Research – Native Plants
As the Center for Plant Conservation [CPC] custodian for endangered plants in South Texas, the Botanical Garden plays an important role in assuring that these regional plants do not face extinction. Research varies with each species but may involve collection of propagules from as many sites as possible, storing seed here and at the national seed bank lab in Colorado. Working out propagation and growing protocols for each species is an on-going research objective. Growing plants to maturity, displaying them in the Garden, and interpreting their value to the public are part of the program as well.
The plant list currently includes the following:
|Ambrosia cheiranthifolia||South Texas Ambrosia|
|Asclepias prostrata||Prostrate Milkweed|
|Ayenia limitaris||Texas Ayenia|
|Caesalpinia phyllanthoides||South Texas Rush Pea|
|Echeandia chandleri||Chandler’s Craglily|
|Grindelia oolepis||Plains Gumweed|
|Hoffmannseggiai tenella||Slender Rushpea|
|Manihot walkerae||Walker’s Manioc|
|Manfreda longiflora||Runyon’s Huaco|
|Physaria thamnophila||Zapata Bladderpod|
|Psilactis heterocarpa||Welder machaeranthera|
|Thymophyllal tephroleuca||Ashy Dogweed|
|Tillandsia baileyi||Bailey’s Ballmoss|
Shannon Smith, Ph.D., currently leads the research effort at the Garden.
In partnership with the San Antonio Water System [SAWS], the Garden has two home demonstration areas that show environmentally appropriate plantings for South Texas. Discover a variety of native and non-native plants that withstand the harshest elements and create a drought-tolerant and beautiful landscape.
- WaterSaver Garden – Plantings demonstrate a colorful landscape that is low in water use. Birds and butterflies flock to the plantings, which include salvia, esperanza, Pride of Barbados, plumbago, and yucca.
- WaterSaver Lane – Six cottage settings demonstrate the various options for homeowners in creating an attractive South Texas landscape that uses less water, minimizes lawn, and offers habitat for wildlife.
Other Research Partnerships
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – In an on-going partnership, the Garden has hosted plant trials for tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, and others in plots adjacent to the Children’s Vegetable Garden.
National Butterfly Association – Each June the NBA conducts a “July 4th” butterfly count that includes the Botanical Garden http://www.naba.org/