Landscape Plants for the Texas Coast

Keith Hansen
Texas Cooperative Extension

Revised 19 January 2006

Key to Abbreviations
Plant Hardiness: U=Upper Coast, M=Middle Coast, L=Lower Coast, All=All areas
Light: S=Sun, Sh=Shade, E=Either
Salt Exposure Zone: 1=Areas directly affected by wind & salt spray; 2=Areas with some protection
Common name Scientific name Hardiness LightZone Notes
Asparagus, Sprengeri fern Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' L,MS 1Root hardy
Algerian Ivy Hedera canariensis AllSh 1Needs shade & some wind protection
Goats-foot Morning Glory Ipomea pes-caprae AllS 1Native, excellent dune stabilizer
Trailing Lantana Lantana montevidensis AllS 1Attractive purple flowers, root hardy
Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia AllE 1Clings to walls, fall color, winter berries
Stone CropSedum acre AllS 1Other species such as S. potosinum also good
Asiatic Jasmine Trachelospermum asiaticum L,ME 1Low evergreen groundcover
Confederate Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides L,ME 1Fragrant, white spring flowers, evergreen
WedeliaWedelia trilobata L,MS 1Perennial with yellow flowers, mowable
Shore, Blue Pacific Juniper Juniperus conferta AllS 2Needs good drainage
Lily Turf, Liriope Liriope spicata, L. muscari AllSh 2Needs shade and some wind protection
Japanese , Purpleleaf Honeysuckle Lonicera japonica AllS 2Easily grown but can be aggressive
Mondo or Monkey Grass Ophiopogon japonicus AllSh 2Needs some shade
Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia AllE 1Clings to walls, fall color, winter berries
Cape Honeysuckle Tecomaria capensis L,MS 1Bright orange flowers attracts hummingbirds
Bougainvillea Bougainvillea spectabilis L,MS 2Top may freeze, many colors
Trumpet Vine Campsis radicans AllE 2Spring & summer orange blooms, rampant growth
English IvyHedera helix AllSh 2Needs shade
Coral VineAntigonon leptopus AllS 2Pink summer bloom, root hardy
Fig Ivy, Creeping Fig Ficus pumila AllE 2Clings to walls
Carolina Jessamine Gelsemium sempervirens AllE 2Yellow spring flowers
YarrowAchillea millefolium AllE Attractive foliage and flowers
Burn AloeAloe vera LS 1Ointment for burns
Shell GingerAlpinia nutans AllS 2
Hinkley's Columbine Aquilegia hinkleyana AllSh Yellow spring flowers, blue-gray foliage
Southernwood Artemesia abrotanum AllS Green, feathery foliage
Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa All S Summer yellow/red flowers
Autumn Aster Aster oblongifolius AllS Lavender fall flowers
CannaCanna X generalis AllS Herbaceous,leafy perennial; red, pink and yellow summer bloom
Pride of BarbadosCaesalpinia pulcherrima AllS 2Exotic flowering effect
Shasta Daisy Chrysanthemum maximum AllS White spring flowers
Garden MumChrysanthemum morifolium AllS Several colors of fall flowers
Baby Sun Coreopsis Coreopsis grandiflora AllS Yellow/orange summer flowers
Milk & Wine Lilies Crinum hybrids AllS Recurring bloom of pink, white, red flowers from clump of large strap leaves; excellent on coast
MontbretiaCrocosmia Potsii AllS Gladiolus relative; orange-red early summer
Mexican HeatherCuphea hyssopifolia AllS 2Fine textured, blue flowering mound
Cigar PlantCuphea micropetala AllS Red/yellow flowers late summer & fall
Sky FlowerDuranta erecta AllS 2
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea AllS Purple flowers spring through fall
Coral TreeErythrina crista-galli AllS 2
Perennial Ageratum Eupatorium coelestinum AllS Lavender-blue flowers summer - fall
Indian Blanket Gaillardia spp.All S Red-yellow blend spring-fall
GerberaGerbera spp. AllE Needs good soil preparation, protection from afternoon sun & wind; many colors spring -fall
Baby Gladiolus Gladiolus Byzintinus AllS Purple or white spring flowers
FirebushHamelia patens AllS Very heat tolerant; red flowers summer - fall
Barbados CherryMalpighia glabra AllS 2
Maximilian Sunflower Helianthus maximiliana AllS Yellow flowers late summer - fall
DaylilyHemerocallis AllS Many colors of flowers spring - summer
Spring Star Flower Ipheion uniflorum AllS Blue spring flowers
