South Texas Gardening with Bob Webster


As a Texas Super Star, esperanza has recently become a popular ornamental plant in Texas gardens. In the wild it will be found growing on rocky slopes near San Antonio and in the Trans-Pecos, north into New Mexico and Arizona, east to Florida and south into Central and South America in well drained soil and full sun. The Trans-Pecos plants are considered to be the most cold hardy, but they are still only really hardy to zone 8b. North of there it should be used as an annual or as a fast growing, large container plant which may be moved into warmer winter quarters. The striking, tubular 2 1/2-inch bright yellow flowers are highlighted by the attractive, shiny, green foliage and continue through the heat of the summer. The flowers have an odd but pleasing fragrance and also provide nectar for bees. The Indians made bows from its wood, and in Mexico a beer was prepared from its roots; it has also been used for a variety of medicines.
Plant Habit or Use: small shrub, medium shrub
Exposure: sun
Flower Color: yellow
Blooming Period: spring, summer, fall
Fruit Characteristics: 4- to 6-inch-long capsule
Height: 3 to 6 feet
Width: 3 to 4 feet
Plant Character: deciduous, semi evergreen
Heat Tolerance: high
Water Requirements:
Soil Requirements: neutral alkaline
USDA Hardiness Zone: 8

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