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What's Blooming at ZBG

March 2010
During one of the coldest winters we have had in some time,  one is hard pressed to find anything in bloom at this time of year -  BUT  -  EUREKA, something was found and this is a plant that is a winter superstar and worthy for all to consider in your landscapes.  It is GERMANDER (Teucrium fruiticans).

Even after a hard freeze of upper teens and snowfall this winter, this evergreen shrub continues to bloom with lavender blue salvia-like flowers through the winter months (but bloom sporadically during other seasons).  To add to its desirability, it comes in bush and creeping growth forms so can be used as an ornamental shrub or ground cover.  It also comes in a grayish green or a silver-leaved color.

Germander in snow

The small ovate ½ inch leaves are opposite along the branches and provide a nice southwestern garden appearance.  The bush Germander will grow to 4-6’ high and wide and any overly ambitious shoots can be easily trimmed to maintain a compact shape.  Flowers are borne on new growth.  As if these virtues aren’t enough, it is also deer resistant and is drought resistant.  This past summer heat had no ill effect on this plant.   

Give this plant a try in your landscape or garden.  You will be well pleased!


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


Matthew shootingFabulous Photos
Matthew Greulich moved to Austin about a year and half ago, from Illinois.  He has been a freelance photographer for about 4 years now, as an apprentice under his father, Eric Greulich, a professional photographer for over 30 years. Thanks for sharing, Matthew! View Matthew's photos-Green Guy

©Zilker Botanical Garden,
Austin Area Garden Council