Friday, July 29, 2011

exceptional drought-tolerant plants

cenizo (Texas "Silverado" sage)
Looks like tropical storm Don is not going to grace Austin with any rain on this dry 45th day of triple-digit heat, so I'm celebrating my truly drought-tolerant plants. Plants that are surviving in full sun in this exceptional drought with NO supplemental water. Amazing. 
artemisia "Silver king":
This artemisia spreads fairly quickly and ends up two to three feet tall. I like it better than artemisia "Powis castle" because its foliage is more delicate. This stand came from one four-inch pot planted three or four years ago.
soft leaf yucca and rosemary:
The yuccas and rosemary appear a little stressed.
Not sure exactly which abelia this is. In "normal" springs and summers, it puts out tiny white fragrant blooms that attract bees.
front to back: agaves, gray santolina, and yucca
Sorry, but I don't know what type of agaves these are. Same story for the yucca. The white blooms are trailing lantana that I've watered every other week.
unknown sotol with gray santolina and Mexican feathergrass
I need help identifying this one! I didn't keep the tag, but I could swear its common name had the word "leather" or "rubber" in it, but I can't find it online. It spreads medium quickly and gets almost three feet tall. It blooms these teeny flowers (smaller than a pea) intermittently spring through fall:
Anyone recognize it?  EDITED 7-30-11: Husband Kurt found it! It's Jatropha dioica var. dioica, commonly known as leatherstem, leatherwood, or rubber plant.

My salvias, gaura, lantana, and plumbago are doing okay with weekly watering. Having to hand water my potted plants, herbs, and cucumbers almost daily is getting really old, so I particularly appreciate the tough guys I'm able to ignore. 


Diana said...

Good thing you have lots of the old stand-bys.

Lancashire rose said...

You should be congratulated for well chosen plants. Everything is looking beautiful. I'm really sad to hear that there will be no rain for Austin.

kacky said...

HI- It looks like a Rhus ovata but a really nice compact one.

Iris said...

Diana--Yep. Not exactly a lush look, but better than brown and crispy.

Lancashire rose--Thanks!

kacky--I think it's close, but mine has rounder leaves. Thanks for sending me in the right direction!

Kurt said...

Hon, I think I found it. Jatropha dioica var. dioica. Its common names are leatherstem, rubber plant, bloodroot, and leatherwood. Texas native. Stems really are lightweight and rubbery.

Daphne Richards said...

Great plants! It's nice to see a few things doing well, while others are just hanging on. Thanks Iris!

Iris said...

Daphne--Thanks! It's pretty amazing that some of the plants can take these extreme conditions.