**List of Native Plants**

For a complete list of Native Texas plants, visit http://www.npsot.org/plant_lists/plant_lists.html.


**List of Native Plants for Landscape use in Dallas-Ft. Worth**

For a beginner's list of native plants for landscape use in the DFW area, PlantList DFW.doc


**Nurseries that sell native plants in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area:**

NOTE: Many of the larger, national chain store nurseries also carry some native and drought-tolerant plants.

Click here for a printable list of Nurseries that specialize in Native and Drought-Tolerant Plants (and Seeds):
Native Plant List

*Bruce Miller Nursery, 1000 E. Beltline Road, Richardson, Texas 75081, (972) 238-0204; 301 County Road 4, Prosper, Texas 75078, (972) 346-2760; Bruce Miller Nursery

*Green Mama's, 5324 Davis Boulevard, North Richland Hills, Texas, 76180, (817) 514-7336; Greenmama's Organic Garden Center

*Native American Seed (mail order station), 610 Main Street, Junction, Texas 76849, (800) 728-4043; Seedsource -- Native American Seed

*Redenta's, 2001 Skillman Street, Dallas, Texas 75206, (214) 823-9421; 5111 West Arkansas Lane, Arlington, Texas 76016, (817) 451-2149; Redenta's

*Rohde's Nursery & Nature Store, 1651 Wall Street, Garland, Texas 75041, (972) 864-1934 or (800) 864-4445; Rohde's Nursery & Nature Store

*Shades of Green, 8801 Coit Road, Frisco, Texas, 75035, (972) 335-9095; Shades of Green

"Turner Seed -- native & improved grasses, wildlife, wildflower and field seed; Turner Seed

*Weston Gardens in Bloom, 8101 Anglin Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76140, (817) 572-0549 (metro); Weston Gardens



**NICE! Nurseries**

NICE! (Natives Instead of Common Exotics!)

Participating:

*Four Season’s Nursery, 3333 E. University Dr, Denton, TX 76208, 940-566-2172, Four Seasons web site/

*Meador’s Nursery – 2623 James St, Denton, TX 76205, 940-382-2638, Meadors Nursery web site/

*Painted Flower Farm - 3801 Lariat Rd, Denton, 76207, 940-382-3789, Painted Flower web site/

*Schmitz Garden Center - 3714 Old Settlers Rd., Flower Mound, 75022, Schmitz Garden Center web site/

*Shades of Green Nursery – 8801 Coit Rd, Frisco, TX 75035, 972-335-9095, Shades of Green web site/

*Westbrook Outdoor Solutions Inc - 1616 Arrowhead Dr., Flower Mound, TX 75028, 972-539-8103, Westbrook Outdoor Solutions web site/



**Other sites of interest for native plants:**

Visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/nativeshrubs/ for the new shrubs portion of the related Benny Simpson's trees pages. You can view the shrub photo gallery or search by name.

Botanical Research Institute of Texas, http://www.brit.org/



**Plant Articles:**


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Summer 2014
Big Red Sage, Salvia pentstemonoides: Summer-blooming perennial once thought to be extinct

Photos courtesy of Lon Turnbull (top) and Becca Dickstein (bottom)

Description: Big Red Sage, Salvia pentstemonoides, also called Penstemon Sage, is an herbaceous perennial native to the Texas Hill Country. In nature, it is only found on banks along streams and on seeps on limestone ledges in the central Edwards Plateau. In North Texas, Big Red Sage usually grows 18-36 inches wide and 30-48 inches tall. Its 4-6 inch leaves are deep green, elongated, and glossy, looking similar to penstemon leaves, which explains its botanical and second common name.

Flowers and Seeds: Big Red Sage blooms from June through the fall. The 1.5-2 inch flowers appear on spikes that grow above the foliage and are deep-red to purplish-red in color. Seeds may be collected following flowering.

Planting sites: Big Red Sage thrives in partial and dappled shade, although with more water, it can be grown in full sun. It tolerates a range of soil pH.

Watering Instructions: Big Red Sage should be given supplemental water during its first season in the garden. After it is established, it is moderately drought tolerant. During a summer dry spell, it will need to be watered deeply as often as once every 10 days depending on the temperature. Like many Texas natives, Big Red Sage should have adequate drainage; it will not tolerate “wet feet.”

Comments: Big Red Sage was first described by the great Texas botanist Ferdinand Lindheimer in the 1840’s, but by the 1950’s it was thought to be extinct. Fortunately, in the 1980’s it was rediscovered growing in the Texas Hill Country, where it is still quite rare. Because it is so pretty and amenable to cultivation, it has entered the nursery trade, although it can be frustratingly hard to find. Big Red Sage is a well behaved garden plant. It has a very pleasant citrus fragrance and is deer resistant. It self-seeds, but not prolifically, and can be propagated through cuttings. Big Red Sage is a hummingbird magnet and attracts butterflies. It may be pruned in the late fall after it finishes flowering and will die back to a rosette after a freeze. New growth recurs in the spring.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.

Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings are the 4th Thursdays in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Sep & Oct at 6:30 pm, in TWU’s Ann Stuart Science Complex, in Denton, TX.


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Spring 2014
Mealy Blue Sage, Salvia farinacea: Low-maintenance and long-blooming perennial

Photos courtesy of Fonda Fox (left, unnamed variety) and Augusta Duelberg (right)

Description: Mealy Blue Sage, Salvia farinacea, also known as Mealycup Sage, is an herbaceous perennial.
It is native to New Mexico and Texas; its native habitat includes prairies and the edges of woodlands. Its names “Mealy” and “farinacea” both refer to the way the sepals (the parts around the flower petals) look, which is as if they were dusted with flour or meal and is caused by tiny hairs on them. Mealy Blue Sage grows 18-36 inches tall and 18-36 inches wide. Its leaves are usually about 3 inches long, grey-green to green, and lance-shaped.

