Salvia lyrata aka Lyre-leaved Sage

I found these growing in a boggy area along a pathway.

Perennial herb, wild throughout eastern and midwestern US, zones 5-10

Cold, wet winters will kill it, it prefers drier areas

Blooming late March ( spring – summer depending on location )

Considered invasive in some locations. Many home owners mow it after it flowers.

Considered a medicinal plant, Gray’s Pharmacopoeia (1848) lists its uses for warts and cancer but studies haven’t found any medicinal uses. aka Cancer Weed

Well liked by bees and butterflies

Easy to grow from seed

Echinacea purpurea aka Purple Coneflower

Perennial, loves sun, doesn’t mind occasional dry spells, benefits from dead heading and dividing clumps every 3 years or so.

Native to North America, there are about 9 species in this genus. It’s been a garden favorite as far back as the early 1900s where it is often referred to as the ‘dull pink coneflower’

It is a strongly recommended addition to bee and butterfly gardens and said to be deer resistant

Rudbeckia hirta aka Black Eyed Susan

Not surprisingly this is in the sunflower branch of the family tree and North American native.

It loves lots of sun, tolerate occasional dry spells and are easily grown from seed or pick up a flat of the plants and plant them.

They are perennials, divide them every few years to keep them flowering.

Dead heading the plants ( cut off spent flowers before they go to seed ) will prolong the blooming cycle.

Used in traditional medicine, not all the parts are edible. ( Don’t try it at home ) There are many references to it as a kitchen garden plant as far back as the early 1800s. The older mentions all reference the orange center, not all the newer varieties still have the orange center.

Geranium carolinanum aka Carolina cranesbill

Several years ago I purchased some citronella scented geraniums ( which do not keep mosquitoes away, that’s Lemongrass (Cymbopogon ). They died off during droughts, freezes and go figure, today in its place I discovered a wild Geranium carolinanum. Only a tiny scent emerges from its leaves, I can’t quite place it.

This is a native through the middle of the US and across to the eastern states. Some authors claim it likes dry, wooded areas, others wet moist areas. Mine appeared in a sunny dry area.

One book lists it as the worst weed of the Geranium family, and that’s the kindest thing the author has to say about it. It spreads out from the roots becoming invasive. Time will tell, for now I’m going to leave it alone and see what happens.

Early flowers give way to fruits with a beak like appearance which also disperse seeds. The crane like fruit abruptly splits at the side which pulls the beak scattering the seeds a long way off. It is an annual or biennial

Can reach about 2′ in height and width.

Blooms March-May in the Houston area

Duchesnea indica aka Indian Strawberry

I’m not sure where it came from but it’s tried to overtake every garden bed here. It’s easy to pull out, but there’s so much of it I’m not sure I’ll ever get rid of it.

Fruit is bright red and flavorless, flowers are yellow

Loves sun or part shade, moist soil

Perennial herb, fast spreader, noxious weed, but that also makes it a good ground cover. It’s a recommended water wise ground cover by several references

Native to India, naturalized to eastern US and west coast

Some claim it can cause allergic reactions – birds, squirrels won’t eat it

Nothoscordum bivalve aka Crow Poison

Blooms early spring, sometimes in fall along road sides and other open areas. Leaves are long, thin all at the base of the plant.

Perennial bulb in Liliaceae family

Native to Texas, Mid Atlantic, Mid West and Gulf Coast

Toxic to humans, possibly crows, but loved by butterflies

aka Yellow False Garlic