Monday, August 8, 2016

WHITE OUT

Drive along any street in Austin this week and you are sure to see magnificent displays of Texas sage, Leucophylum frutescens. Almost all will hold purple flowers and they will be blooming in response to the rain we had just over a week ago. This is the one growing outside my wall. It receives only the rain sent from the sky and yet an almost immediate response. Known sometimes as the barometer bush, cenizo, rain sage or Texas lilac it is guaranteed to flower, like many plants, after a prolonged dry spell followed by rain.
When I stood by the plant yesterday all I could hear was the hum of bees. It was covered.


But it is rare to see a white blooming Texas sage. The cultivar, White Cloud, with its pale foliage and trusses of white flowers is growing in my front garden.




The plant is so gorgeous I can't take my eyes off it. Just think of it. 16 days over 100º and the rest hovering in the high 90s. Such beauty.



I didn't see another one as I drove several miles of roads today. Clearly not as popular as the purple variety.
Every gardener should have the Texas sage, whichever variety, but must also learn how to prune for effectiveness. It is a big plant and needs selective pruning to keep it looking its best. And by that I don't mean shearing. Pity the poor plants that have been hedge sheared-and there are plenty of them around.

11 comments:

  1. Sage blooms are so striking this week. Ours are 'Silverado' and a nice deep color. I need to find a place for White Cloud which I've seen at nurseries but had not realized how full and gorgeous it is. Unfortunately, sheared sages are showing their lopsided, sporadic blooms around town this week too.

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  2. Anything that handles that kind of heat is a star but this shrub would be beautiful in any climate.

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  3. That white cultivar is wonderful!

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  4. Last year I planted "White Cloud" towards the property line when I took out the grass on the hell strip. It has bloomed about three times since then, but when I drove out yesterday I couldn't believe how full and covered with blooms it was.

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  5. I love your white version. Those temps make me sweat just thinking about it!

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  6. Another lovely plant that I learn about through your blog!

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  7. Love that white one.
    I don't think I've seen it, in any garden center around here.
    My purple ones are blooming,though.

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  8. That must be tough as nails to handle that kind of heat. Any supplemental watering?
    Sure is gorgeous.

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  9. I love the nickname 'barometer bush'! Both are lovely!

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  10. I bought four of these at half price a month or so ago. The nurseries sell it as a container plant, but I planted it in dry open ground. Then it rained, and then it bloomed. What a beautiful plant. I am bring all four inside for the winter, as I am loathe to lose them. One cannot predict Nashville winter lows.

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