Friday, August 4, 2017


It's always exciting to find a new native plant which does well in a garden setting. Last fall Julie Marcus, Senior Horticulturalist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center gave me a little cutting of a pyramid bush, Melochia tomentosa. It was a spindly little plant bearing only 3 leaves. I was naturally concerned about putting such a small plant in the ground so I kept it in the greenhouse over the winter planting it in the upper level of the sunken garden this spring. As is often the case I promptly forgot about it. The echinacea and mealy blue sage grew up around it and it was only as I cut back the overgrown plants that I saw the little pyramid bush had survived my neglect. I was thrilled.

Since releasing it from bondage it has grown in leaps and bounds, and will soon reach its final size of 2'x2' It is perfect for the upper level of the sunken garden. It is covered with pretty little pink flowers which, by all accounts, will bloom all summer until the first frost. A perennial member of the chocolate family it will die to the ground in the winter but will quickly return once temperatures warm. Just the kind of plant you need to take over when spring blooms fade.

By all accounts it roots easily from semi-hardwood cuttings and seeds quite readily. I look forward to having more of this delightful little plant in the garden.


  1. I've never seen this before--way cool! Have you seen butterflies or hummingbirds coming to it?

    Our garden space now is small and almost filled but I'm looking for another blooming hummingbird plant, and anything that blooms in August is good.

  2. Very nice! In this case, it seems that a little benign neglect was just the ticket.

  3. Lovely! Will look forward to seeing it in person. As its name is tormentors, guessing it has fuzzy leaves?

  4. Oooh, does the LBJWC sell it in their spring or autumn plant sales? Lovely plant!