Full sun plants are plants that have adapted to high light and low moisture environments. Many plants that thrive in full sun produce flowers for color in the landscape. Full sun plants can be used to shade structures to save on cooling costs, and shade cement pathways and driveways, keeping them cool during the hot summer months.
Zinnias are a heat-tolerant, annual-flowering full sun plant that produce colorful blooms all summer. Zinnias re-seed freely and attract butterflies to the garden. They reach 36 inches in height and are available in every flower color but blue. Some varieties produce multicolored flowers. Dwarf varieties are available.
Lantana is a small shrub or spreading groundcover, depending on its exact type, which blooms in the hottest part of the season. It is native in many parts of the US and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.
The crape (or crepe) myrtle is a small tree, up to 25 feet, that produces red, white, purple, or pink flowers during the summer. It loses its leaves in the fall, but the bare limbs add interest to the winter landscape. Dwarf varieties are available.
Bougainvilleas prefer full sun and thrive in the hottest part of the garden. They produce bright pink, orange, or red bracts around their small white flowers. They provide a stunning display growing alongside a fence or the side of the house. Bougainvilleas will need some protection if your ground freezes in the winter, otherwise they should sprout again from the roots in the spring once established.