Flowers and Seeds: Mealy Blue Sage blooms from April until frost with a bloom peak in April and another in late September or October. Flower spikes with many florets are held above the foliage. The flowers range from white to violet-blue and are 2/3–3/4 inch long, with two stamens and a pistil. Seeds may be collected following flowering.

Planting sites: Mealy Blue Sage thrives in full sun and partial shade, although it blooms more profusely with more sun. It tolerates a range of soil pH.

Watering Instructions: Like many Texas natives, Mealy Blue Sage may need supplemental water during its first season in the garden, but after it is established, it will only need water in an extended drought. Too much water will result in it being “leggy”. Mealy Blue Sage should be planted where it will receive adequate drainage; it will not tolerate “wet feet.”

Comments: Mealy Blue Sage is a great plant for North Texas. It has a nice fragrance, is deer resistant, blooms for a long time and is drought resistant. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and has been recognized by ecologists for its value of attracting native bees. Several named cultivars are available in nurseries including both “Henry Duelberg” and “Augusta Duelberg”. These selections were found by Greg Grant in a non-irrigated section of a rural Central Texas cemetery in mid-summer around the graves of the Duelbergs. “Henry Duelberg” is deep blue, while “Augusta” is white. All Mealy Blue Sage varieties may be pruned to about half their height in mid-summer to encourage more compact growth in the fall. In addition to propagating it through seed, Mealy Blue Sage may also be propagated via cuttings.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.

Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings are the 4th Thursdays in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Sep & Oct at 6:30 pm, in TWU’s Ann Stuart Science Complex, in Denton, TX.


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Spring 2013
Berlandier's Sundrops (Sundrops-bud primrose), Calylophus: Perennial berlandieri:
Showy low-growing perennial with extended blooming period.

Photos courtesy of Cherryl Fikes (left) and Marilyn Blanton (right)

Description: Berlandier's Sundrops (Calylophus berlandieri) is native to Texas and surrounding states.
It is a deciduous perennial that usually grows 4-20 inches tall, 1-2 feet wide, and may develop a woody base. It is named after Jean Louis Berlandier (1805-1851), a Texas plant collector, and is sometimes listed as C. drummondianus ssp. berlandieri.
Berlandier's Sundrops has narrow serrated leaves up to 3 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.

Flowers and Seeds: Berlandier's Sundrops has showy flowers from March through September, with the biggest display in April. The flowers are 2 inches across with four broad petals. Its seeds are small and may be collected for sowing in the fall.

Planting sites: Berlandier's Sundrops thrives in full sun and partial shade.
It does well in most soil types and needs good drainage. It will not tolerate "wet feet."

Watering Instructions: Like many Texas natives, Berlandier's Sundrops does not need a lot of water, but may need supplemental water during its first growing season.
After it is established, it should survive with existing rainfall. It cannot tolerate excessive moisture.

Comments: Consider using Berlandier's Sundrops instead of non-native dianthus, gerbera daisy, non-native primroses, and exotic bedding plants like petunia, snapdragon and periwinkle.
Berlandier's Sundrops is moderately deer resistant.
In our area, it dies back to the ground after a freeze, but in areas that do not experience winter freezes, it may be evergreen.
It is a great plant for a rock garden and may be used as a small shrub.
Berlandier's Sundrops are lovely when planted with natives like Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata), Fragrant Phlox (Phlox pilosa), Mealy Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea) and Texas Sage (Salvia greggii).


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Fall 2012
Lindheimer’s Muhly, Muhlenbergia lindheimeri: Perennial large grass with fine silvery autumn flowers

Photo courtesy of Cathy Lustgarten

Description: Lindheimer's Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri), also called Big Muhly, is native to the Edward's Plateau in central Texas.
It is a large fountain-like bunchgrass reaching 2-5 ft tall at maturity with light grey-green to blue-green leaves that are soft to the touch. The species is named after Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer (1801-1879) considered by many to be the father of Texas botany. The genus is named after Henry Muhlenberg, an accomplished botanist and scientist from the late 1700's.

Flowers and Seeds: Lindheimer's Muhly blooms in autumn, producing 6 to 18 inch panicles of silvery-white flowers; afterwards seed heads extend above the foliage in winter.
Seed may be collected in December for plant propagation.

Planting sites: While Lindheimer's Muhly may tolerate partial sun, it thrives in full sun.
It does best in slightly alkaline to alkaline soils and needs good drainage.

Watering Instructions: Like many Texas natives, Lindheimer's Muhly may need supplemental water during its first growing season. After it is established, it will thrive with existing rainfall.
It is drought tolerant.

Comments: Lindheimer's Muhly is valuable as an accent grass in full sun.
It is a smoother-textured soft grass that can be used as a screen, instead of non-native large rough-leaved grasses like Pampas grass.
After a spectacular fall display of feathery blooms, Lindheimer's Muhly's seed plumes and leaves persist throughout the winter.
Even though it is mostly dormant during the winter, cutting it can slow the plant down from its new growth in the spring, so don't cut it back until new spring growth appears.
To keep it neat looking during the winter, it is better to use a rake to comb the plant for dead leaves and break off old flower stalks as they become brittle.
Lindheimer's Muhly's long slender leaves are used by birds for nesting material.
It is deer resistant.


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Spring 2012
Golden Groundsel, Packera obovata: Spring flowering perennial ground cover for shade

Photos courtesy of Mike Mizell, Cynthia Maguire, and Christina Wasson (clockwise from left)

Description: Golden Groundsel (Packera obovata) is native to north central and east Texas. When not blooming, it is 3 to 6 inches tall,
with rosettes of ovate, 1 to 2 inch long, deep green leaves with serrated edges. Its bottommost leaves may be purplish on their undersides.
The leaves remain attractive year-round.
Golden Groundsel’s roots are stoloniferous, forming runners that make dense colonies.
It can be propagated by transplanting the new plants formed by the stolons.

