A couple of weeks ago I was on the Native Plant Society of Texas webpage and somehow came across Texas Native Plant Week. The Texas legislature signed the week into law in 2009 and this week for praising Texas native plants has been going on now for several years. I’m sure there are events associated with this week, however I thought it would be fun to cover native plants in my yard and garden currently growing over the next seven days. I’ve got a great list of them and this week we’re going to start with Bidens laevis.
Last year was our first autumn in this house and that’s of course when I realized we had them growing down by our pond. An obligate wetland plant, a pond edge or wetland is where you will likely find this plant growing. Ours are growing amongst the non-native elephant ears, Colocasia esculenta, which line the pond where we live. The leaves of B. laevis, commonly known as smooth beggartick, have tricked me while weeding, seeming to resemble another wetland plant we have down there—that the name has escaped from me—but I had to be careful a few weekends ago when I was trying to clear out some of the vegetation along the pond in order not to remove the beautiful, sunny smooth beggartick.
Having this plant around the edge of the pond is certainly something to look forward to each autumn, almost as exciting as waiting for the goldenrod to bloom. Yes, I am a plant nerd—excited about the seasonal blooms around the area! Autumn is almost as prolific at flower production as spring, the last bit of nectar for the pollinators before winter as well as to assist the migratory species on their way south.
Another similar species in this niche is the swamp sunflower, Helianthus angustifolius.
Do you garden with natives?