Skullcap, daisies & first pomegranate


Purple skullcap (Scutellaris wrightii) has never looked better in my garden. Its shrubby little form manages to cascade over the retaining wall a bit, and it’s been blooming nonstop for months. And while she’s not quite ready to celebrate her diamond jubilee, the ‘Queen Victoria’ agave (Agave victoriae-reginae) next to the purple skullcap is about 10 years old, I’d guess. This is a lovely little agave for a small space, and cold hardy for in-ground planting in my zone 8 climate.


Along with purple skullcap, hymenoxys, or four-nerve daisy (Tetraneuris scaposa), is another useful native Texas plant. It adds sunny spots of color to the front of a dry-loving bed.


And here’s something exciting: my pomegranate tree has its very first fruit! I’ve had this tree for about 5 or 6 years, and brought it over from my old garden, and it’s flowered reliably. But this is the first time it has set fruit. I don’t even know what to do with a pomegranate!

All material © 2006-2012 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

16 Responses

  1. Darla says:

    Your photos are beautiful as usual. Sorry I haven’t been around much lately….life does that sometimes you know? Pomegranate, you eat the tart seeds. We had a beautiful tree in our backyard when I was growing up….I’m sure there are tons of recipes for them. I would sit for hours and pick the juicy seeds and eat them. When you pick a mature fruit please post a photo of the inside….my skullcap is not like yours…..it’s hot pink and not cold hardy here…..hmmmm

    Have you seen Rock Rose’s pics of her pomegranate harvest, Darla? She gets a bushel from her tree every year and usually posts about it. I’ll try to get a picture of my single fruit as well. —Pam

  2. Sue says:

    Where did you find the purple skull cap? I really like it. Thx

    Either Barton Springs Nursery or the Natural Gardener here in Austin, Sue. —Pam

  3. Cheryl says:

    mmm. You wait until fall, then you pick it, and peel the tough skin back so that you can dine on the little plump, red seeds! Have you never eaten a pomegranate? Pom jelly is the best! yum!

    I never have, Cheryl. Sounds like I’ve been missing out. —Pam

  4. Very pretty and very encouraging post since my garden is just a bit newer than yours. I’ve had a pomegranate in ground for about three years and it has been blooming but no fruit yet.

    Be careful with pom seeds they will permanently stain whatever they touch.

    Thanks for the warning, Shirley. I’ll be careful. —Pam

  5. Julie says:

    Oh, I have hope! My little pomegranate hasn’t produced fruit yet, but it’s a bit younger than yours…so maybe in the next year or two! I love the photo with the spiderwebs–keep those pests away!

    I wonder what the average planting-to-fruiting time frame is, Julie. Hope you get some fruit soon! —Pam

  6. Heather says:

    Pomegranates are the best. They are wonderful in salads and I’ve even thrown them in quesadillas. They are tiny flavor bombs!

    Flavor bombs—I love it. I can’t wait to try my one little bomb later on when it ripens. —Pam

  7. Nice skullcap bloom, again, and congrats on the pomegranates. They are great in salads with a light vinegarette dressing and pecans, again fresh better than bought. This works very well –
    http://www.pomwonderful.com/how-to-open-a-pomegranate/

    Took me until 4-5 years ago to like pomegranates, odd being of Mediterranean ancestry. And I still am not into figs or olives one bit.

    Thanks for the link and recipe suggestion, David. I look forward to a new taste. Like you, I’m not a big fan of figs or olives, at least not by themselves. I do enjoy black olives in certain cooked dishes, and I like Fig Newtons! —Pam

  8. I love the skullcap! I have a red rose variety, suffrutescens and it is a trooper and in full bloom, too. I’m still fascinated with agaves and have a future plan for more than my two false agaves.

    I was searching for your variety and hit a website that lifted your post. It’s clearly looking for ad clicks off publishing the feeds of real blogs. [link removed]

    I like the pink skullcap too and grew it in my former garden. I look forward to seeing what you do with agaves! Thanks too for the heads-up on the scraper site. I don’t like having my feed partially scraped like that, but it’s hard to fight all the sites that do it. This one was less egregious than some in that it didn’t take my photos and linked to my site for the full post. I removed the link that you provided in order not to inadvertently send more traffic its way. —Pam

  9. jenny says:

    Congratulations on the arrival of your first pomegranate. You won’t want to be without them once you taste your first fruit. Your skullcap looks very vigorous. I couldn’t live without the skullcaps and love the purple one. It is a heavy re seeder so I hope never to be without it. I also have the pink and last year bought a white one; the first i have seen. I may turn into an all skullcap garden.

    I had a white/cream skullcap in my former garden and loved its cool, glowing blossoms. Skullcap is a great little plant, whatever the color. —Pam

  10. Hilary McDaniel says:

    Pam, the easiest way to get the seeds out is to cut in half, hold over colander and beat w/a rolling pin. They fly out. I love them in salads.

    Thanks for the tip, Hilary! —Pam

  11. louis says:

    You just gave me the perfect excuse to finally get a new agave victoriae-reginae … its for my Queen. THANKS :)

    Any excuse is a good excuse to get a new agave, Louis, and I’m happy to have helped you find one. ;-) —Pam

  12. Colleen says:

    Pam, We just LOVE your blog! Pomegranates? Yum love those. They are so delicious in just about anything! We haven’t planted any of those in our Sunfield Community Garden yet, but maybe we will have to give it a try! We have planted some yummy melons and sweet potatoes though and lots of other pretty flowers and yummy veggies.

    You can see what all we are growing at: http://www.sunfieldtx.com/blog_Detail.html?item_id=58
    Maybe you have some tips or suggestions for other great stuff for us to plant!

    -Colleen

    Hi, Colleen. I look forward to trying my first pomegranate, assuming some critter doesn’t get to it first. Thanks for stopping by! —Pam

  13. Katie says:

    Thanks so much for posting that last photo! We moved into our house a few years ago. There’s a mystery tree planted very close to our foundation that we’ve thought about moving/removing for awhile. This spring it flowered for the first time and then I saw fruit growing on it a few weeks ago. I had no idea what kind of fruit it was until I saw your photo. I have a pomegranate tree too! How exciting. :) I figured I’d just wait until it was ripe to identify it, but I’m glad to have the mystery solved early.

    Thanks! Katie

    I’m happy to have helped with the ID, Katie. Sounds like you’ll be enjoying some pomegranates this fall too. —Pam

  14. Katie says:

    PS- I’m just a little ways north of Houston. Maybe the drought did some good for our trees?

    Hmm, I haven’t seen a tree yet that the drought helped. But some are tougher than others, and pomegranates are used to hot, dry summer conditions, being from a Mediterranean climate. —Pam

  15. Congratulations on your baby pomegranate! Hope you like them! They are quite beautiful. The fruit itself is maybe an acquired taste. Not everyone likes them. But they are interesting, you have to give them that. :)
    Enjoy the journey!

    I agree—they are very pretty even if the taste is not my thing. —Pam

  16. How fun to have Pomegranates in your garden!!! You are a very patient gardener to wait so long for fruit. Love the purples and yellows together.

    You don’t have to wait any time at all for the bright-orange flowers, Janet, which is really why I planted it anyway. :-) —Pam

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