Native plants that provide long lasting color are important in my garden and I recommend you try some. One of the best shrubs or woody perennials that is particularly effective in the gardens of north Texas is Turk’s Cap.
Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus) is a durable plant, requires little care, and is colorful all summer long with red fez-like flowers followed by red fruit. The fruit is red and pulpy and is very effective and tasty in herb teas. It can also be used to grow additional plants from seed. This is a striking plant that can be grown in sun and shade. It does lose its leaves and go bare in the winter but returns dependable every spring. You can cut it back to the ground or leave the bare stems showing. A white variety is available, is not as showy and not as durable.
Another colorful and hardy shrub is the salvia or Autumn sage (Salvia greggii) that comes in many colors from white to pink, neon pink, scarlet, and two-tone like the "hot lips" red and white variety. Great for xeriscape.
Originally posted 2005