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Regional Picks: Focal-Point Plants – Southern Plains

Fine Gardening - Issue 134

1. Yellow Butterfly Vine

Name: Mascagnia macroptera

USDA hardiness zones: 8 to 11

Size: Climbing to 12 to 20 feet

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; drought tolerant

A vine needs color or interest to be a focal point: Yellow butterfly vine has both. The flowers, which look like bunches of small yellow orchids, start to bloom when the weather warms in April. Lime green seedpods, resembling large butterflies, turn burnt orange as they age. If you remove these older pods, the plant will continue to bloom until frost. This vine is mostly evergreen in Zone 8 and needs only a trim to keep it inbounds. The shiny foliage appears to be resistant to drought, disease, and deer.

 

2. Giant Timber Bamboo

Name: Bambusa oldhamii

Zones: 8 to 11

Size: Up to 40 feet tall, clumping to 4 to 6 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil

The clumps of this bamboo are well behaved, not invasive.…

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