Companion plants to Bulbs--TOW

Cynthia Mueller
Mon, 13 Oct 2003 19:00:23 PDT
I've tried something a little different on my dry, sandy slope that gets
relentless sun, especially in the afternoon.  I have rainlilies and
Rhodophiala seedlings in a swath of Texas frog fruit, Phylla incisa.  It
is a low-growing member of the Verbenaceae and lies in a crawling,
rooting-at-the-nodes mat over the ground.  The small, typically verbena
nodules with white blooms are very attractive to butterflies and it is a
host plant to White Peacock, Buckeye, Phaon Crescentspot.  So while the
flowers are not showy, the plant is not chokingly thick, either.  If it
becomes too tall, cut it down here and there.  Flowers will appear
March-November.  It's best virtues are that the narrow leaves stay
green, and the plant manages to stay alive on hot, sunny slopes.  I
dipped up my start of it from off the side of the road.

Other Phylla species in Texas are  Diamond-leaf (P. strigillosa) and 
Northern (P. lanceolata), but I'm not familiar with them.

Another ground cover for similar circumstances are Delosperma cooperi
(which does not freeze dead here) and in the summer some of the flat,
mat-forming hybrid portulacas with magenta blossoms.  One in particular
available here (and comes back from seed, but rather late in the scheme
of things) has very compact, narrow leaves that usually lies on the
ground no matter how mature the plant gets.

Cynthia W. Mueller
College Station, Tx 
Zone 8b-9

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