Louisiana Iris Iris hybridsAll S Rich soil, fall - spring moisture required; several colors of spring flowers
Night blooming JasmineJasminum nocturnum AllS 2
Shrimp Plant Justicia brandegeana AllE Yellow or reddish - brown flowers summer - fall
Trailing Lantana Lantana montevidensis AllS Purple flowers spring - fall
LantanaLantana spp. AllS Heat and drought tolerant; many colors of flowers spring - fall, attracts butterflies
Red Spider Lily Lycoris radiataAll S Red, white or yellow flowers in fall
Turk's CapMalvaviscus arboreus, M. a. var. Drummondii AllE Red flowers summer - fall attracts hummingbirds;
PeppermintMentha piperita AllSh Rich soil and plenty of moisture required
NarcissusNarcissus spp. AllS Small flowered varieties naturalize the best
Oxalis Oxalis crassipes AllS Pink spring - summer flowers
Rock RosePavonia lasiopetala AllS Drought resistant; pink spring - fall flowers
Perennial Phlox Phlox paniculata AllS Lavender, pink or white summer flowers
Obedient Plant Physostegia virginiana AllS Lavender or white summer & fall flowers
Blue Plumbago Plumbago auriculata AllE Blue flowers summer - fall
Oxblood Lily Rhodophiala bifida AllS Dark red flowers in early fall
RosemaryRosmarinus officinalis L,MS Aromatic foliage, blue flowers summer - fall
Mexican Petunia Ruellia Brittoniana AllS Very drought tolerant; blue-purple flowers spring - fall; invasive
Blue ShadeRuellia sp. AllE Drought tolerant groundcover with blue flowers
Firecracker plantRusselia equisetiformis AllS 2
Mealy Cup Sage Salvia farinacea AllS Drought tolerant; blue or white flowers spring-fall; 'Victoria' dwarf form
Autumn or Cherry Sage Salvia Greggii AllS Drought tolerant; white, red or pink flowers spring - fall
Santolina, Lavender Cotton Santolina sp. AllS Drought tolerant; needs good drainage
Purple Heart Setcreasea pallida AllS Drought & heat tolerant source of purple foliage
Mexican Marigold Mint, Yerba Anise Tagetes lucida AllS Yellow flowers fall, aromatic foliage
Common Thyme Thyme vulgarisAll S Evergreen, spreading aromatic herb
Verbena, Sand Verbena Verbena spp. AllS Heat tolerant, spreading plant with range of colors spring - fall
Rain LilyZephranthes spp. AllS Summer blooming bulbs of white and pink.
Small Shrubs (1 to 5 feet tall)
Natal PlumCarissa grandiflora AllS 1
Century Plant Agave americanaAll S1 Drought tolerant, good as specimen
Pampass Grass Cortaderia selloana AllS 1Easily grown 5' - 7' tall
Prickly Pear Opuntia spp.All S1 Spineless forms most useful
RosemaryRosmarinus officinalis L,MS 1Prostrate & upright forms, can freeze
Yucca (many varieties) Yucca spp.All S1 Extremely tough, heat, drought & salt tolerant
AbeliaAbelia grandiflora AllE 2Bronze evergreen foliage, white flowers
AgaritoBerberis trifoliolata AllE 2Spiny leaves, yellow flowers, red fruit
American Beautyberry Callicarpa americana AllE 2Clusters of purple fruit, attracts birds, best in shade
Sago PalmCycas revoluta L,ME 2Slow growing, good as specimen
CoralbeanErythrina herbacea L,ME 2Attractive spikes of red flowers; perennial upper coast
Fatsia Fatsia japonica AllSh 2Needs shade, wind protection
Red YuccaHesperaloe parvifolia AllE 2Red flowers on tall spikes
St. John's Wort, Hypericum Hypericum spp. AllE 2Needs some shade, wind protection
Dwarf Yaupon Holly Ilex vomitoria 'Nana', 'Stokes Dwarf' AllE 2Glossy evergreen foliage
Juniper, many varieties Juniperus chinensis cvs. AllS 2Several forms of tough evergreen shrubs
OleanderNerium oleander L,MS 2Drought tolerant summer bloomer, can be used in Zone 1
Indian Hawthorne Raphiolepis indica AllE 2Spring flowering, blue berries in fall, evergreen
Medium Shrubs (6 to 9 feet tall)
BottlebrushCallistemon citrinus AllS 2Interesting brush-like flowers
ElaeagnusElaeagnus pungens AllS 1Grey-leaved shrub; small, fragrant flowers
Texas SageLeucophyllum frutescens AllS 2
Wax MyrtleMyrica cerifera AllS 1Native to Texas coast
PittosporumPittosporum tobira LE 1Glossy foliage, fragrant flowers
Bamboo AllS 2Clumping types less aggressive
Bird of Paradise Bush Caesalpinia gilliesii AllS 2Attractive summer red and yellow flowers