Flowers and Fruit: Golden Groundsel is one of the earliest flowering native plants in our region, flowering from early March and into April.
As its name suggests, its flowers are deep yellow, and about ¾ inch across.
Golden Groundsel blooms with multiple flowers on each plant, held high above the foliage – the flower spikes are usually 14 to 24 inches tall.
Each plant blooms for about 2 weeks.
Golden Groundsel's seeds are dispersed by the wind.

Planting sites: Golden Groundsel should be planted in shade, part shade or dappled shade.
It is adaptable to most soils, but like many other natives, it needs good drainage.

Watering Instructions: Like many Texas natives, Golden Groundsel may need supplemental water during its first growing season.
After it is established, it will thrive with existing rainfall. It is drought tolerant.

Comments: Although Golden Groundsel may be a little hard to find, it is worth the search.
It selfpropagates slowly, not becoming invasive. Its evergreen leaves provide a year-round ground cover and remain green, even in a dry summer.
After flowering, Golden Groundsel can be mowed.
Its golden blooms make it a favorite for early spring.
It can be part of a woodland or formal shade garden, mixing with native violets, Hinkley columbine, white avens, horseherb, or lyreleaf sage.
Consider planting Golden Groundsel as a ground cover instead of Asiatic jasmine, English ivy or vinca.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Spring 2011
Perennial spring blooms that attract butterflies: Fragrant Phlox, Phlox pilosa

Photos courtesy of Marilyn Blanton (left) & Kathy Saucier (right)

Description: Phlox pilosa L., called Fragrant Phlox, Downy Phlox or Prairie Phlox, is found in north central Texas,
primarily in the dry soils of prairies and dry wooded areas.
It is a small herbaceous perennial that is usually 6-8 inches high and 6-12 inches wide.
Its leaves are long and narrow, usually 2 inches and less than a fourth of an inch wide.
The leaves and stems are sticky to the touch and are covered with glandular-tipped hairs.
Fragrant Phlox propagates by seed and by underground runners.

Flowers and Fruit: Fragrant Phlox blooms in mid-spring, primarily April and May.
Its flowers form a terminal cluster at the top of the stem. Each flower has 5 lobes and is a little more than an inch across.
The flowers range from lavender-pink to lavender- purple and emit fragrance when sunlight hits them.

Planting sites: Plant Fragrant Phlox in full sun to partial or dappled sun.
It will do best in clay loam or sandy loam and will tolerate some rock in its soil.
As with most other Texas natives, Phlox cannot tolerate “wet feet” – it needs good drainage.
Phlox works well naturalized among other natives that bloom in summer since their foliage is sparse or no- existent the rest of the year.

Watering Instructions: Similar to many other Texas natives,
Fragrant Phlox will need supplemental water during the first growing season and during an extended drought.
If not watered during an extended drought, the plants may go totally dormant during summer.

Comments: In addition to being grown for its lovely spring blooms and fragrance, nectar from Fragrant Phlox feeds butterflies,
bees and skippers, including the American Painted Lady, Sulfur, Swallowtail, and Cloudywing butterflies.
Use this perennial for spring color in place of non-native annuals.


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Winter 2011
Small understory shrub with winter berries: Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)

Photo courtesy of Kathy Saucier

Description: Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus), also called Indian Currant, Snowberry or Buckbush, is in the Honeysuckle family.
It is native to the eastern part of Texas, west to the western Cross Timbers and south to the Edwards Plateau.
It is a small deciduous woody shrub, growing to 2 to 4 feet tall, with a mounding to sprawling growth habit.

It has opposite dull-green leaves that that can be up to 2 inches long, but are usually less than 1 inch long.
The leaves are smooth and oval. Coralberry may shed its bark on older wood.

Coralberry is rhizomatous – it forms runners; thus, Coralberry may form colonies.

Flowers and Fruit: Coralberry has indistinct ¼ inch pinkish-white flowers in the summer.
Some of Coralberry’s ornamental value comes from the clusters of reddish-lavender to bright pink ¼ inch berries that remain on the plant throughout the winter.

Planting sites: Coralberry does best in partial and dappled shade, but also tolerates a mostly-sun condition.
It does best in loamy and rocky soils, but will tolerate other conditions as long as it has good drainage.
Avoid planting Coralberry in areas where it may experience “wet feet” or it may rot.
Wet conditions may also lead to mildew on the leaves; this usually does not damage the plant.

Watering Instructions: Like most Texas natives, Coralberry will need supplemental water during the first growing season.
After it is established, it will thrive with existing rainfall. It is very drought tolerant.

Comments: In the wild, Coralberry is often found as an understory shrub in Post-Oak woods.
In the garden, Coralberry is grown for its clusters of berries that provide winter interest.
It also provides cover for birds and is the larval food for the Snowberry Clearwing Moth.
Consider using Coralberry as an alternative to Nandina cultivars in your landscape.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.
Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings are the 4th Thursday in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Sep & Oct, TWU’s ACT building 6:30 pm, 2nd floor.


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Fall 2010
Show-stopping fall blooming perennial for sun:
Fall Aster (Aster oblongifolius, recently reclassified to Symphyotrichum oblongifolium)

Photo courtesy of Lon Turnbull

Description: Fall Aster, also called Aromatic Aster, is native to the midwest and eastern US.
It grows 1 to 3 feet tall and branches frequently, creating a bushy appearance.
It has slender, stiff stems; the lower stems may become woody and turn brown by the end of the growing season.

