Fall Native Plant Sale October 12 & 13

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

What’s in Season: October

American witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

American witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

We swear we didn’t choose witch hazel because of Halloween — it’s just an added bonus that this striking tree blooms around the same time little kids are donning pointy hats and toting cauldrons and brooms. But Hamamelis virginiana — best known by its fragrant, lime-yellow, crepelike petals — does have a few tricks up its stems: Its seed capsules are essentially nature’s champagne corks; once dry, they can launch seeds as far as 30 feet. And myth holds that forked branches can be used as divining rods for locating underground water. But witch hazel’s true magic is as a skin treatment; its extract is used on insect bites, minor burns and poison ivy and for improving skin quality. Sounds like this witch is one of the good kind.

Barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra)

Barbados Cherry  (Malpighia glabra)

Barbados “cheery” would be a suitable alias for this perennial shrub; its papery pink blooms, lush leaves and tart fruit sure make us happy. Known to some as “wild crapemyrtle,” Malpighia glabra has plentiful delicate blooms not unlike the popular non-native landscaping plant, crepe myrtle. A true heat-lover, Barbados cherry does well in dry soil and thrives from Texas south through Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Birds love its fruits (known as acerola cherries and high in Vitamin C), and it provides nectar for a clutch of butterflies. As an attractive choice for hedges available in tall or dwarf varieties, it certainly provides eye candy for humans, as well.

Explore more plants in season »
fall native plant sale