Seed plants range from the mightiest oak to the humblest dandelion. While they all arise from seeds, they don't all produce flowers. Those that do are angiosperms, and those that don't are gymnosperms. They have the enormous advantage of spreading their offspring over wide distances, carried on the wind or by birds and animals. Their seeds contain food to sustain the embryonic plants until they find suitable growing locations. Rural Texas is home to an enormous range of seed plants.
Grass: Bushy Bluestem
Bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus) grows wild in the full sun of East Texas' grassland swales. A clumping grass standing 2 to 5 feet high, it blooms from August to November. Cottony flower heads take on a stunning blue sheen in the sun. Combined with its blue-green foliage, they make bushy bluestem an appealing ornamental grass for home gardens. The leaves' copper-orange fall color adds more garden interest. This grass, says the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, is a common choice for wetland gardens. Plant bushy bluestem in a sunny spot with moist to wet, poorly drained clay, loam or sand.
Shrub: Texas Lantana
Texas lantana (Lantana urticoides), a verbena family perennial, is at home in most of rural Texas, especially in brush lands and woodlands. This densely branched spreading shrub has aromatic green leaves and light gray to light brown bark. Eye-catching clusters of orange, red and yellow flowers bloom from April to October. Blue-black berries, toxic if ingested, follow the flowers. Plant heat-and-drought-resistant Texas lantana in full sun and dry, poor well-drained soil. Cut excessively large plants back in the winter, advises the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Annual: Huisache Daisy
Huisache daisy (Amblyolepis setigera) is an annual of the aster family that grows in profusion on Texas' roadsides and dry hills. It frequently blooms under chaparral, creating a 6- to 15-inch high blanket of bright yellow daisies between March and July. The strongly aromatic 1- to 2-inch flowers attract butterflies and bees. Plant huisache daisies, says the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, in part shade and dry well-drained sand or loam.
Perennial: Sand Verbena
Perennial sand verbena (Abronia fragrans) grows wild on West Texas' prairies and plains. It ranges in size and form from 8 to 40 inches high or wide. Like those of all members of the four-o'-clock family, its flowers open in late afternoon and close in the early morning. Plants bloom from March to September with 2- to 3-inch round clusters of white--sometimes shaded with pink, green or lavender--flowers. Butterflies flock to the aromatic plant. Sand verbena, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, needs part shade and dry, loose sandy soil.