Fall Aster has alternate lanceolate to oblong leaves that can be up to 2 inches long and half an inch wide.
Typically the leaves are larger at the base of the plant becoming smaller further up. Sometimes Fall Aster loses its lower leaves as it grows; this is not a cause for concern.
The crushed foliage has a pleasant aroma, explaining the alternate name of Aromatic Aster.
In addition to multiplying by seed, Fall Aster sends out underground rhizomes; thus one plant can yield a large clump of Asters 3 feet wide or more.

Flowers and Fruit: Fall Aster blooms from September to November in North Texas, putting on a magnificent display after many other perennials have finished blooming.
It has daisy-like flowers, 1 to 11/ 4 inch across.
Each compound flower has numerous very small yellow disk florets, surrounded by many lavender-blue ray florets.
In ideal conditions, the plant will be covered with blossoms. Planting sites: Fall Aster does best in full sun and will tolerate partial or dappled sun.
It does very well in calcareous or sandy soils; most soils are well tolerated.
Fall Aster should have good drainage; avoid planting it in areas where it may experience “wet feet” or it may rot.

Watering Instructions: Like most Texas natives, Fall Aster will need supplemental water during the first growing season; after it is established, it will thrive with existing rainfall. It is very drought tolerant.
Comments: In addition to its high value as an ornamental, Fall Aster is visited by a variety of bees and butterflies that use it as a larval and a nectar source.
After the blooming period, the foliage dries out and creates a dense protective cover for over-wintering birds.
At the beginning of spring, the dried stems and foliage may be pruned away, revealing rosettes of new growth for the coming year’s growth.
Consider using Fall Aster as an alternative to chrysanthemum species. Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery.
Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes. Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings are the 4th Thursday in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Sep & Oct at 6:30 pm on the 2nd floor, ACT Building, Texas Woman’s University, in Denton, Texas.


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Summer 2010
Shrub for sun and hummingbirds:
Flame Acanthus
(Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii)

Courtesy Photo by Marilyn Blanton

Description: Flame Acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii) is a heat-loving, drought tolerant small shrub that is native to Texas.
It grows 3 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide.
It has light to medium green, 2” long, 3/4'” wide, lance-shaped leaves and bark that peels and flakes as the plant grows.
It is deciduous and late to leaf out in the spring.

Flowers and Fruit:
Starting in June and continuing through the summer, Flame Acanthus is covered with long, slender, tubular, orange to red flowers that are 1.5 inches long in a terminal spike.
Hummingbirds and butterflies are drawn to the flowers. Although it is very drought tolerant, supplemental watering of Flame Acanthus in the dry summer months will encourage reblooming.

Planting sites: Flame Acanthus should be planted in full sun to mostly sun in many types of soils. It should have good drainage; avoid planting it in areas where it may experience “wet feet” or it may rot.

Watering Instructions: Like most Texas natives, Flame Acanthus will need supplemental water during the first growing season; after it is established, it will thrive with existing rainfall.

Comments: Flame Acanthus is a hummingbird magnet. It can be used in perennial borders or as a specimen plant.
It may be also used as a perennial hedge. Flame Acanthus benefits from periodic pruning and may even be sheared to the ground in the early spring; however its branches provide protection for wintering birds, so it should not be pruned until new growth is apparent. Its peeling bark provides winter interest.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery.
Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes. Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings are the 4th Thursday in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Sep & Oct, TWU’s ACT building 6:30 pm, 2nd floor.


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Spring 2010
A low-growing perennial for the well-drained shade garden: Cedar Sage
(Salvia roemeriana)

Courtesy Photo by Dorothy Thetford

Description: Cedar Sage (Salvia roemeriana), also called Roemer’s Sage, is native to the Texas Hill Country where it grows in rocky shaded areas. It is a small red-flowered perennial in the mint family that grows up to 18 inches tall. It has rounded scallop-edged leaves that are 1 to 2 inches wide, with small hairs on them making the leaves feel soft to the touch. Cedar Sage is adapted to grow in the shade of Ashe Juniper trees, commonly referred to as mountain cedars, hence the name “Cedar Sage”.

Flowers and Fruit: Cedar Sage has crimson red flowers that are 1 to 1.5 inches wide on 2 to 3 inch racemes, adding sparkle to the shady areas of the garden. The flowers appear in spring and early summer.

Planting sites: Cedar Sage can be planted in dappled shade to part shade to full shade in many types of soils. It should be provided good drainage; avoid planting it in areas where it may experience “wet feet” or it may rot. It may also be grown in pots.

Watering Instructions: Like most Texas natives, Cedar Sage will need supplemental water during the first growing season. After it is established, it will thrive with existing rainfall. It is drought tolerant.

Comments: Cedar Sage is a well-behaved garden citizen, gradually growing larger and occasionally spreading by seed. It can tolerate some sun, but should not be planted in areas receiving more than a half day of sun. It maintains a rosette during the winter. Consider using it as an alternative to exotic impatiens species.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Winter 2010
Showy ornamental tree for part-shade to sun: Eve’s Necklace
(Sophora affinis, Styphnolobium affine))

Courtesy Photos by Dorothy Thetford

Description: Eve’s Necklace (Sophora affinis, now re-classified to Styphnolobium affine), also called Texas Sophora, is native to North Texas and regions south. This understory tree is relatively fast growing, usually reaching 15 to 25 feet tall. Its canopy can reach 20 feet wide at maturity. It has alternate pinnately compound leaves 8 inches long, with many individual leaflets, giving the foliage a delicate appearance. The leaves are deep green on top and somewhat paler on the bottom. Eve’s Necklace is deciduous, losing its leaves in the winter.

