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Plant Some Patriotic Pride

Declare your independence from a boring landscape this season with a spark of American spirit. Here’s a list of our favorite plants bursting with patriotic pride.

Red

Scarlet or Tropical SageSalvia coccinea is a versatile perennial that can be used in sun or shade.
Autumn sage ‘Cherry Red’ or ‘Maraschino Cherry’ – Salvia greggii does best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade.
Turk’s cap – Malvaviscus drummondii is our native Turk’s cap (M. drummondii). A hibiscus relative, its flowers stay curled in a jaunty swirl that is irresistible to hummingbirds.

White

White Mistflower – Ageratina havanensis attracts butterflies in quantities. A Rio Grande cousin, Gregg’s mistflower, is so attractive to butterflies that it sometimes called the butterfly cocaine.
Blackfoot daisy – this is an excellent perennial and groundcover for full sun areas. Find the hottest and driest location for it and the one way to kill it is to water it. So just don’t.
Spider lily – One of my favorite shade plants for San Antonio, spider lily’s broad, strap-like leaves are the perfect antidote to unruly foundation shrubs. The major selection has bright, white delicate flowers with pale yellow center.

Blue

Mealy blue sage – Salvia farinacea is a common blue sage than inhabits our woodlands and pastures, and therefore very adaptable in our landscapes.
Mystic spires – a cross between indigo spires and mealy blue sage, mystic spires has the dark blue of indigo spires with the restraint of mealy blue.
Leadwort or dwarf plumbago – leadwort is a non-native from western China that is one of my favorite groundcovers. It has indigo blue flowers.
Cape plumbago – another non-native, but one of San Antonio’s favorite perennials. The newest cultivar has the darkest blue flowers.

Let your landscape reflect your patriotic feelings throughout the year and not just one day. Plant a little red, white, and blue.

Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you’re likely to find him hiking San Antonio’s wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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