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What's Blooming at ZBG

July 2010—

Water Lily
Summer sunshine and heat bring out the best in our aquatic plants.  These Nymphea hybrids are just a few of the many water lilies that are showing off in the Austin Pond Society water lily pond just across from the entry to the garden center.

   Water Lily
The variation in leaf shapes and patterns add an intriguing look to the water lily plants.  At Zilker Botanical Garden, other ponds also display these wonderful aquatic beauties including the Lotus pond in the Taniguchi Japanese Garden. 

Texas Sage
Every month of the year produces blooms that keep Zilker Botanical Garden alive with color. During June and July, with the cooperation of well timed rainfall, the TEXAS SAGE becomes the show stopper.   The lavender pink profusion of bloom on branches of silver gray foliage provides a unique look which no other plant can provide.  Native to west Texas and northern Mexican desert regions, this dry climate, heat and sun loving plant is a must for any xeriphytic garden.

  Bird of Paradise
A great companion plant for the heat of summer is the tropical Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) with its bold orange and yellow exotic blooms and fine fern-like textured foliage.  This plant, although native to the Caribbean and tropical regions is root hardy in Austin when heavily mulched in winter.  It regenerates quickly in hot weather and provides a wonderful show during summer months. 
Other colorful sights at Zilker in the parking lot islands and immediate surrounding areas that greet visitors with a blaze of color include:
Society Garlic
Society Garlic

Red Zinnia
Bold red Zinnias

Garden Phlox
  Potato Vine
Sweet Potato Vine comes in many colors such as maroon,  chartreuse,  green and cream mottled – which when combined make an excellent filler for your garden areas.  The gardeners at Zilker Botanical Garden make very effective use of this plant.

Fireman's Cap
Last, but not least, another semi-tropical plant comes in to bloom during summer.  The Parrots Beak, Fireman’s Hat, and a host of other common names used to describe this plant, is a small tree in warmer climates but dies back here in Austin to make a regenerating large shrub for understory growth areas and can be used as a backdrop plant as these pictures show. 

The bed of colorful plants in front includes coleus, purple fountain grass (Pennisetum), and the colorful sweet potato vine in the forefront.

  Fireman's Cap in background

See what's blooming during other times of the year—

  Batface Cuphea

Grow Green guide

Descriptions of these plants are included in the City of Austin’s Grow Green informative guide, Native and Adapted Landscape Plants: an earthwise guide for Central Texas (4th Edition, 2009).  This publication is available at local nurseries and at the Garden Center at Zilker Botanical Garden.  You can also download the guide at

©Zilker Botanical Garden,
Austin Area Garden Council