Flowers and Fruit: Eve’s Necklace has intensely fragrant spring flowers that bloom for approximately 2 weeks, usually in April. Its white-with-pink blossoms resemble those of pea or wisteria; all are in the legume family. Eve’s Necklace takes its name from the showy seed pods that form in the fall and remain on the plant during the winter months after the leaves have fallen from the plant. The black pods are 3 to 6 inches long, resembling beads on a string.

Planting sites: Eve’s Necklace can be planted in dappled shade to part shade to full sun. It takes well to pruning after it is established, which can be used to shape the tree as desired.

Watering Instructions: Eve’s Necklace will need supplemental water during the first growing season; after it is established, it will thrive with existing rainfall. It is drought tolerant.

Comments: Eve’s Necklace is an outstanding addition as an ornamental tree to North Texas gardens. Its fragrant spring flowers are followed by the development of attractive seed pods in the fall, providing an interesting visual texture in the winter garden. Although considered an understory tree, it is a good size for smaller gardens where large trees might overwhelm the yard. Consider using it as an alternative to tall crepe myrtles.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscape.


Operation NICE! Plant of the Season -- Fall 2009
Perennial for part-shade and butterfly magnet:
Gregg’s Mistflower (Eupatorium greggii, Conoclinium greggii,)


Description: Gregg’s Mistflower (Conoclinium greggii, formerly Eupatorium greggii), also called Boneset or Gregg’s Eupatorium, is native to the southwestern US. It is a small to medium-sized perennial that can grow from 9 inches to 3 feet tall; in gardens it is usually 1.5 to 2 feet tall. Its leaves are palmate and deeply divided into 3 lobes approximately 5 inches long.
Gregg’s Mistflower has a tendency to sprawl and with its roots traveling through the soil, spreads out from its initial planting site. Like many perennials in North Texas, it goes dormant over the winter.

Flowers: From late July through frost, Gregg’s Mistflower blooms with small lavender to lightblue flowers that cluster together, forming 2 inch flower heads. The peak display is from mid-September through October.

Planting sites: Gregg’s Mistflower should be planted in dappled shade to part shade.

Watering Instructions: Like most Texas natives, Gregg’s Mistflower will need supplemental water during the first growing season; after it is established, it will thrive with existing rainfall except during extreme drought. However, if it is planted in full sun, it will need supplemental water.

Comments: Gregg’s Mistflower is an outstanding addition to the fall garden with its annual display of lavender blue flowers. Its bloom coincides with the migration of Monarch butterflies, which are attracted to its nectar. Thus, Gregg’s Mistflower is frequently found covered with butterflies during the autumn. Consider planting this butterfly magnet with Hill Country Aster and using it to substitute for chrysanthemums.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.



Operation NICE! Plant of the Season–Summer 2009 Pigeon-Berry (Rivina humilis L.) Perennial ground cover for shade:


Photo credit Kathy Saucier

Description: Pigeon-Berry (Rivina humilis L.), also called Coralito, or Rouge Plant, is native to the southern US as far north as Oklahoma. It is a small shrubby perennial that can grow from 18 to 34 inches tall in North Texas with smooth (glabrous) leaves that are 1 to 3 inches long. It has an upright habit. Pigeon-Berry is perennial and deciduous, going dormant over the winter in North Texas.

Flowers and Berries: Pigeon-Berry has very small pinkish-white flowers during most of its growing season, that give rise to brilliant red berries. The plant often has berries and flowers at the same time.

Planting sites: Pigeon-Berry can be planted in dappled, part or full shade and in many types of soils.

Watering Instructions: Pigeon-Berry should be watered after planting and again every other week during its first growing season. Once established, Pigeon-Berry will grow with existing rainfall because of its drought tolerance; during extreme drought, it may go dormant, but will re-emerge from the soil after the first rainfall.

Comments: Pigeon-Berry is an outstanding addition for shady areas that are not irrigated. Its wavy foliage is very attractive and its red berries are irresistible to birds and will attract a variety of birds to your yard. However, neither the berries nor other parts of this plant are for human consumption. Consider using Pigeon-Berry instead of hosta in shady areas – Pigeon-Berry won’t need the supplemental water that hosta must have to survive our North Texas summers.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes. Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings are the 4th Thursday in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Sep & Oct, TWU’s ACT building 6:30 pm, 2nd floor.



Operation NICE! Plant of the Season–Spring 2009 Trailing Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata) Standing Winecup (Callirhoe pedata, formerly Callirhoe digitata)


Photo credits, clockwise from top: Kathy Saucier, Lon Turnbull (next two) and Dorothy Thetford

Description: These two Winecup species are native to Texas and surrounding states. Their striking color makes them easy to recognize. These easy-to-grow perennials have very similar flowers and enlarged roots. The most noticeable difference between them is their growth habits. Trailing Winecup grows to about one foot high and has sprawling stems that can grow as long as three feet, while Standing Winecup is an erect plant that grows one to two feet tall. There are other differences between the species; Trailing Winecup is distinguished by a three bract–like structure under the bracts known as an involucel. It may go dormant in the hottest part of the summer but returns to overwinter as a rosette with attractive dark green lobed leaves. Standing Winecup has more delicate foliage and is not evergreen.

Flowers/bloom period: Both species bloom in the spring, mainly in April and May. Depending on conditions, they may bloom as early as late February and last into June. The flowers are 2 inch reddish-purple (magenta) cups. They have 5 petals surrounding a fused column of stamens characteristic of flowers in the Mallow family. They are pollinated by bees and develop an interesting seed capsule.

Planting sites: Winecups grow in full sun to partial shade. They are adaptable to a wide range of soils but need a well drained site.

Watering instructions: New plants should be watered until they are established. After that, they should survive with existing rainfall and are drought tolerant.

