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"
indica (Crepe Myrtles), Oleanders,
Viburnums, . Other plants will be added in the future as we acquire
reliable information on this subject to share with you.
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)
Indicated in parentheses: (H) = high, (G) = good, (M)= moderate
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.
is another good reference chart site for Crepe Myrtles, thanks to Clemson
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.
|Hardy Red||Large||Yes||No||No||Deep red blooms (hardy to 0 degrees)|
|Mrs. Eugenia Fowler||Large||Somewhat||No||Yes||Pink flowers, Double|
|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.|
|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|
|Somewhat||Yes||No||Red blooms, not as dark as Hardy Red|
|Mrs. Robertson||Large||Somewhat||No||Yes||Cerise - fragrant blooms|
|Mrs. George Roeding||Inter-
|Somewhat||No||Yes||Double salmon blooms|
|General Pershing||Large||Yes||No||No||Double red blooms|
|Turners Shari D||Inter-
|No||Yes||Yes||Single yellow flowers, large clusters|
|George Sealy||Large||No||Yes||Yes||Single pink flowers|
|No||Yes||No||Yellow blooms, Double|
|Apple Blossom||Intermed. to Large||#||#||#||Pink flowers|
|#||#||#||Pink, star shaped flowers|
|Franklin D. Roosevelt||Intermed.
|Yes||No||No||Salmon-orange flowers, turning orange|
|No||No||Yes||Variegated yellow and green floliage, fragrant double deep pink flowers.|
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.
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.
|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.