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Selected Plant Cultivar Reference Lists


Many commonly used landscape plants in the Central Texas area offer a wide variety of different cultivars that provide different floral colors, plant shapes and sizes, or other features that tend to add much variety to commonly used plants. Use of different plant cultivars provides the opportunity to grow plants that are extremely well adapted to our area while providing visual differences that prevent these plants from appearing to be overused. We are providing some lists describing these cultivars and their features so you can look for the plant that will meet your specific needs by name at your local nurseries. To begin, we are including "EarthKind" Roses,  Lagestroemia indica (Crepe Myrtles),  Oleanders, and Viburnums,  .  Other plants will be added in the future as we acquire reliable information on this subject to share with you.
   


  Best "EarthKind" Rose Selections for Texas Central s

 

Based on research by Texas A&M,  a select group of roses have been identified as "EarthKind" meaning they showed outstanding disease (black spot and mildew) and insect resistance, defy the heat and draught conditions we often encounter,  tolerant of most soils, and require minimal care.   

 

This certification process of on average 8 years of research and field trial data makes Earth-Kind roses the most thoroughly tested, research proven, and environmentally responsible landscape roses recommended for use in Texas landscapes.

 

 

Active Link to Texas A&M AgriLife List of Earth Kind Rose Cultivars.


Lagerstroemia spp. (Crepe Myrtle Cultivar List)

Mildew Resistance Indicated in parentheses: (H) = high, (G) = good, (M)= moderate
,
Relative Size
Cultivar Name 
Description of Flora 
Other Ornamental Characteristics
20+ feet  Basham Party Pink Lavender/Pink  Tall and fast growing, attractive bark, orange/red fall foliage. (G)
  Biloxi Pale Pink Upright, vase-shaped, dark brown bark, orange/red fall foliage (H)
  Miami Dark Pink Upright, tan and chestnut brown bark, orange fall foliage (H)
  Muskogee Light Lavender/ Pink Fast growing, broad-shaped, long flowering, red-orange fall color, exfoliating bark (H)
  Natchez White Long flowering, exfoliating cinnamon-brown bark, red orange fall color (H)
  Potomac Clear Pink  Upright, orange fall color, exfoliating bark (H)
  Tuscarora Dark Coral Pink Broad, vase-shaped, red-orange fall foliage, great exfoliating bark (H)
12-20 feet Byer's Wonderful White Clear White, large panicles Upright growth, yellow fall color (G)
  Catawba Dark violet/purple Dense globular shape, red-orange fall color (M))
  Near East Light Peach/Pink - pendulous branches Matures at 12 feet (M)
  Regal Red Deep Red Vigorous upright growth, orange-red fall color (M)
  Sioux Vibrant Pink Tight vase-shaped, maroon fall foliage, good for narrow spaces (H)
  Tuskeegee Recurring Dark Pink Broad -spreading, exfoliating bark (H)
6 - 12 feet
Cherokee Bright Red Open spreading habit, (M)
  Comanche Dark Coral Pink Upright, broad spreading crown, Sandlewood bark, (H)
  Hopi Recurring Medium Pink Low globose plant, orange-red fall foliage, (H)
  Osage Reblooming Light Pink Red fall color, chestnut brown bark, pendulous globose habit, (H)
  Zuni Lavender Orange-red fall foliage, globose (H)
3 - 6 feet
Acoma White Purple-red fall foliage, spreading, (H)
  Chica Pink Bright Pink Height and width of 3-4 feet (dwarf)
  Peppermint Lace Two-colored bloom, dark pink with white edging on each petal The flower and shrubby growth form are the key features. Unfortunately, this plant frequently needs to be treated for powdery mildew in spring - but it's worth it.
< 2 feet Pokomoke pink True dwarf, compact, ball shaped shrub developed by USDA Ag. Rsch. Svs.
  Chickasaw lavender pink same as above
 


 There is a series of cultivars in the 3-4 foot range known as the "Petite" series that offer a wide variety of floral colors in a dwarf plant form of Crepe Myrtle, (e.g. 'Petite Plum' - deep purple).