Comments: Both species are proficient bloomers and add magnificent color to a landscape. They are complemented by other natives such as Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and Fragrant Phlox (Phlox pilosa). Standing Winecup could replace Bleeding Heart or Hardy Geraniums in a border. Trailing Winecup does well at the top of a retaining wall or along a curb; it may be used instead of Ice Plant, Ajuga or trailing forms of either Lantana or Verbena.
Winecups attract butterflies and serve as the larval host plant for the gray hairstreak butterfly. Give Winecups room to spread and enjoy them for many years to come. Look for the Natives Instead of Common Exotics! (NICE!) Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscape!
Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the fourth Thursday of January, February,
March, April, May, September and October, in the TWU ACT building, second floor, at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are free; all are welcome. For more details, visit www.npsot.org/trinityforks.



Operation NICE! Plant of the Season, Winter 2009: Perennial: Four-nerve Daisy (Tetraneuris scaposa)

Description: Four-nerve Daisy, also know as Hymenoxys, Stemmy Four-nerve Daisy and Slender-stem Bitterweed is native to Texas and surrounding states and has been found as far north as Kansas. It is a short, upright perennial with a woody base that can reach 1 ft in height. The long narrow leaves of gray-green foliage form a clump from which the flower stems arise. When in full bloom, Four-nerve Daisy can appear covered with flowers; 1 inch flower heads are found on each leafless stalk. The individual flowers are long lasting.

Bloom/berry period: Blooms: Bright-yellow flowers are mostly found from February through early summer, although Four-nerve Daisy has been known to show flowers almost every day of the year even in the northern part of the state. <

Planting sites: Four-nerve Daisy prefers full sun or part shade and must have good drainage but will grow in almost any soil.

Watering Instructions: Water new plants and once established they shouldn’t need supplemental water. Four-nerve Daisy is very drought tolerant.

Comments: This is a great plant for use in borders or in rock gardens. Its extended bloom period makes it a welcome addition to gardens and landscapes, especially in the winter. Four-nerve Daisy may be used instead of liriope for borders; it gives more color with similar foliage.


Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. And thank you for supporting native plants by using them in your landscapes.
Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings 4th Thursday Jan, Feb, March, April, May, Sept & Oct, TWU’s ACT building 6:30 pm, second floor.



Operation NICE! Plant of the Season, Fall 2008: Carolina Buckthorn: A small ornamental tree with colorful autumn foliage and fruit.

By Becca Dickstein and Dorothy Thetford


Courtesy Photo By Dorothy Thetford

Description: Carolina Buckthorn (Frangula caroliniana, formerly known as Rhamnus caroliniana) is one of about 100 different Buckthorn species found in both tropical and temperate locales in both hemispheres. The United States is home to 9 Buckthorn species, of which 4 are found in Texas. Carolina Buckthorn is an attractive small tree or large shrub that is adaptable to many growing situations. In East Texas where rain is plentiful, it is frequently an understory tree/shrub growing in bottomland conditions, while on the Edwards plateau, it can be found growing in small groves in limestone soil in full sun with much less rainfall.

Flowers: Carolina Buckthorn has small, compact clusters of tiny yellow-green flowers in May to early June that attract many winged pollinators.

Planting sites: Carolina Buckthorn needs a “small-tree” space allotment. It is shade-tolerant and can be added as an understory tree which survives beautifully with three or four hours of sun a day. But, it also tolerates full sun. While Carolina Buckthorn’s growth is influenced by its growing conditions, in the Denton area it can be expected to reach about 20 feet tall and 8-12 feet wide.

Watering Instructions: Carolina Buckthorn should be watered after planting and again every other week during its first growing season. After the first growing season, it should survive with existing rainfall because of its drought tolerance, but may be watered during prolonged drought.

Comments: Carolina Buckthorn has colorful autumn foliage and beautiful autumn fruit. The leaves are 3-4 inches long, prominently veined, shiny, oval, deciduous and are attractive from spring through late fall. Once they begin changing colors in the fall, the show is on-going until every leaf falls. From glossy dark green, the leaves take on varying colors from yellow-gold to a combination of bronzesienna, some hanging on through February. Meanwhile, the fruit cluster is also vying for attention. Red fruit, quarter-inch diameter, turn blue-black with maturity and provide an October-December buffet for mockingbirds, catbirds, brown thrashers, and various other birds. The fruit clusters are so pretty that they could be used as part of Thanksgiving or Christmas bouquets.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.

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Operation NICE! Plant of the Season - Summer 2008: Perennial ground cover/shady lawn substitute: Horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis)



Description: Horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis), also called Straggler Daisy, is native to Texas and ranges south to Central America. It grows up to 8-10 inches tall, with opposite leaves that are usually less than 1 inch long. It has a sprawling to prostrate habit. Horseherb is perennial and although deciduous, it may remain green during a mild North Texas winter.

Flowers: Horseherb has very small yellow flowers that bloom from mid-spring to late fall.

Planting sites: Horseherb should be planted in dappled shade, part shade or full shade. It tolerates many types of soils. Avoid planting horseherb in an area where it may experience “wet feet” or it may rot.

Watering Instructions: Horseherb should be watered after planting and again every other week during its first growing season. After the first growing season, horseherb will survive with existing rainfall because of its drought tolerance.

Comments: Horseherb is an outstanding substitute for grass in those shady areas where grass is difficult to grow. Horseherb grows well in the shade and it can be mowed. Because horseherb may expand by stolons (runners) and rooting from the stems, it can become invasive (weedy!) in rich garden soil. However, it is an excellent groundcover for dry shady areas and because it can be mowed, it is finding more and more use as a shady lawn substitute.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.

Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings are the 4th Thursday in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Sep & Oct, TWU’s ACT building 6:30 pm, 2nd floor.

