Archive for March 1st, 2013

Nature: Wildflowers and Other Native Plants

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Texas Mixed Border Homeowner Inspiration Garden; Image from

Texas Mixed Border Homeowner Inspiration Garden; Image from

This is Passport to Texas

Texas roadsides will be awash in colorful wildflowers soon. Dr. Damon Waitt, senior botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, says these and other native plants have a place in the built landscape as well as nature’s landscape.

61—Natives provide really important ecosystem services for local wildlife, pollinators. They filter storm water and rainwater, so they provide all these services to the ecosystem, and they can provide similar services in the built landscape, and reduce things like water use, pesticide use and fertilizer use. In addition, they have the aesthetic qualities that we want people to learn to appreciate, so they’re not looking for that next exotic ornamental—that they
‘re more interested in finding that next native plant that looks great and functions perfectly in their environment.

There are a lot of people who might look at wildflowers and native plants and say, gosh, how do those fit into my idea of a formal landscape?

That’s something we’re really trying to fight—that concept that if you’re a native plant enthusiast, then your yard must look wild and unkempt. At the wildflower center, we model different design styles using native plants, and you can use native plants in very high designs and very formal designs if that’s the look you’re going for.

Find plants that are right for you at

That’s our show…for Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.