Home Gardening Low-Rising, Native Perennials for the Southern Plains – FineGardening

Low-Rising, Native Perennials for the Southern Plains – FineGardening


Do you ever have a spot in your backyard, often on the very entrance of a mattress, that wants a brief plant? Possibly you even need it to develop up beneath some taller vegetation behind it, making a backdrop for them. Or perhaps you simply want slightly one thing that can pop within the entrance of your border, catching the attention of passers-by. Listed here are a couple of native Southern Plains vegetation that match that invoice.

Roemers mimosa
The fuchsia, pom-pom-like flowers of Roemer’s mimosa develop amongst foliage that’s well-known for closing upon being touched. Photograph: Karen Beaty

Roemer’s mimosa

Mimosa roemeriana syn. Mimosa quadrivalvis var. platycarpa, Zones 7–10

Roemer’s mimosa, or delicate briar, is the kind of plant that Dr. Seuss may need invented for one in every of his youngsters’s books. It’s vibrant, bizarre, and over-the-top! Many people keep in mind this species from childhood as a result of the leaflets fold closed upon being touched. Native to north Texas and probably Oklahoma, this low-growing magnificence sends up lovable vibrant pink puffball flowers which might be tipped in yellow-gold. Roemer’s mimosa blooms from spring by way of summer season and likes full solar and drier soils. It’s exhausting to not get down in your abdomen within the backyard simply to take a better take a look at this one, and since it grows at a top of two to six inches, that’s about what it takes to make its shut acquaintance.

Frog fruit
Frog fruit produces tiny, lacey flowers atop a tangle of creeping foliage. Photograph: Karen Beaty

Frog fruit

Phyla nodiflora, Zones 6–10

I actually imagine that frog fruit is an underutilized magnificence in backyard plantings. Its rambling darkish inexperienced foliage makes for a very good floor cowl that is still evergreen in delicate winters. In colder winters, it might die again to the roots, which resprout in spring. The tiny white flowers are clustered round a brown middle. They seem to type one bigger (however nonetheless very small) flower. Frog fruit is memorable for its enjoyable identify and is common with the butterflies. At solely three to six inches in top, it’s really a brief (and candy) perennial. This drought- and flood-tolerant species is dependable anyplace you want a troublesome, hardy, noninvasive floor cowl. It would develop in solar to partial shade, and it blooms from Could to October.

Silver ponyfoot
Silver ponyfoot contrasts effectively with inexperienced grass on the fringe of a sunny border or trails fantastically out of a dangling basket. Photograph: Karen Beaty

Silver ponyfoot

Dichondra argentea, Zones 8–9

Whereas not as hardy or cold-tolerant as frog fruit, silver ponyfoot actually shines when it’s in its aspect. Its silver-gray foliage seems vibrant and glossy in daylight, and it offers a good looking backdrop for extra colourful bloomers planted amongst it. Grown as a floor cowl, it gained’t get taller than 2 to Four inches. This plant requires an open, sunny spot that’s effectively drained. It’s extra cold-sensitive than the opposite species I point out right here, performing as a perennial in Zones Eight and above, however it’s simply used as an annual in Zones 7 and beneath. The blooms should not noticeable, however the foliage is what makes this plant particular.

Purple poppy mallow
Purple poppy mallow has the colour and traits of many different native wildflowers, however at a fraction of the peak. Photograph: Karen Beaty

Purple poppy mallow

Callirhoe involucrata, Zones 4–9

Purple poppy mallow, or winecup, produces 2-inch-wide vibrant purple flowers formed like a cup. This plant is a low sprawler with darkish inexperienced, deeply incised foliage that’s considerably variable in form. This species is slightly taller than the others talked about right here, sometimes reaching 12 inches in top with its blooms totally prolonged. It’s extra sometimes discovered rising at about half that top. Purple poppy mallow blooms all through the spring and summer season and is sort of simple to develop. It will probably develop in solar or partial shade, dry or moist soil, rocky or sandy soil, and alkaline or acidic soil. Rabbits prefer to nibble down this perennial’s foliage, however I’ve efficiently dissuaded them with unhazardous powder repellents resembling Enviro Professional’s Rabbit Scram, and this plant is well worth the bother.

Take into account one in every of these low-growing beauties the following time you want one thing brief and candy in your backyard. And remember the fact that all 4 of those picks are fairly drought tolerant.

—Karen Beaty is a horticulturalist on the Girl Fowl Johnson Wildflower Heart in Austin, Texas.