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Operation NICE! Plant of the Season - Winter 2007: Perennial: Possumhaw holly (Ilex decidua)



Photo: Lon Turnbull

Description: Possumhaw, Ilex decidua, is native to the southeastern US, ranging from Maryland to Florida and west to Texas and Mexico. This beautiful small tree grows 15 to 25 feet tall. It has a bushy habit and can reach up to a 15 foot spread. Possumhaw is deciduous, losing its leaves in the fall. For the female trees, this reveals the yellow to orange to bright red berries that cover the trees all winter.

Berries: Possumhaw starts to make berries in the summer which turn color in the fall. The berries are the most distinctive feature of the plant by November, when Possumhaw starts to shed its leaves. Most female Possumhaw trees are covered with berries, making a wonderful fall and winter display.

Planting sites: Possumhaw can be planted in full sun to shade. Although in full sun it will have more berries and growth will be more vigorous, Possumhaw also does well as an understory tree. It grows well in most types of soil, from acid to alkaline, from dry to a bit damp. Do not plant Possumhaw where it might experience “wet feet” or it may rot.

Watering Instructions: Possumhaw should be watered well immediately after planting and then every 2-3 weeks during the first growing season if there is no rain. Like most native trees and plants, Possumhaw should not be over-watered. After the first growing season, Possumhaw should survive with existing rainfall because it is very drought tolerant, but may be watered during prolonged drought.

Comments: Possumhaw is gorgeous for the winter, adding colorful interest to North Texas gardens. There are a number of named Possumhaw cultivars including Warren's Red, Council Fire and Byer's Golden – these do not breed true from seed from the berries, so purchase them from a nursery. To be sure of a female tree, choose one at a nursery in the fall or winter when the berries are present. Male trees must be in the vicinity for a female tree to have berries; fortunately male trees abound in North Texas, so this is not an issue. Possumhaw can become quite dense; it can be pruned at any time of year if it becomes too thick. Possumhaw’s dense habit is a plus, because branches with the bright berries are especially welcome in winter floral arrangements. You may expect many requests for branches of berries. Birds are also attracted to the berries.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.

Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings are the 4th Thursday in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Sep & Oct, TWU’s ACT building 6:30 pm, 2nd floor.



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Operation NICE! Plant of the Season - Fall 2007: Perennial: Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata)



Photo: Kathy Saucier

Description: Liatris is a large eastern and midwestern North American genus that includes 43 species, collectively called Gayfeather, Blazing Star, or Button-Snakeroot. Narrow-Leaf Gayfeather, L. mucronata, is native to eastern and northern Texas, south to the Edwards Plateau and west to the rolling plains. This prairie perennial has multiple stalks that give the plant its 1 to 1.5 feet width. It grows 1 to 3 feet tall and has an erect growth pattern, growing from corm-like structures in the soil. True to its name, Narrow Leaf Gayfeather has narrow leaves that are approximately 2 inches long.

Blooms: Gayfeather blooms from August through the beginning of October and occasionally up to November with lavender to purple flower spikes. Each flower spike, with many ½ inch corollas, starts to bloom at the top and slowly descends toward the base. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Planting sites: Gayfeather should be planted in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil. It tolerates a range of soil pH, from weakly acidic to moderately alkaline. It will grow well in sandy loam, loam, or even clay-based soil if it is well-drained. Plants should be spaced 1-2 feet apart. Do not plant Gayfeather where it might experience “wet feet” or it may rot. Gayfeather seeds can be planted in the early spring or in the fall.

Watering Instructions: Gayfeather should be watered well immediately after planting and then every 2-3 weeks during the first growing season if there is no rain. Like most native plants, Gayfeather should not be over-watered. After the first growing season, Gayfeather should survive with existing rainfall because it is very drought tolerant.

Comments: L. mucronata is similar to the widely cultivated Gayfeather species L. spicata in the appearance of its bloom and foliage, but unlike L. spicata, L. mucronata is much longer lived and better adapted to North Texas. Gayfeather needs no soil amendments, although it is not recommended for poorly draining hard clay soil. When L. mucronata is grown in fertilized garden soils, its flower stalks may grow long and leggy and fall over. After several years, Gayfeather may be propagated by digging up and dividing its underground corm-like or bulb-like structures. Gayfeather makes a nice cut flower for fall bouquets.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.

Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings are the 4th Thursday in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Sep & Oct, TWU’s ACT building 6:30 pm, 2nd floor.



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Operation NICE! Plant of the Season - Summer 2007: Perennial: Mexican-Hat (Ratibida columnifera)



Photo: Marilyn Blanton

Description: Ratibida columnifera goes by several names: Mexican-Hat, Upright Prairie Coneflower, Long-headed Coneflower, and Thimble-Flower. This prairie perennial grows over most of the US, including our region. Mexican-Hat will usually grow 1 to 3 feet tall. It has a branching growth pattern, with deeply lobed leaves 2 inches wide and up to 6 inches long.

Blooms: Mexican-Hat blooms from May through July with occasional flowers later in the summer. The flowers resemble sombreros, giving Mexican-Hat its most common name. The flower petals range in color from solid yellow to red with a splash of yellow to reddish-brown. In both types, the petals surround an upright 1- to 2-inch brownish cone that develops seeds.

Planting sites: Mexican-Hat should be planted in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil. It tolerates a range of soil pH, from weakly acidic to moderately alkaline. It will grow well in sandy loam, loam, or clay-based soil. Plants should be spaced 2-3 feet apart. Mexican-Hat seeds can be planted in the early spring or in the fall.

Watering Instructions: Mexican-Hat should be watered well immediately after planting and then every other week during the first growing season. Like most native plants, Mexican-Hat should not be over-watered and should not be planted where it might experience “wet feet”. After the first growing season, Mexican-Hat is very drought tolerant and should survive with existing rainfall.

