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Top 10 Native Perennials for Sun

There are so many great Texas native sun-loving perennials that choosing one (or some) can be a real challenge! To make things easier, we've put together this Shades of Green Shopping Guide with our Top 10 picks of best Native Perennials for full sun. For your convenience, they are listed by size, shortest to tallest.

Native plants evolved to survive and thrive in the harsh, hot summers and unpredictable winters we have in Texas. Perennials are plants that go dormant in winter, but return year after year.

All of these plants, along with other great native and adapted perennials, may be found at Shades of Green Nursery + Landscape! (Availability varies by season and demand. Plants may not be  in-stock at the time of your visit.)

Click here for a downloadable PDF.

Our Top 10 Native Perennials for Sun:

SG-Red Wine Cup

Red Wine Cup - Callirhoe involucrata
• Native Texas herbaceous perennial
• 1 foot tall x 3 feet wide
• Plant in full sun
• Drought tolerant
• Blooms March-June (may go into dormancy in the summer)
• Hardy in Zone 4-8

resized blackfoot

Blackfoot Daisy - Melampodium leucanthum
• Native Texas herbaceous perennial hardy in Zone 5-11
• Grows 6-12 inches tall x 24 inches wide
• Plant in full sun. Loves hot, dry conditions but DOES NOT like wet feet!
• Extreme heat and drought tolerance
• Masses of honey-scented, small, white blooms with yellow centers spring through fall
Click here to see our video about Blackfoot Daisy.


Texas Primrose / Sun Drops - Calylophus berlanderi, Calylophus hartwegii
• Native Texas evergreen perennial
• 8-15 inches tall x 18-24 inches wide
• Plant in full sun – heat & drought tolerant
• Prefers well-drained soil
• Masses of yellow blooms in summer
• Evergreen in winter
• Hardy in Zone 6-10
Click here to see our video about Sun Drops.

SG-Mexican Feather Grass

Mexican Feather Grass - Stipa tenuissima, Nassella tenuissima
• Native Texas perennial grass
• Grows 18-24 inches tall & wide
• Plant in full sun
• Clumping habit with very fine, wispy look
• Must have well-drained soil
• Heat & drought tolerant
• Hardy in Zone 8-10


Gaura / Whirling Butterflies - Gaura lindheimeri
• Native Texas herbaceous perennial
• Grows 2-5 feet tall x 2-3 feet wide depending on cultivar
• Plant in full sun. Heat & drought tolerant.
• Blooms early summer to fall
• Delicate flowers resemble hovering butterflies
• Hardy in Zone 5-9


Purple Coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
• Native Texas herbaceous perennial
• 18-36 inches tall x 12-18 inches wide
• Plant in full sun to part shade
• Large, rose-purple, daisy-like flowers bloom late spring to mid-summer
• Attracts butterflies & re-seeds freely
• Hardy in Zones 3-9

SG-Autumn Sage

Autumn Sage - Salvia greggii
• Native Texas deciduous perennial
• 2-3 feet tall & wide – Zone 7-10
• Plant in full to part sun
• Masses of small flowers in red, white, salmon, or pink from late spring to frost
• One of the most hardy salvias
• Heat & drought tolerant
• Attracts hummingbirds & butterflies
• Also called Cherry Sage

SG-Rudbeckia hirta

Black-Eyed Susan - Rudbeckia hirta
• Native Texas herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial
• 2-3 feet tall x 1-2 feet wide
• Plant in full sun
• Blooms summer through fall
• Attracts butterflies and birds
• Hardy in Zone 3-8

SG-Flame Acanthus

Flame Acanthus - Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii
• Native Texas herbaceous perennial
• Grows 4 feet tall & wide
• Plant in full sun to part shade
• Heat & drought tolerant
• Orange-Red blooms in summer
• Also known as Hummingbird Bush
• Hardy in Zone 7-10


Texas Lantana - Lantana horrida, Lantana urticoides
• Native Texas deciduous perennial
• Grows 3-6 feet tall & wide
• Plant in full sun
• Red, orange, yellow blooms all summer
• Very heat & drought tolerant
• Attracts butterflies, bees, & birds
• Hardy in Zones 8-11
Click  here to see our video about Texas Lantana.

Click here for a downloadable PDF.


The Shades of Green Show: Top 10 Native Perennials for Sun (video coming soon!)