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Rancho Sienna News

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21 March . 2017

Top 10 favorite native plants in Rancho Sienna

The amazing variety of trees, shrubs and flowers along Via de Sienna, Rancho Sienna’s main thoroughfare, proves that native drought-tolerant landscaping can be beautiful and also tough as Texas. As a bonus, many are quite fragrant.

Perfectly adapted to the Hill Country, native plants are an important part of Rancho Sienna’s commitment to sustainable development and water conservation. Here’s a list of our favorites among the trees and shrubs that you can enjoy in and around The Sienna House and community. We list just 10 here – 5 trees and 5 shrubs – but there are many more! 

Trees
Huisache – Widespread in South Texas, the Huisache also extends into Travis County. Look for multiple trunks with reddish-brown bark. In spring, the Huisache has very fragrant bright orange-gold flowers.

Eve’s Necklace – We love the name of this pretty small tree, which thrives on the limestone soils of the Edwards Plateau. In spring, it has rosy-pink flowers that hang in wisteria-like clusters. The name comes from the black fruit pods that dangle in late summer and fall, resembling a black necklace.

Desert Willow – While not part of the willow family, this small, delicate tree has long narrow leaves that resemble its namesake. Trumpet-shaped flowers bloom on branch tips and on new wood from late spring to fall. Ranging from light pink to light violet, the flowers are sweetly fragrant.

Texas Mountain Laurel – A popular small evergreen tree in the Hill Country, the Mountain Laurel blooms in the springtime, with dense clusters or lavender and violet flowers. The fragrance is best described as grape Kool Aid. 

Texas Mountain Laurel

Texas Mountain Laurel

Yaupon Holly – The most versatile evergreen holly in Texas, the Yaupon is prized for its bright red ornamental berries from late summer to fall. While poisonous to people, the berries are an important source of food for birds.

Shrubs
American Beautyberry – While it has inconspicuous flowers in late spring and early summer, the Beautyberry steals the show in late summer and fall, with big clusters of brilliant purple berries draping its stems. The berries are an important food source for more than 40 species of birds.

Texas Kidneywood – Growing up to 10 feet tall, this shrub combines delicate lacy leaves with spikes of fragrant white flowers, which are very attractive to bees and butterflies. It blooms from April to October, especially after rains.

Engelmann’s Hedgehog Cactus – This is another plant we especially love because of its name. It’s a classic prickly pear cactus, with brilliant magenta flowers in the spring, followed by fruits.

Full Moon Coreopsis – This showy shrub has forms large mounds of green foliage, topped by canary yellow flowers. With its long blooming season, this easy-to-grow and disease-resistant shrub is a favorite for home landscaping.

Pride of Barbados – Not native to Texas, this showy shrub is a welcome transplant to the Hill Country, where it thrives with little maintenance and delights people (and butterflies) with brilliant clusters of orange-red flowers.