Friday, January 12, 2007

Mad about Native Plants

I sure was perplexed by yesterday’s Bay Area Task Force meeting where we were going to approve a recommendation for about 30 streets to get concrete planters. Dang, the list wasn’t exactly right and nobody could agree on the kinds of plants, which was by default the Century Plant. Some argued passionately how utterly worthless the Century Plant was but I mainly just gave up, as most people don’t seem to have a clue about what is a “native plant” for South Padre Island. They don’t care, and were just angling for a good ole rumble at a public meeting, anyway.

Pictured above are two cuttings from Padre Island Mist Flower, or more simply Blue Mist (Eupatorium betonicifolium). From what I can tell it is the only plant named after Padre Island. It is a low shrub with tiny blue flowers that attract butterflies by the dozens. These starts were saved from the condos that are sprouting up all over the Island like noxious weeds. The magnificant Blue Mist on the left has been rooted for several months and looks great; the one on the right was just pulled from the ground a week ago and looks like heck. When these fellows flower this spring they will look quite beautiful.

The plant is not listed as being endangered but is considered to be fairly rare, similar to the Yellow Sophora which I also am saving from mass destruction. But heck man, those nasty Century Plants are everywhere, a dime a dozen, and to pay honest money for one is almost criminal – especially compared to beauties like the Padre Island Blue Mist.

1 comment:

miss_msry said...

Could you post a photo of a Yellow Sophora? Is it native to Padre? I live on North Padre and trying to landscape using native plants and non-native citrus. Help!!

P.S. the font of your word verification is difficult to read.