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Why Plant Natives

Native plants are those that evolved in South Texas before humans introduced plants from distant places. They have been here a long time and have adapted to the soil and temperature conditions over hundreds or thousands of years. Once native plants are established they usually require little additional watering and fertilization. They also resist most pests and diseases in the area. Our wildlife prefers their food value provided by beans to nuts.

The native plants of South Texas play an important role in providing food and shelter for both people and wildlife. Many of the plants provided food, fuel, fiber, dyes and medicines for the early inhabitants, as well as the present residents.

Our native trees, shrubs and flowers are unique and add a lot of character to your garden. Natives provide natural balance and beauty to South Texas.

There are many benefits to Naturescaping your backyard.

  • Saves Water Natives in south Texas were born to be drought tolerant
  • Saves Money and Time Naturescapes require less maintenance
  • Feeds Birds & Wildlife Many of our birds depend on our native plants that produce berries and legumes. Designing a naturescape means you’re also designing to support birds and butterflies in your backyard.
  • Adds Color and Character Native plants are interesting and uncommon and will turn an average garden into an esthetically interesting garden.
  • Preserves our Natural History Planting natives helps preserve the history and wildlife of South Texas

The Rio Grande Valley is known as one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the country. Currently there are over 1,000 documented plant species in this area. Quinta Mazatlan has a small remnant of the South Texas vegetation that once covered the Rio Grande Valley. The plants are well adapted to a hot, semi-arid climate. Most of the plants have thorns for protection. So we fondly call our natural habitat a “Thornforest”.

Thornforests occur mostly in somewhat dry, subtropical parts of the world. They are composed mostly of thorny shrubs and small trees. Thornforests often occur as impenetrable thickets. They cover a large area in southwestern North America, southwestern Africa, and also occur in South America, Australia, and other parts of Africa. Many names have been used regarding our Thornforest including Brush Country (El Monte), Brushlands, Thorn Scrub and Thorn Woodland.

Native Plants of South Texas

TREES

  • Ahuehuetl (Sabino, Montezuma Cypress) Taxodium mucronatum  Taxodiaceae
  • Anaqua (Sugarberry, Sandpaper Tree) Ehretia anacua Borage
  • Anacahuita (Texas Wild Olive) Cordia boissieri Borage
  • Blackbrush Acacia (Chapparo Prieto) Acacia rigidula Legume
  • Bluewing Adelia Adelia vaseyii Euphorbia
  • Brasil (Capul Negro, Capulin) Condalia hookeri Buckthorn
  • Chapote (Texas Persimmon Diospyros texana Ebenaceae
  • Colima (Lime Prickly Ash, Una de Gato) Zanthoxylum fagara Citrus
  • Coma (Chicle, Saffron Plum) Bumelia celastrina Sapodilla
  • Coral Bean (Colorin) Erythrina herbacea var. arborea Legume
  • Ebano (Texas Ebony, Ape's Earring) Pithecellobium ebano Legume
  • Encino (Live Oak) Quercus virginiana Beech
  • Esenbeckia (Limoncillo, Jopoy) Esenbeckia runyonii Citrus
  • Fresno (Rio Grande Ash) Fraxinus berlandieriana Olive
  • Granjeno (Spiny Hackberry) Celtis llida Elm
  • Guayacan (Iron-Wood) Guiacum angustifolium Caltrop
  • Guamuchil (Monkeypod ) Pithecellobium dulce Legume
  • Honey Mesquite Prosopsis glandulosa Legume
  • Huisache Acacia smallii Legume
  • Jaboncillo (Soapberry - Toxic Fruit) Sapindus saponaria Soapberry
  • Olmo (Cedar Elm) Ulmus crassifolia Elm
  • Mescal Bean (Texas Mountain Laurel) Sophora secundiflora TOXIC Legume
  • Palo Blanco (Sugar Hackberry) Celtis laevigata Elm
  • Retama (Jerusalem Thorn) Parkinsonia aculeata Legume
  • Sabal Palm (Palma de Micheros) Sabal texana Palm
  • Salvadora (Potato Tree) Solanum erianthum Nightshade
  • Sierra Madre Torchwood ZZ Amyris madrensis Citrus
  • Tenaza Pithecellobium pallens Legume
  • Tepeguaje (Lead Tree) Leucaena pulverulenta Legume
  • Wright Acacia (Una de gato) Acacia wrightii Legume