There are "miniature" cultivars of Crepe Myrtle known as the "Dixie" series that are less than 3 feet tall. These plants tend to not be as cold hardy as those above, These plants tend to have a weeping growth habit and remain very miniature in nature. These would do well as patio potted plants for full sun. Cultivars include 'Baton Rouge', and 'Bourbon Street' - both deep red, and 'New Orleans' - a purple flowering cultivar only 8-24 inches.

The list provided above is only a small portion of the number of named cultivars of Crepe Myrtle that are available. Many other cultivars may be well suited to your landscaping needs so we encourage you to explore these many additional options.  In our opinion,  Crepe Myrtles are the most outstanding, overall plant for the Gulf coast and Houston area due to their adaptability to our very variable climate conditions,  outstanding flowering throughout the summer, fall foliage color to enjoy, exfoliating bark to enjoy in winter.   Mildew resistance is the only improvement needed. 

http://www.clemson.edu/crepemyrtle/varietieschart.htm is another good reference chart site for Crepe Myrtles, thanks to Clemson University
 

 http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/trees/crapemyrtle/crape_myrtle_varieties.html is a Texas A&M reference site for Crepe Myrtles.


Nerium oleander (Oleander) Cultivar List

The following list of Oleander cultivars were contributed by the International Oleander Society of Galveston TX.  This includes less than one third of the registered Oleander cultivars.  These varieties are representative of cultivars successfully grown and seen in Galveston TX (Zone 9).  Most Oleanders (Nerium oleander) are tall and take up considerable space in the landscape.  Only the petite varieties should be used in beds close to structures whereas all other varieties show well in open areas.   The juices of the Oleander plant are poisonous so caution should be used if you have small children.  This is a most adaptable plant to Zones 8 and 9.  If killed by colder winter weather,  they revive easily as long as the roots are not damaged.  They bloom frequently in bright sunlight,  aren't too fussy about soil conditions or cultivation requirements.  Large  is any plant above 8 ft.   Intermediate is 5-8 feet approximately,  Dwarf is below 5 ft in maximum height.  Note that Oleanders do suffer winter damage in the Central Texas area.  Hardy Red is the most reliable from a cold hardiness perspective.  

 

Cultivar Name   Height
Class
Freeze
Tolerant
Free
Blooming
Fragrance Folor/Flower/Plant Description
Hardy Red Large Yes No No Deep red blooms (hardy to 0 degrees)
Mrs. Eugenia Fowler Large Somewhat No Yes Pink flowers, Double
Sue Hawley-Oakes Inter-
mediate
No No No Highly ornamental cream-med. yellow with yellow throats - not appearing to be fully opened and star shaped.  This is a tender plant - may need winter protection.
Pleasants 
Postoffice Pink
Tall # # # Large medium-dark pink single flowers
Turner's Carnival Dwarf No Yes No Ruffled salmon blooms, compact/bushy
Petite Pink Dwarf No Yes No Single pink blooms on compact shrub
Mrs. Willard Cooke Large Some Yes No White blooms, very hardy, central pink stripes
Matilde Ferrier Large Yes No No Double yellow, the most common yellow
Algiers  Inter-
mediate
Somewhat Yes No Red blooms, not as dark as Hardy Red
Mrs.  Robertson Large Somewhat No Yes Cerise - fragrant blooms
Mrs. George Roeding Inter-
mediate
Somewhat No Yes Double salmon blooms
General Pershing Large Yes No No Double red blooms
Turners Shari D Inter-
mediate
No Yes Yes Single yellow flowers, large clusters
George Sealy Large No Yes Yes Single pink flowers
Sorrento Inter-
mediate
No Yes No Yellow blooms, Double
Apple Blossom Intermed. to Large # # # Pink flowers
Henry Rosenberg Inter-
mediate
# # # Pink, star shaped flowers
Franklin D. Roosevelt Intermed.
to Large
Yes No No Salmon-orange flowers, turning orange
Mrs. Runge Intermed.
to Large
No No Yes Variegated yellow and green floliage, fragrant double deep pink flowers.
# = unknown at this time (further research being done)

