FOURTH ANNUAL TEXAS NATIVE PLANT YOUTH PHOTO CONTEST CALL FOR ENTRIES
The Boerne Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas invites you to join us at the Cibolo Nature Center to celebrate Texas Native Plant Week.
There will be information and talks about native plants and then guided tours of the Cibolo Nature Center to identify native plants.
The event will be October 21, 2017 with talks and then guided tours:
10:00 am Invasive plants—Donna Taylor
11:00 am How to grow native plants—Marvin Hatter
1:00 pm Demonstration on NICE plants—Gary Fest
2:00 pm Cibolo—Ben Eldridge
Come and learn more about the importance and advantages of having a native landscape.
Better Late than Never – Wildlife Magnet Supreme
Wilt Shaw was so kind as to put together on bit on his personal experience with Bluewood condalia aka Brasil, our August Plant of the Month
Trudging around a few years ago at son, David’s place in Adkins, Texas, I noticed these thorny bushes with bright green leaves and “berries” in various colors. They reminded me of a small, strikingly unforgettable tree that had caught my attention a couple of years before at a friend’s home in Leon Valley. Research (aka sending photos to Patty Leslie Pasztor!) identified the plants at David’s as Bluewood Condalia (Condalia hookeri). Those bushes and the tree I decided are the same species.
I bagged several of the purplish-black fruits, bubbled scarified them later in compost tea for about a week and planted them in small pots. I cannot say that the bubbling step was even necessary. At any rate, there was about 80% germination with all the new plants surviving a somewhat mild winter.
They reached about 18 inches in six months and were eagerly appropriated by folks at the April native plant sale. I do have one left for myself that I hope to have in the ground at my place shortly.
Also called Brasil, this drought-tolerant plant is highly beneficial to almost all our wildlife, both birds and mammals, mostly due to the fruit producing and ripening from spring to fall. Birds that eat the fruit are northern cardinals, doves, quail and woodpeckers among others. Mammals that partake are the usual suspects: Opossum, raccoon, ringtail and squirrel. Fox have also been known to consume the fruit. I don’t want to forget us humans, too, who have made jelly from the fruit. I hear that wine can also be made, but collecting enough fruit for this undertaking would be a daunting task given the competition.
The name bluewood I might add comes from the fact that a blue dye can be extracted from the wood, something the native peoples in the area figured out. The flowers of C. hookeri are small, green and have no petals, but the pollen attracts both honey bees and native bees. Another benefit to wildlife, especially birds, is the cover provided by a large Condalia in its shrub form. Even with the thorns and a sharp spike at the branch ends, deer will browse the leaves and dine on the fruit. I should mention Brasil should be good to about 15 degrees Fahrenheit planted in a mostly sunny location that stays rather dry. Make sure it’s in a good location, so that you can observe what this magnet attracts.
It isn’t the showiest of shrubs, but if your main landscape goal is to draw wildlife, you couldn’t have a better plant than Condalia!
NPSOT – Boerne Chapter would like to express our deep appreciation for the $5,000 Donation from M5 by Kevin Mock! This beneficial donation will help NPSOT to promote understanding, conservation and utilization of native plants thru education, outreach and example.
Fall 2017 Newsletter Available!
Topics include a message from our Chapter President, Gary Fest, as well as information on the upcoming Level 3 Native Landscape Certification Program. Updates from the Seed Gleaners Group, Bigtooth Maples for Boerne Program, the September Plant of the Month, Mexican Plum, and much more!
Check it out here!
The contest is now open for entry! The contest was first launched two years ago, as a way to challenge amateur photographers of all skill levels to use their cameras as a tool to learn more about native plants and pollinators of the Texas Hill Country.
The contest is sponsored by the Native Plant Society of Texas Boerne Chapter, and Cibolo Nature Center & Farm.
There will be scheduled workshops to help students with plant identification and nature photography. Native plant guides and photography assistants will be available at the workshops to provide assistance to the students.
Workshop participation is not required to enter the contest.
Head over to our Youth Photo Contest page for rules and guidelines