three varieties of this plant are growing in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Symphoricarpos albus (racemosus). Snowberry, Wax-Berry. A small shrub up to five feet in height that produces small, oval leaves and numerous, loose racemes of pinkish-white flowers during the summer, which are followed by clusters of white berries in the fall. This plant appears to be adapted to conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, but produces relatively few berries. (Caprifoliaceae.)
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus. Coral-Berry. This is native to portions of Texas north and east of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. It is a withe-like, deciduous plant about twenty inches high, bearing small, dark green, oval leaves and clusters of small white flowers, followed by small red berries.
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus var. parviflorus. Indian Currant. This is similar in appearance to the above but attains a height of four feet and produces light pink flowers which are followed by clusters of bright pink berries.
Tecomeria (Tecoma) capensis. Cape Honeysuckle, Dwarf Red Bignonia. A vigorous growing evergreen, semi-climbing shrub that produces dark green, serrated leaflets, and brilliant red, medium sized, tubular flowers. This plant is well adapted to conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and its continous blooming habit makes it a very valuable ornamental. (Bignoniaceae.)
Tetrapanax papyriferum. Rice Paper Plant. A tropical, evergreen plant that produces large, rought, palmate leaves, borne in clusters at the top of upright trunks. During the fall and winter seasons, it produces woolly spikes of blossom buds that are quite attractive. (Araliaceae.)
Thunbergia erecta. Thunbergia. A low growing, tender, evergreen bush that produces small, glossy, dark green, ovate leaves and numerous, solitary, tubular purple flowers having yellow centers. Appears to be well adapted in semi-shaded locations. (Acanthaceae.)
Thryallis glauca. Thryallis, Yellow Plumbago. An evergreen bush that produces medium green, elliptic leaves and a profusion of yellow flowers which are borne in terminal spiles. This bush blooms almost continuously. (Malpighiaceae.)
Ungnadia speciosa. Mexican Buckeye. An upright, deciduous shrub which produces dark, wand-like branches and pinnate leaves. In the spring, it produces clusters of pink flowers which are followed by three lobed pods containing glossy, black "buckeyes" that remain on the plant, in the split pods, during the winter. Native to the Winter Garden area of Texas. (Sapindaceae.)
Viburnum japonicum. Japanese Viburnum. An attractive, evergreen shrub producing medium sized, dark green, rough, ovate leaves tinged with reddish brown along the edges. Small, fragrant, white flowers appear periodically throughout the year. Valuable chiefly as a foundation or foliage plant. Well adapted. (Caprifoliaceae.)
Vitex Agnus-castus. Mexican Lavender, Chaste Tree. Large shrub up to twenty feet in height producing deep green 3 to 5-foliate leaves that are lighter underneath, and having an aromatic odor. Throughout the summer it is covered by numerous small spikes of purple, lavender-scented flowers. The Mexicans use the leaves and flowers as clothes-moth repellants. (Verbenaceae.)
Vitex Negundo var. incisa. Japanese Lavender, Cut-Leaf Chaste Tree. Large shrub having finely cut, light green leaves and no odor. Throughout the summer it produces clusters of light blue flowers which do not open until midmorning.
Xanthoxylum Fagara. Colima. A multiple branched, thorny, native shrub having small, dark green, pinnate leaves. During the winter the plant produces numerous, small, greenish-yellow flowers having an orange odor; these are followed by small, yellow-red capsules which also have a citrus odor. The name, "Una de Gato," is applied to this plant because of the numerous recurved thorns on the old wood. (Rutaceae.)
Xylosma flexuosa. Flacourtia, Xylosma, P.I. 113,564. An evergreen, spiny shrub that will attain a height of fifteen feet if it is not kept pruned. The plants produce small, wavy margined, ovate leaves, and numerous greenish flowers followed by a profusion of red berries. This U.S.D.A. introduction appears to be well adapted. The native species, X. celastrum, is similar in appearance to the cultivated species, and is recommended for use in the Lower Rio Grande Valley where it is available.
Ornamentals for the Rio Grande Valley