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For The Garden

Silvery-Blue Plants

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: August, 2013, Page 134
TEXAS MOUNTAIN LAUREL ‘SILVER PESO’
(Sophora secundiflora ‘Silver Peso’)



TEXAS MOUNTAIN LAUREL ‘SILVER PESO’
(Sophora secundiflora ‘Silver Peso’)


Type: Evergreen shrub or small tree

Elevation: Low, mid; cold-hardy to 10 degrees F.

Blooms: Purple; late winter to early spring

Size: 15'H by 15'W

Soil: Good drainage

Light: Full sun; partial shade

Water needs: Low

Maintenance: Hard tan seedpods enclose poisonous orange seeds. Clip them off the branch or rake them up if concerned about kids or pets.

Note: Silver-leafed varieties are less susceptible to caterpillars than the green-leafed species, Sophora secundiflora.

Why we like it: Its wisteria-like blooms smell like grape bubble gum. Thornless, minimal litter and slow growth combine to create an ideal patio tree.



MEXICAN BLUE PALM
(Brahea armata)
MEXICAN BLUE PALM
(Brahea armata)


Type: Palm

Elevation: Low, mid; cold-hardy to 18 degrees F.

Blooms: Cream; summer

Size: Up to 30'H by 8-10'W

Soil: Average

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water needs: Low to moderate

Maintenance: Remove dead fronds. Soak root zone to a depth of 2 feet biweekly in summer and every four to six weeks in winter.

Note: Palms may suffer from nutrient deficiency. Prevent this by applying palm fertilizer in mid spring and early summer.

Why we like it: Distinctive icy blue fan coloration stands out against other plants. Slow growth rate allows this palm to remain a manageable landscape plant for many years.



Photo by Richard Shiell courtesy of Monrovia

TEXAS SAGE ‘THUNDER CLOUD’
(Leucophyllum candidum ‘Thunder Cloud™’)
TEXAS SAGE ‘THUNDER CLOUD’
(Leucophyllum candidum ‘Thunder Cloud™’)


Type: Shrub

Elevation: Low, mid; cold-hardy to 10 degrees F.

Blooms: Deep violet; summer and fall

Size: 3'H by 3-4'W

Soil: Excellent drainage

Light: Full sun

Water needs: Low

Maintenance: Monitor water use. Susceptible to rot if over-watered. Do not shear into cubes and balls, which eliminates blooms and produces leafless woody stems.

Note: Many other Texas sage varieties exist in different sizes with varying foliage and flower colors.

Why we like it: Purple flowers burst forth during the monsoon season, providing drama and color against the silvery foliage.



BUSH MORNING GLORY (Convolvulus cneorum)
BUSH MORNING GLORY
(Convolvulus cneorum)


Type: Groundcover

Elevation: Low, mid; cold-
hardy to 15 degrees F.

Blooms: White with yellow centers; spring

Size: 2'H by 3'W

Soil: Excellent drainage

Light: Full sun

Water needs: Low

Maintenance: Minimal

Note: Tiny hairs protect leaf tissue from sunburn and also enhance the silvery sheen of the foliage.

Why we like it: Two-inch-long funnel-shaped flowers cover the plant during bloom. Its tidy mounds of silver foliage break the monotony of gravel mulch that often covers the ground. Very low litter; thus it makes a good choice for around pools.


Other Favorites:
‘Elijah Blue’ fescue; Leucophyllum candidum ‘Silver Cloud’; L. zygophyllum ‘Cimarron’; purple heart (Tradescantia pallida); Texas mountain laurel ‘Silver Sierra™’
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