Wildflowers: A visit to my yard - IV

Texas Star (Sabatia campestris)

(March to July)

Also known as Meadow Pink, this flower is supposed to arrive in early spring, but in this yard, it is one of the last spring flowers to appear. It usually forms large colonies, forming ribbons of pink. In this year, it appears in small groups. After making a minimal appearance two years ago, it disappeared last year, returning this year at the end of May.

Although rare, Texas Star can also appear light purplish-pink to white, as the plant next to one one above demonstrates.

Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa)

(May to June)

Although Texas Paintbrush has been in the yard since early spring, this flower defied my attempts to photograph it. This attempt comes at a time when most of the others have already gone to seed. It is called Paintbrush because it looks like a ragged brush dipped in paint. The plant is semiparasitic. Its roots grow until it touches the roots of other plants. They then penetrate the roots of the "host" plant and obtain nutrients from it. It is also called Indian Paintbrush. The genus honors the Spanish botanist Juan Castillejo. Hummingbirds were attracted to this flower.

Venus's Looking-Glass (Triodanis perfoliata)

(April to July)

The genus of this plant is sometimes called Specularia to associate it with a similar plant in Europe. The Cherokee Indians mixed this roots of this plant together with others to produce a drink for indigestion. The plant has single stem surrounded by alternative leaves. Several have already withered on this plant. The flowers bloom individually between the leaves at different times. The lower flowers produce seed but do not open.


Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

(May to November)

This plant, very similar to the Cutleafed Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), is either an introduction from the east or an eastern flower at the western edge of its range. The leaves and flowers can be used to make a pleasant tea and tonic. The Cherokee used from the roots for medical purposes. The plants are considered mildly toxic to livestock. Outside of Texas it is called Black-Eyed Susan even though the "eye" is brown.

ECH - April 19, 1998
Texas Wildflowers
National Wildflower Research Center
Texas Society for Ecological Restoration
Natural Area Preservation Association
Texas Parks and Wildlife: Nature
Texas Wildscapes
Sally Wasowski's Page
Center for Environmental Philosophy