From:Lake Jackson, TX Region: Southwest Topic: Wildflowers Title: Native Texas plants that will grow in sandy soil and salt tolerant Answered by: Nan Hampton
I am in the US Coast Guard and we are looking to plant some wildflowers. The plants will be near saltwater and may get exposed if the area floods during a tropical storm or hurricane. Being on the Gulf Coast in the city of Freeport, TX, what wildflowers will grow in this area? Also, I would like to know if bluebonnets will grow in this type of environment?
If you choose plants that naturally grow along the Texas seashore your chances of success are greatly improved. You need plants that will grow in sandy soil and are salt tolerant. To learn more about those I suggest you find a copy of "Wildflowers and Other Plants of Texas Beaches and Islands" by Alfred Richardson. 2002. Austin: University of Texas Press. You could check your local library or bookstore for a copy. There are also copies available at the Wildflower Center's Wild Ideas store. You can reach them by telephone at 1-877-945-3357.
Now for suggestions, we can start with a couple of plants that are salt tolerant: 1) Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea), a shrub-like plant with beautiful red flowers, and 2) Sea Ox-eye (Borrichia frutescens) with yellow daisy-like flowers.
The Sandyland bluebonnet (Lupinus subcarnosus) will grow well in sandy soil, but it is doubtful that it would do well in an area very near the coast. However, Brenda Smith in her book, Lazy Gardener's Guide, reports "profusions of bluebonnets blooming" in people's yards on the Bolivar Peninsula not too far from you. So, you might give them a try. Ms. Smith also reports other wildflowers growing along the Bolivar Peninsula that you might also consider for your garden.
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