Prairie Blazing Star

Q: I’m looking for unique and unusual plants for my garden. What do you recommend and where can I find them?

A: One of the most anticipated annual plant sales is March Mart, hosted by Mercer Botanic Gardens and The Mercer Society. Now in its 45th year, the annual March Mart plant sale is run by volunteer garden experts with a passion for growing plants that thrive in Houston gardens and broadening local plant knowledge!

Along with other Texas natives, the Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya) will be available at March Mart. With its dramatic, curving upright stems covered in silvery foliage and purple blossoms, the Prairie Blazing Star is a pollinator favorite. It requires full sun and good drainage and will grow up to 4 feet tall.

Gingers, with their luscious foliage and stunning flowers, are hardy, herbaceous perennials for gulf coast gardens. Many of the gingers featured at March Mart are unique to Mercer Botanic Gardens. The Zingiber ‘Striped Edge’ is a striking variegated pinecone ginger with narrow, peridot-green leaves outlined by a thin white band. In late June, deep maroon basal cones with a strong clove fragrance appear with ruffled cream flowers emerging from its flat bracts. It grows to 3 feet tall in partly sunny spots.

Look for more exciting and unusual plant options in the next column and don’t forget to mark your calendar for March Mart, Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16 at Mercer Botanic Gardens in Humble!

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Suzzanne Chapman is the botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens and promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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