This list is far from complete.  There are 65-70 registered cultivars of Oleander.  Please explore the many other cultivars that might be available that are not included.    For mass of floral color (reds, pinks, salmon, orange, yellow, and white predominantly),   they are hard to beat.  The variegated "Mrs. Runge" adds brilliant variegated foliage to the equation.  Be prepared for possible winter dieback if temperatures get unseasonably cold.   The International Oleander Society, P. O. Box 3431,  Galveston, TX can be contacted for further information about Oleanders.  Their publication, "Oleanders, Guide to Culture and Selected Varieties on Galveston Island" is the source of the information provided above.   More cultivars will be added to the list above in the near future.

 


VIBURNUMS

Viburnums are a genera of ornamental plants that are not seen much in Texas landscapes but should be used much more.  There are a large number of Viburnum species and cultivars that span a broad growing range from very cold climates to Gulf Coast adaptable varieties.  Below are some of the species and varieties that are known to do well in Zones 8 and 9.  Most other viburnums need colder winter climates.  They come in evergreen and deciduous varieties, are noted for their clusters of small flowers followed by ornamental and bird attracting berries in fall.  Viburnums can be grown well as azalea/camelia companion plants and prefer a more acidic organic soil,   Fall color on deciduous varieties can be very attractive. Get to know this plant better.
 
 

Botanical/Common Name
Characteristics
Viburnum obovatum (Walter's Viburnum) Evergreen/semi-evergreen, matures at 10' but can be kept shorter, foliage dense, small , dark green, clusters of small white blooms in spring, purple berries in fall, maroon fall color, sun or partial shade, good as hedge or specimen plant., good drainage, rich organic soil.
Viburnum rufidulum (Rusty Blackhaw) Deciduous, Texas native, to 25', can be kept as 10' shrub, foliage dark green, finely toothed, turns a variety of colors in fall, showy white flower clusters in spring, blue purple berries in fall.
Viburnum nudum (Possomhaw) Olive to dark green glossy foliage, red fall color, deciduous,  white spring flowers, blue/black berries, a native that tolerates poor drainage
Viburnum dentatum (Arrowwood) Upright, multibranched deciduous shrub to 10',  foliage turns many colors in fall, small whitish flowers in spring and blue/black berries in fall.
Viburnum x burkwoodi  (Burkwood Viburnum) Deciduous 6' shrub with pink buds opening to fragrant white.  Sun or partial shade.  This plant is better for zone 8 than 9.
Viburnum odoratissimum          (Sweet Viburnum) Evergreen to 10', partial shade,  large very glossy green foliage with white fragrant blooms in spring.  Grows more upright than broad.  
Viburnum tinus (Laurastinus) Leathery dark green foliage, new stems are wine-red, pink buds open white, lightly fragrant, blue/black berries.  Likes a cooler location.  A yellow variegated cultivar has been introduced that is very attractive.
This plant is relatively small and compact, to 4'.
Viburnum suspensum Evergreen, dark green thick leaves, fragrant white flowers, black berries, a good hedge plant but damaged below 25 degrees.
Viburnum propinquum Evergreen, small to medium size, dense compact habit,  leaves dark green, noticably three nerved glossy above, flowers greenish white in summer, blue/black berries in fall.  Native to China/Taiwan.  

This is not intended to be a complete listing, but keep in mind that most viburnums prefer a colder climate but these listed above have been grown successfully in the Houston area and are available at local nurseries.


Please return to  CENTRAL TEXAS GARDENING  for more horticultural information.