Silver foliage cools down a hot Foliage Follow-Up

Now that the Death Star is lasering central Texas with its high beam again, I appreciate more than ever those visually cooling, heat-loving, drought-tolerant plants in my garden. Silver ironweed (Vernonia lindheimeri var. leucophylla) is a beautiful example. With fine-textured, almost feathery, silver-white leaves, it stands up to the heat in morning sun, mulched with rot-preventing decomposed granite, with no supplemental irrigation. At all. Gotta love that!

So what lovely leaves are making you happy in your June garden? Please join me for Foliage Follow-Up, giving foliage plants their due on the day after Bloom Day. Leave your link to your Foliage Follow-Up post in a comment. I really appreciate it if you’ll also include a link to this post in your own post (sharing link love!). If you can’t post so soon after Bloom Day, no worries. Just leave your link when you get to it.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

37 Responses

  1. Hi Pam: I love that silvery foliage! You certainly have quite a collection of amazing plants. Thanks for hosting this great meme! Here’s my post:

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Hi, Beth. Thanks for joining in! I can’t leave a comment on your site without the Name/URL option, so I’ll leave it here: When my children were babies, they loved to stare up at the dappled light in the leaves of trees. It is rather fascinating, isn’t it? —Pam

  2. Anna K says:

    What fabulous texture! Love that silver. But if the Death Star was beaming down on me, I’d probably go hide in your water garden! This month, I’m solving mysteries!

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I have never seen this plant available around here. It must be too damp and cold for it here. It is pretty.

  4. That is gorgeous. Not many silver plants that I can think of that grow up here that are so big and dramatic. So I am showing something big and green and willowy.

  5. Wow…what fabulous texture and color! I love your assortment of plants. I have a different kind of foliage here in the northeast. As Always…thanks for hosting!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Hi, Lee. Thanks for joining in! I can’t leave a comment on your site without the Name/URL option, so I’ll leave it here: Your foliage combos are simply fantastic, and I envy all the leaf/needle colors in your climate’s palette! Your pool garden is particularly inviting. —Pam

  6. Tina says:

    Beautiful plant. Do you have it in full sun, or just morning sun? So many of the silver/gray leafed plants require sun and I’m always on the look out for part shade plants. My contributions for foliage this month is here:

    Thanks for hosting!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Although I suspect it would prefer full sun, it only gets about 6 hours of morning to midday sun in my garden. High Country Gardens sent it to me as a trial plant, and their site says it came from seed collected by Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden in the Davis Mountains of west Texas. Lower humidity out there and decidedly less rain mean it needs good drainage to make it here. —Pam

  7. Diana says:

    Thanks for hosting this meme – my garden has a lot of dark foliage on display this month.

  8. Katie Myers says:

    I’m wondering if you have any thought about using this or the native wooly version as an alternative to Powis Castle artemsia in a dry, essentially full-sun location.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Katie, I haven’t grown it in full sun, so I can’t really say. Please see my comment to Tina, above, for more info and a link to High Country’s page about the ideal growing conditions for this plant. I’ve never grown the native wooly version, but I’d like to try it one day. I hope you’ll give one or both a try and report back! —Pam

  9. Peter/Outlaw says:

    It’s a beautiful plant and your garden has the dry heat that it loves. It would be very unhappy in my soggy corner of the country!

    My FFU post is here:

  10. Ah Pam I love that one! Although when I Googled it and saw the flowers, well them not so much.

    I’m focusing on the dark side this month for Foliage Follow-up:

  11. OK….another one for my list.
    Love that silver color…

    Here’s my Foliage Follow-Up…Thanks for hosting.

  12. Jackie says:

    Hi Pam,
    This one is beautiful. Silver foliage is lovely in the garden, especially in Texas.

  13. Dee Nash says:

    Since I was already late for Bloom Day, I did a two-fer post today. Thanks so much for focusing on foliage. In the South, we need foliage to get us through the summer.~~Dee

  14. Tim says:

    Definitely adding this one to my “to-plant” list.

    I’m focusing on St. Augustine Grass for my foliage followup (although really I’m still on my obsessive brainstorming about trimming trees for drought).

  15. David says:

    Hi Pam,
    I love silvery plants and I’ll try to see if the Houston plant shops have this one. I love trouble free beauties!
    I was looking at your front garden and it is really maturing into a masterpiece. Do your neighbors notice? I hope so.

    I’m researching native grasses this summer for my garden and landed on your post from 9/18/2007 (whew! long ago in blog time). I think your mystery grass might be Pennisetum setaceum, but not the popular rubrum cultivar.
    compare with this link and see what you think:

    All the Best,
    David/:0) (who still wants to meet you someday)

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Wow, that is a long-ago link, David. I’m not sure if the setaceum is the one I had, as it looks a lot more green-leaved than purple. But thanks for offering a possible ID!

      I would be very surprised if you find silver ironweed in Houston; I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it in Austin, for that matter. Mine was sent as a trial plant from David Salman at High Country Gardens, and it’s a dry-loving west Texas native. I think it would be unhappy in Houston’s humid, moist summers. —Pam

  16. Ann says:

    This may be perfect for the rock garden I’m making in the Hill Country. Do you think it would survive in full-on sun all day, no irrigation? With deer!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Ann, it has survived the deer in my garden, although they nibbled a good deal on it the first year, and I had to put a cage over it for a while. Since then they’ve left it alone. See my comment to Tina, above, for a link to High Country Gardens, which specifies more about the growing conditions it needs. —Pam

  17. Shirley says:

    Silvery plants are always on my list of must-haves. I have two ironweeds but not one that silvery. Will have to look it up.

    The new crevice garden is the focus for June Foliage Follow up.

  18. TexasDeb says:

    Those pops of silvery foliage are attention grabbers for real. I think they are especially nice once the sun cranks up in summer – cooling to the eye similar to the way white blossoms are, but a lot less delicate.

    in the Better Late than Never category, I’ve admired this meme from afar for quite a while and finally got a little something organized to join the fun. Here’s the link:

  19. Pam, silver foliage is one of my favorites. I’m sorry for being late. This is my post:

  20. Evan says:

    I love silver foliage. The long, narrow leaves are beautiful. Sorry for being late. Here’s my post:

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Hi, Evan. Thanks for joining in! I can’t leave a comment on your site without the Name/URL option, so I’ll leave it here: Zero dollars is definitely the right price to try almost any plant, and that one is a beauty. Lucky you! Thanks for sharing the leaf love on Foliage Follow-Up. —Pam

  21. Kris P says:

    I thought I’d left a comment and link yesterday but it seems it disappeared into the blogosphere. I’ve put that Vernonia on my fall planting list – thanks for the introduction! Here’s by post this month:

  22. Hannah says:

    With your temperatures, you need something to cool down, like silvery foliage, how pretty and shimmery. But up here it is cold, 60-something and 47 at night, so I need something to warm me up, so featuring mostly burgundy foliage.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Hi, Hannah. Thanks for joining in! I can’t leave a comment on your site without the Name/URL option, so I’ll leave it here: I love burgundy foliage in a garden, especially paired with chartreuse, although not a lot of dark-leaved plants grow here in Austin. I have loropetalum and purple heart, and that’s about it. —Pam

  23. I’m a better late than never player too; we were out of town this weekend, and the closest I came to flowers were some fake ones! Then I came home and just melted into my favorite greens –

  24. Yours looks soooo gooood! I think mine are too shaded out…