With its moist, semitropical climate, Louisiana is home to a large variety of plants. Gardeners can find colorful plants to suit almost any soil and light conditions. Look for plants that fit your landscape design and yard size.
A showy perennial that works well as a border plant, the Beardtongue grows 2 to 4 feet tall and has lance-shaped leaves that grow in pairs on opposite sides of its tall slender stalks. Often compared to the snapdragon because it is in the same family and looks so similar, the Beardtongue comes in a wide variety of colors ranging from white, blue, red, rose and purple. Its blooms resemble small trumpets and grow on the upper part of the stalks in two- and three-group clusters that often appear two-toned. Named for the flower's hairy-like throat, the Beardtongue blooms from June through October and can add a nice touch as cut flowers when used for floral arrangements.
Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata L.)
Also known as Cancer Weed, the Lyreleaf sage is a medicinal plant that is not only pretty in the garden but is also used as a mild laxative, a treatment for warts and a folk remedy for cancer. An evergreen perennial, the Lyreleaf sage grows 1 to 2 feet tall and produces 1-inch blooms in the spring that may be blue, white, or even purplish-pink. Its leaves are shades of green in the summer months but become rather showy in the fall through winter when they take on a purple-veined appearance. A hardy plant, the Lyreleaf easily recovers from being stepped on or even accidentally mowed over. Its flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and the plant even helps itself with pollination by allowing its two stamens to tip when bees land.
Roughleaf Dogwood (Cornus Drummondii)
A clumping shrub that can be grown as a small tree, the Roughleaf dogwood grows from 12 to 16 feet in height and prefers moist soil, but it can tolerate dry soil when necessary. In April it produces showy cream-white flowers that grow together in clusters. Unlike some of its other family members, however, the blooms are quite small and are only about 1/4 of an inch in size. A favorite with butterflies that visit its flowers throughout the spring, it is also well liked by the birds that enjoy its tasty white berries in the fall. The Roughleaf dogwood is not as hardy as some other types of shrubs and can develop a problem with insects or disease, but this is not usually a problem when the plant is well taken care of.