Native plants for Lubbock gardens

May 6, 2015 • Dylan W. Schwilk


With the spring rains our yard is in flower. Although bermuda grass lawns are very popular in Lubbock, there are many beautiful native plants that will grow well here. For gardening purposes I consider “native” to mean native to the high plains, the Chihuahuan desert or the west Texas mountains.

Everything on this list is currently growing in my yard. Some I’ve started from seed I collected and some I’ve purchased or traded for with other gardeners. A few were gifts from a native plant gardening colleague.

There are many more species that will do great in Lubbock. I just haven’t tried them yet.


  • Coreopsis basalis (goldenwave)
  • Coreopsis tinctoria
  • Dracopis amplexicaulis (clasping coneflower)
  • Gaillardia pulchella (Indian blanket)
  • Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Tahoka daisy)
  • Monarda citriodora (beebalm)
  • Senna pilosior or S. bauhinioides … behaves as an annual in Lubbock.


  • Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)
  • Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama)
  • Buchloe dactyloides (buffalograss) Nice for turf areas
  • Eriochloa sericea (Texas cupgrass)
  • Sporobolus airoides (Alkali Sacaton)
  • Sporobolus cryptandrus (sand dropseed)
  • Stipa tenuissima

Perennial herbs, wildflowers

  • Artemisia ludoviciana (western mugwort, white sagebrush)
  • Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)
  • Callirhoe involucrata (winecup)
  • Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)
  • Datura wrightii (Jimson weed)
  • Engelmannia peristenia (cutleaf daisy)
  • Glandularia bipinnatifida (purple Prairie Verbena)
  • Gutierrezia sarothrae (broom snakeweed)
  • Ipomopsis rubra (Standing cypress) Attracts hummingbirds.
  • Liatris mucronata (gayfeather) Fall flowering
  • Linum lewisii
  • Ratibida columnifera (Mexican hat).
  • Rivina humilis (Pigeonberry)
  • Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan)
  • Tradescantia occidentalis
  • Vernonia sp (lindheimeri?) (ironweed). Purple flowers. Aggressive but pretty. Might want to be careful.

Shrubs and succulents

  • Agave americana
  • Agave havardiana
  • Agave neomexicana
  • Agave parryi
  • Agave polianthiflora
  • Dasylirion leophyllum (sotol)
  • Dasylirion texanum (sotol)
  • Dasylirion wheeleri (sotol). The one sotol you can buy from the home stores. Does not do quite as well in my lab as the other two species.
  • Echinocactus texensis (horse crippler)
  • Ericameria nauseosa (rabbitbrush)
  • Fallugia paradoxa (Apache plume)
  • Forestiera neomexicana (New mexican privet)
  • Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo)
  • Larrea tridentata (creosote bush)
  • Leucophyllum frutescens (cenizo)
  • Leucophyllum langmaniae
  • Mahonia trifliata (agarita)
  • Nolina erumpens (Bear grass)
  • Nolina texana (Bear grass)
  • Opuntia engelmannii var. linguiformis (“Lengua de vaca”)
  • Opuntia imbricata (tree cholla)
  • Opuntia spp (prickly pear) Many species do well and are beautiful in Lubbock.
  • Sophora secundiflora (Texas Mountain Laurel)
  • Yucca constricta
  • Yucca thompsoniana

Subshrubs, border plants

  • Hesperaloe parviflora (red yucca)
  • Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) Wonderful border plant with white flowers
  • Salvia greggii
  • Scutellaria wrightii beautiful, stays low, purple flowers spring through fall. Does very well in Lubbock. I collected my seed in Roberts County.


  • Chilopsis linearis (desert willow)
  • Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine) Can struggle with our soil)
  • Quercus virginiana (Live oak)