Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This summer has been pretty darn good for surprising me with large stands of wildflowers and today was no exception!!! First it was the Bluebells popping up all over the countryside and now I have come across this huge stand of native STANDING CYPRESS just growing away and blooming it's heart out right next to the highway on my drive to work!!! This is definitely the largest stand of this plant that I have ever seen growing out in the wild. I was blown away by it!

The pictures don't do it justice, but I hope you can get at least some idea of how magnificent this plant looks en masse in the wild.

The blooms appear on top of a single rigid stem and line the top of the stalk with multiple tubular-shaped scarlet red flowers. And they are SCARLET RED too! Very brilliant in the sunlight and will certainly catch your eye. The plant stalks are really tall, over 5 feet easily, and the stems are covered with these thick, green, fern-like leaves that just beg you to reach out and touch them to make sure they're real! I was very surprised to see this plant growing like it was because although it is listed as a Texas native variety, I personally have never seen it growing here in central Texas. This was a first for me!

According to the literature, it's easy to start and establish from seed that can be purchased from native plant suppliers. It is listed as a biennial though, so you would have to re-seed a second year in order to have year-round plants. Apparently, it comes up as a rosette the first year and then in the second year it sends up that tall shoot to flower in the middle of summer! I can't wait to try some in my own garden!

1 comment:

Elizabeth Joy said...

It is so much fun to see photos of nature from all over the US. Blogs are excellent for that. I've never seen Scarlet Cypress before, but I can tell you that if I ever did, my car would be stopping and backing up to get photos, just as you did. I've got lots of nature from the Northwest on my blog, Wildflower Morning.