Hollywood Twisted Juniper Juniperus chinensis 'Torulosa', 'Hollywood' AllS 2Large, upright evergreen shrub with unsymmetrical growth
Ligustrum, Glossy Privet Ligustrum lucidum AllE 2Large evergreen shrub or small tree
Waxleaf Ligustrum Ligustrum japonicum AllE 2Large evergreen shrub
OleanderNerium oleander L,MS 2Drought tolerant summer bloomer, can be used in Zone 1
Texas Sage, Cenico Leucophyllum spp. AllS 2Needs good drainage
ArborvitaeThuja spp. AllS 2Symmetrical evergreen shrub
Common Myrtle Myrtus communisAll S2 Small leaves, evergreen
Sandankwa ViburnumViburnum suspensum AllE 2
Large Shrubs (greater than 10 feet)
Feijoa or Pineapple Guava Feijoa sellowiana AllS 2Large shrub or small tree
Common FigFicus carica AllS 2Edible fruit
Yaupon Holly Ilex vomitoriaAll E2 Large shrub or small tree, glossy evergreen foliage, fall red berries
OleanderNerium oleander L,MS 2Drought tolerant summer bloomer, can be used in Zone 1
Japanese Yew Podocarpus macrophylla AllE 2Large, upright evergreen shrub
ArborvitaeThuja spp. AllS 2Symmetrical evergreen shrub
Sweet ViburnumViburnum odoratissimum AllE 2
Small Trees
Chinaberry, Texas Umbrella Melia azedarach AllS 1Brittle wood yet grows well on barrier islands
HuisacheAcacia farnesiana AllS 2Yellow spring bloom, thorny
Texas Persimmon Diospyros texana AllS 2Handsome trunks, black fruit on female -good wildlife food
Southern Golden Raintree Koelreuteria bipennata L,MS 2Fast growth, handsome fall seed pods
MulberryMorus alba AllS 2Fast growth, invasive roots
MesquiteProsopis glandulosa AllS 2Light green, lacy look; takes wind well
Lavender Chaste Tree, Vitex Vitex agnus-castus AllS 2Small tree, lavender bloom in spring
Camphor Tree Cinnamonum camphora L,MS 2Evergreen
CitrusCitrus spp. LS 2Cold hardiness varies among types; some types may grown on the upper and middle coast (eg. mandarins, tangelos & kumquats)
LoquatEriobotrya japonica AllS 2Large leaves, edible fruit
RetamaParkinsonia aculeata AllS 2Makes light shade; yellow flowers
Japanese Black Pine Pinus thunbergia AllS 2Evergreen, interesting form
Large Trees
Australian Pine Causarina stricta LS 1Freezes mid - 20's
Tamarisk, Salt Cedar Tamarix spp. L,MS 1Freezes upper teens
Deodar Cedar Cedrus deodarAll S2 Pyramidal form
Arizona Cypress Cupressus glabra AllS 2Evergreen, useful for windbreaks
Live OakQuercus virginiana AllS 2Evergreen, spreading tree
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus spp. LS 2May freeze, select most hardy spp., eg. E. rostrata, calmaludensis, microtheca
CottonwoodPopulus deltoides AllS 2Fast but weak growth; takes wind
Bald Cypress, Montezuma Cypress Taxodium distichum, T. mucronatum AllS 2Deciduous conifer (T. mucronatum tends to stay evergreen L,M); long-lived
Palmetto Palm Sabal minorAll E1 Very short, hardy fan palm
Texas Palmetto Sabal texanaAll S1 Hardy, very cold tolerant fan palm; slow growing
Cabbage or Florida Palmetto Sabal palmetto AllS 1Hardy, very cold tolerant; slow growing, long-lived fan palm
Washington Fan Palm Washingtonia filifera & hybrids L,MS 1Fan palm, may freeze; hardier than W. robusta
Pindo PalmButia capitata AllS 2Slow growing, hardy feather palm
European Fan Palm Chamaerops humilis L,MS 2Hardy, low, clustering fan palm
Phoenix or Canary Island Date Palm Phoenix canariensis L,MS 2Large, slow growing feather palm; may freeze in M
Grasses for Lawn and Turf
Buffalograss Buchloe dactyloides L,MS Does best on clay or loamy soil in areas with low rainfall, most drought tolerant
Bermuda grass Cynodon dactylon AllS Common on coast
St. Augustine grass Stenotaphrum secundatum AllE Requires most water to maintain
Zoysia grass Zoysia japonicaAll E Slow spreading
Seashore Paspalum, Adalayd Paspalum vaginatum AllS High tolerance to salt
Native and Ornamental Grasses for Rough Areas
Sea Coast Blue Stem Andropogon scoparius AllS 1
Salt GrassDistichlis spicata AllS 1
Lindheimer's Muhly Grass Muhlenbergia Lindheimeri AllS 2
Sand Knotgrass Paspalum distichum AllS 1
Fountain Grass Pennisetum setaceum AllS 2Several cultivars including Purple Fountain Grass
Giant Seaoats Uniola paniculata AllS 1Valuable native, soil/dune stabilizer; ornamental seed heads