Monday, July 4, 2011

Flowering plants for a summer of exceptional drought

These are the only shrubs in my garden that look really good right now. I'm posting photos of them now, because by the time that Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day comes around, these blooms will be gone. Even the salvias are looking peaked; it'll be time for their summer pruning soon, to ensure a new round of blooms in the fall.

Known as "Barometer bush", Texas sage, or cenizo, Leucophyllum frutescens is picking up on a slight uptick in Austin's humidity this week. They're in bloom all over Austin. My little dwarf variety is in full bloom for the first time.
Dwarf Texas sage

Esperanza (Tecoma stans) is full of yellow bells, but is already forming seed pods.
Esperanza (Yellow Bells)

Other flowering plants going strong in Austin gardens:
Crape myrtle (Langerstroemia indica)
Flame acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii)
Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora)
Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)
Red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)
Retama (Parkinsonia aculeata)
Turk's cap (Malvaviscus arboreus)

What flowering plants are knocking your socks off in your garden this summer?

Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Love it when the sage is in bloom! It's so amazing how responsive they are to barometric pressure. I've got a few plants on your list that are doing well in this heat, but I'll add chaste tree to the list.

  2. Love your Cenizo -- they are in bloom all around my neighborhood right now, too. Guess it was that burst of rain that hit downtown on Friday afternoon. Too bad we didn't get any of it. Love the Esperanza, too. Thank goodness a few things love the heat!

  3. Thanks for the list. Any plants blooming during this drought has my total respect!
    I guess my knock your socks off plant right now is the Ruellia family. I'm trying to collect a number of species and none seem to mind that it's nearly 100 outdoors. They bloom all summer and can even be transplanted in this heat....and recover! Now that's a tough plant.
    Great post.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston :-)

  4. Don't you love it when the Cenizo gets a chance to show off??? So pretty. Love it. I could take a little more rain though.....

  5. Yep, these are winners in my garden, except I don't have retama. Would love one though! So, must ask per your comment to Katina about the crocus sativa. Have yours bloomed for you so you could harvest saffron? I haven't had luck getting mine to bloom.

  6. Linda, yes, my November 2010 GBBD post was dedicated to this!

  7. Thanks, Caroline, I'll go check it out right now. Come to think of it, I remember it!

  8. My Acapulco Salmon & Pink agastache are blooming nicely right now. Turk's cap is blooming, but it's not big and bushy; too hot, I guess. 'Senorita Rosalita' cleome is also flowering beautifully during this summer from hell. And catmint.

  9. Nice list and a beautiful cenizo. My flame acanthus always blooms well when it's hot, though the blooms are fairly small. Soon we'll be in some fantastic weather I hope!