Monday, May 17, 2010

New Texas Superstar: Helenium 'Dakota Gold'

Although Central Texas had a very wet fall and winter this year, the drought should still be on everyone's minds. Water restrictions just went into place for Austin ( and will very likely be a part of our future for many years to come, so we all need to find strategies to conserve water while maintaining attractive landscapes. The key is in knowing and working with both your environment (especially your soil) and your climate (as we learned this year, both heat and cold are issues for us). Once you are aware of these two pieces of information that are unique for your situation, you will be able to choose plants that work for you.

Choosing and finding these plants may be challenging, which is why the AgriLife branches of Texas A&M conduct research and disseminate information on just this topic. One particular research project, the Texas Superstar program, focuses on plants that may have been overlooked and trials them in various areas of the state. Once plants have been shown to perform well in most areas of Texas, they are designated as Texas Superstars. One such plant, with the slightly biased common name of "yellow bitter weed," was recently given the distinguished Texas Superstar designation. And caught the eye of many researchers around the nation.

I thought that you might find this article of interest. It definitely reinforces the need to look at plants through a different lens and see beauty and potential where others may not. So also, a great lesson on life in general.

You may find the article, with photos of this beautiful plant, at:

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