With all the greenery that covers Louisiana’s most popular state parks, and even throughout the 2000 acres of beauty on LSU’s campus–there’s a few plants, in particular, that stand out in the Bayou State. From delicate flowers, to robust evergreens, to cypress trees there seems to be a wide variety of plants that love the Louisiana environment. Here are five native plants that you will see everywhere in the great state of Louisiana:
Louisiana Phlox - Phlox divaricata
This delicate lavender colored wildflower can be seen all over the state including North Toledo Bend State Park. The Louisiana Phlox grows well in partially shaded to sunny areas and blooms in the spring. This plant can be commonly seen within rocky areas and are commonly used as ground cover around Louisiana homes. The oblong leaves turn a deep burgundy during fall and winter seasons.
Hybrid Louisiana Iris - Iris ser. Hexagonae
This beautiful flower blooms between March-May every year and enjoys boggy sites with standing water like Chemin-a-Haut State Park. It is a highly adaptable plant that has been cultivated within many parts of the world although it originated in the Southeastern region of the United States. The Louisiana iris can do well in just about any soil condition but need to be well watered if not in a wet region. Due to the plant’s hybrid nature, the Louisiana Iris can be a wide range of colors including white, orange, purple, and burgundy.
Silverbell Tree - Halesia diptera
Native to Northshore areas of Louisiana, this tree blooms white bell shaped flowers each spring that dangle from its delicate stems. The showy flowers grow in clusters that look like bunches of bells welcoming in the growing season. The Silverbell Tree can be seen in areas of partial to full shade and along riverbanks or wet swampy areas. The tree can grow to become 20-30 feet tall at maturity and the leaves of this beauty turn yellow in fall as well.
Gulf Coast Yucca - Yucca Louisianensis
This grassy native perennial is a staple in the warm Louisiana environment. The Gulf Coast Yucca is a reliable and tough plant that can withstand the humidity of the Bayou State, including the Lafayette Area. Clumps of this plant produce white flowers that sit on tall spikes each summer. The Gulf Coast Yucca can grow up to 8 feet fall and features leaves that mainly grow from the base of the plant.
Bald Cypress - Taxodium distichum
This stately tree can be commonly found within the swamps of southern Louisiana. This tree excels in poorly drained areas and can be seen within swampy areas like Sam Houston Jones State Park. The Bald Cypress is a staple in the Bayou environment and is a slow growing tree. Most Bald Cypress trees grow to heights of 120 feet and have a trunk diameter of 3-6 feet. The stoutest known Bald Cypress is in the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge near Baton Rouge with a diameter of 17 feet.
For more information about native plants, gardening, and lawn care in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and the rest of Louisiana, visit LawnStarter.com.