Comments: Mexican-Hat is a stalwart of our prairies and deserving of a place in our gardens. It does very well in the heat of a Texas summer and can also withstand high humidity. It will slowly spread and performs well in average to poor soil, making it well-suited for North Texas xeriscapes. It can be propagated from plantlets that grow on the main branches of a parent plant. Mexican-Hat keeps a green foliage rosette during our mild winters and during the summer, makes a nice cut flower for bouquets.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Season signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. Thank you for using native plants in your landscapes.

Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Meetings are the 4th Thursday in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Sep & Oct, TWU’s ACT building 6:30 pm, 2nd floor.



For Summer 2006, the Denton Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas NICE!: Natives Instead of Common Exotics program is highlighting Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus drummondii) for use in North Texas gardens and landscapes.

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Operation NICE! Plant of the Season, Summer 2006: Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus drummondii), a plant well suited for a shade garden.

By Becca Dickstein



Photo: Cindy Murdoch

Turk’s Cap is a shrubby perennial that will reach 2-4 feet by the end of the summer: taller in areas where it receives some sun, shorter when it is in full shade. In spring, stems with heart-shaped leaves emerge from the base. The leaves are soft and velvety on the underside. Turk’s Cap starts to bloom in late spring and continues until frost. The name “Turk’s Cap” comes from the bright red flowers that resemble a Turkish fez. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. In the fall, Turk’s Cap produces little pumpkin-shaped red seed pods that contain a number of viable seed, eaten by a variety of birds. In our area, Turk’s Cap dies completely to the ground with the first freeze and remains dormant until the spring. Turk’s Cap’s bloom period extends from late May/early June until frost.

Turk’s Cap is a plant for full, dappled, or partial shade. This plant likes well-drained soil and will grow best in soil that has been amended with organic matter like compost. Allow 3-5 feet between plants. After planting, water well and mulch. Turk’s Cap should be watered once every other week until established. After it is established, Turk’s Cap only needs supplemental watering during a prolonged drought; Turk’s Cap is a tough as well as beautiful Texas native. The plant will spread slowly –its roots spread horizontally – and can be dug up and divided after several years. Do not over water or it may rot.

This is an interesting and beautiful ornamental plant for a shade garden, including deep shade. Consider using Turk’s Cap in areas where you might plant azaleas or other shrubs. Remember that Turk’s Cap needs much less soil preparation than azaleas do.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Month signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. So far, participating nurseries include Calloway’s in Denton, Decatur Garden Center in Decatur, Green Mama’s in North Richland Hills, Lantana Nursery in Bartonville, Meador’s Nursery in Denton, Painted Flower Farm in Denton, Shades of Green Nursery in Frisco, Four Season's Nursery in Denton, Huggin's Nursery in Flower Mound, and other nurseries in our area. And thank you for supporting native plants by using them in your landscapes.

Dr. Becca Dickstein is a member of the Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas, which meets the 4th Thursday Jan, Feb, March, April, May, Sept & Oct in TWU’s ACT building 6:30 pm, second floor. Dr. Dickstein is also a member of UNT’s Biological Sciences faculty.


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Operation NICE! Plant of the Season: Yellow Columbine, Texas Gold Columbine, Hinckley’s Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia hinckleyana)

By Becca Dickstein



Photo: Lon Turnbull

The Denton Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) is starting a local program to promote the use of native Texas plants in our gardens and landscapes. The program is called NICE!: Natives Instead of Common Exotics and is the brainchild of the NPSOT Boerne chapter. Four times a year, once a season, we will highlight the use of part of our natural heritage. For Spring 2006, we are highlighting Yellow Columbine.

There are 3 species of native Yellow Columbine in Texas, however A. hinckleyana is most available in nurseries. Yellow Columbine is a small to medium perennial plant found in mossy areas of West Texas. When not in bloom, its soft lacy foliage is 8 to 16 inches high. Each leaf has three lobed leaflets. When flowering, it sends up airy 1 to 3 foot stalks, which open to reveal yellow to pale yellow blooms that seem to float above the foliage. The five petals are elongated into knob-tipped spurs. Like other columbines, it is a nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies.

Yellow Columbine’s bloom period extends from March through May, with occasional blooms in the summer if it receives supplemental watering.

Yellow Columbine is a plant for full, dappled, or partial shade. It likes moist, but well-drained soil and will grow best in soil that has been amended with organic matter like compost. Allow about 12-16 inches between plants. After planting, water well and mulch. The plant will spread by self-sowing or re-seeding, but expect the parent plant to last at least several years. Yellow Columbine should be watered once a week until well established. During a summer drought, or after a hard winter freeze, the plant will become dormant. However, it will recover when growing conditions improve. But do not over water or it may rot.

This is an interesting and beautiful ornamental plant for a shade garden. Use yellow columbine instead of geraniums or begonias, which require more frequent watering.

Look for the NICE! Plant of the Month signs and information sheets on your next visit to a participating North Texas nursery. So far, participating nurseries include Decatur Garden Center in Decatur, Green Mama’s in North Richland Hills, Lantana Nursery in Bartonville, Meador’s Nursery in Denton, Painted Flower Farm in Denton, Four Seasons in Denton, Huggin’s Nursery in Flower Mound, Shades of Green Nursery in Frisco, and other nurseries in our area. Yellow Columbine will be available at Redbud Day, April 8, 2006, in Denton. And thank you for supporting native plants by using them in your landscapes.

Dr. Becca Dickstein is a member of the Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas, which meets the 4th Thursday Jan, Feb, March, April, May, Sept & Oct in TWU’s ACT building 6:30 pm, second floor. Dr. Dickstein is also a member of UNT’s Biological Sciences faculty.