SHRUBS

  • Barbadoes Cherry (Manzanita) Malpighia glabra
  • Baretta  Helietta parvifolia
  • Berlandier Fiddlewood Citharexylum berlandieri
  • Brasil (Capul Negro, Capulin) Condalia hookeri
  • Brush Holly (Coronilla)  Xylosma flexuosa
  • Candelilla (Wax Euphorbia) Euphorbia antisyphilitica
  • Cenizo (Purple Sage) Leucophyllum frutescens
  • Chilipiquin (Bird Pepper) Capsicum annuum L. var aviculare
  • Coral bean (Colorin) Erythrina herbacea
  • Coyotillo Karwinskia humboldtiana
  • David’s Milkberry (Snow-berry) Chiococca alba
  • Desert Lantana (Hierba Negra) Lantana achyranthifolia
  • Desert Yaupon Schaefferia cuneifolia
  • Elbow-Bush (Panalero) Forestiera angustifolia
  • Flame Acanthus Anisacanthus quadrifidus
  • Guajillo Acacia berlandieri
  • Heart-Leaf Hibiscus (Tulipan del Monte) Hibiscus martianus
  • Leather Stem (Sangre de Drago)  Jatropha dioica
  • Lotebush (Gumdrop Tree) Ziziphus obtusifolia
  • Orange Zexmenia Wedelia texana
  • Oregano Cimarron (Hierba Dulce) Lippia graveolens
  • Shrubby Blue Sage Salvia ballotaeflora
  • Snake –Eyes (Putia) Phaulothamnus spinescens
  • Southwest Bernardia  Bernardia myricifolia
  • Texas Baby-Bonnets Coursetia axillaris
  • Texas Kidneywood  Eysenhardtia texana
  • Texas Lantana  Lantana urticoides
  • Torrey Croton Croton incanus
  • Turk’s Cap Malvaviscus drummondii
  • Vasey Adelia  Adelia vaseyi
  • West Indiana Lantana Lantana camera L.
  • Whitebush (Jazminillo) Aloysia gratissima
  • White Plumbago  Plumbago scandens
  • Willow-leaf Heimia (Hachinal) Heimia salicifolia
  • Yellow Sophora  Sophora tementosa L. var. occidentalis

HUMMINGBIRD PLANTS

  • Coral bean Erythrina herbacea
  • Esperanza Tecoma stans
  • Flame Acanthus  Anisacanthus quadrifidus
  • Mexican Firebrush Hamelia patens
  • Mexican Honey Suckle Justicia spicigera
  • Mexican Milkweed  Asclepias curassavica
  • Scarlet Salvia Salvia coccinea
  • Texas Red Yucca Hesperaloe parviflora
  • Turk’s Cap  Malvaviscus drummondii
  • Wild Olive Cordia boissieri

BUTTERFLY PLANTS

  • Barbados Cherry Malpighia glabra
  • Berlandier Fiddlewood Citharexylum berlandieri
  • Betony Mistflower/Padre Mistflower Eupatorium betonicifolium
  • Brush Noseburn Tragia glanduligera
  • Butterfly Heliotrope Heliotropium angiospermum
  • Crucita  Chromolaena odorata Syn. Eupatorium odoratum
  • Desert Lantana Lantana achyranthifolia
  • Dicliptera Dicliptera sexangularis
  • Flame Acanthus Anisacanthus quadrifidus
  • Golden Eye Daisy Viguiera stenoloba
  • Gregg’s Mistflower Eupatorium greggii
  • Mexican Caesalpinia  Caesalpinia mexicana
  • Orange Zexmenia Wedelia texana
  • Prairie Verbena Verbena bipinnatifida
  • Runyon’s Water Willow Justicia spp.
  • Shrubby Blue Sage Salvia ballotaeflora
  • Slim Aster  Aster subulatus
  • Smallflower Wrightwort Carlowrightia parviflora
  • Southwest Bernardia  Bernardia myricifolia
  • Stonecrop Sedum texanum
  • Texas Baby Bonnets Coursetia axillaris
  • Texas Frogfruit Phyla incise
  • Texas Kidneywood  Eysenhardtia texana
  • Texas Lantana  Lantana urticoides
  • Tube Tongue Siphonoglossa pilosella
  • Violet Wild Petunia Ruellia nudiflora
  • Wavyleaf Snakeherb  Dyschoriste crenulata
  • White Plumbago  Plumbago scandens
  • Wine Cup Callirhoe digitata
  • Yellow Sophora  Sophora tomentosa 

GROUND COVER

  • Powderpuff Verguenza, Mimosa strigillosa
  • Seaside Heliotrope, Turnsole, Cola de Mico Heliotropium curassavicum
  • Texas frog fruit, Hierba Buena Montes Phyla strigillosa

VINES

  • Balloon Vine (Farolitos) Cardiospermum halicacabum
  • Climbing Milkweed Vine Cynanchum barbigerum
  • Coral Vine (Corona del Reina) Antigonon leptopus
  • Globe Berry (Snake Apple) Ibervillea lindheimeri
  • Passion Flower (Corona de Cristo) Passiflora foetida
  • Pearl Milkweed Matelea reticulata
  • Peppervine  Ampelopsis arborea
  • Serjania vine Serjania brachycarpa
  • Sharp-Pod Morning Glory Ipomoea trichocarpa
  • Snailseed-vine (Correhuela) Cocculus diversifolius
  • Texas Virgin’s Bower, Barbas de Chivo Clematis drummondii
  • Twine Vine Sarcostemma cynanchoides

The native plants of South Texas play an important role in providing food and shelter for both people and wildlife.  They are unique and add a lot of character to a garden.  Planting natives provide natural balance and beauty to the Rio Grande Valley.  Thank you for planting native plants!

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Quinta Mazatlan

600 Sunset Drive
McAllen, TX 78504

(956) 681-3370

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