Fall, 1989 - September ---- Texas Bluebonnet; Texas Pride

  1. Texas Bluebonnet
  2. Texas Bluebonnet
  3. Texas Bluebonnet
  4. Texas Bluebonnet
  5. Texas Bluebonnet
  6. Texas Bluebonnet
  7. Texas Bluebonnet
  8. Texas Bluebonnet

Summer, 1990 - May ---- 'Firebush' (Hamelia patens)

  1. Firebush

Fall, 1990 - August ------ Mari-Mums

  1. Mari-Mums
  2. Mari-Mums
  3. Mari-Mums
  4. Mari-Mums

Fall, 1992 - August ------ 'Surefire' tomato

Spring, 1993 - February ----- Satsuma Mandarin

  1. Satsuma
  2. Satsuma
  3. Satsuma

Spring, 1993 - March ---- 'Texas Gold' Columbine

  1. Texas Gold Columbine
  2. Texas Gold Columbine

Fall, 1993 - October ---- Chinese Pistache

Spring, 1995 - April ---- SuperSun Coleus - 'Plum Parfait', 'Burgandy Sun'

SPRING (February - March), 1997 -- Large-fruited tomato variety -- Merced (Northrup-King) SUPERSTAR TAG

Imperial Purple or Weeping Lavender (Lantana montevidensis) and

Weeping White or White Lightning Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) for
SUPERSTAR TAG fragrance and beauty

Begin statewide trialing in '96; San Antonio promotions in '96

  1. Weeping Lantana

FALL (August), '97 -- Salvia leucantha


Begin statewide trialing in '97; San Antonio promotions began in '96

  1. Verbena

SPRING (May 1st), 1998 Scaevola aemula 'New Blue Wonder' Fan Flower SUPERSTAR TAG

SPRING - SUMMER (May 22 - Memorial Day), 1998 ---- Large-flowered Purslane (Yubi-type) For hot summer color

  1. Large Flowered Pursland

SPRING (Late March), 1999 ---- VIP (Violet In Profusion or Very Important Petunia) petunia SUPERSTAR TAG

Begin statewide trialing in '98; NEVER officially promoted in San Antonio

  1. VIP Petunia

Summer, (Late May) 1999 --------------------- 'Gold Star' Esparanza (Tecoma stans) (Greg Grant's Selection) SUPERSTAR TAG

Begin statewide trialing in 1998; Did television when Greg was in San Antonio in 1995

  1. Gold Star Esperanza

Fall, (October) 1999 ------------- RED BERRIES FOR WINTER BEAUTIFICATION Possum Haw Holly

SPRING ( early April), '2000 --- Maroon- colored Bluebonnet (transplant) named 'Texas Maroon' and/or 'Alamo Fire' SUPERSTAR TAG

  1. Maroon Bluebonnet
  2. Maroon Bluebonnet
  3. Maroon Bluebonnet

SUMMER (June-July) , '2000 --- BIG BLOOMERS FOR SUMMER BEAUTY Perennial Hibiscus -- Moy Grande (rose), Flare (hot pink) and Lord Baltimore (bright red) SUPERSTAR TAG SUPERSTAR TAG SUPERSTAR TAG

Begin statewide trialing in 1998 and have San Antonio trial promotion in 1995 and 1996

  1. Hibiscus
  2. Hibiscus
  3. Hibiscus
  4. Hibiscus


Bunny Bloom Larkspur (Consolida ambigua)-- Mixed colors containing a SUPERSTAR TAG selection with pink petals and white "bunny" head from transplants combined with double flowered types from Wildseed and seeded in the fall of 2000.

Had San Antonio trial promotion in 1996, 1997 and 1998

  1. Bunny Bloom Larkspur
  2. Bunny Bloom Larkspur

Spring (April), '2001 -----'Laura Bush' Petunia (Petunia x 'Laura Bush) Available in blue and pink (Petunia x pink 'Laura Bush')

Begin statewide trialing in '97 and have San Antonio trial promotion in '98

  1. Laura Bush Petunia

Late Spring (May), '2001 ----- 'Butterfly' Deep Pink Pentas (not cherry red) from Pan American Penta lanceolata 'Butterfly Deep Pink'

Fall (October), '2001 ---------- Oriental Maple (Also known as Chinese Maple, Purpleblow Maple, Shantung Maple) (Acer truncatum) SUPERSTAR TAG

SPRING, '2002 ----- Dwarf Ruellias (Mexican petunia) (Ruellia brittoniana) such as 'Katie Dwarf', 'Bonita' Pink Dwarf 'Katie', and the Dwarf White SUPERSTAR TAG 'Katie'.

SPRING (April), '2002 ----- Belinda's Dream (Rosa x 'Belinda's Dream) - SUPERSTAR TAG
Combination old-fashioned and hybrid Tea with fragrance and durability

Begin statewide trialing in '98

  1. Belinda's Dream Rose

SUMMER (May), '2002 -------- Perennial Phlox 'John Fanick' and 'Victoria') (Phlox paniculata 'John Fanick')

The 'John Fanick' phlox is white with a burgundy eye.
The 'Victoria' phlox is lavender.

Begin statewide trialing in '98 and have test promotion in San Antonio in '99

  1. Perennial Phlox
  2. Perennial Phlox

FALL (October), '2002 ------------- Lacey Oak (Quercus glaucoides)

SPRING (February), '2003 ------------ Phalaenopsis Orchid (Phalaenopsis spp.)

  1. Phalaenopsis Orchid
  2. Phalaenopsis Orchid

SUMMER, '2003--------'Marie Daly' Rose (Rosa x polyantha 'Marie Daly') -- Pink - and - Pretty -- An old-fashioned, thornless SUPERSTAR TAG antique rose -- a pink selection of one of the best, Marie Pavie.

SPRING (March) '2004 --Virus-free, large fruited tomato named 'Tomato 444 ('Large Healthy Surprise') which can be seen at:

SPRING (April) '2004 --- 'Knockout' Rose

FALL, '2004 -------- Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muhlenbergi)

SPRING (April) '2005 --- Blue Plumbago

SUMMER,(June) '2005--------Tapioca

SUMMER, (May) '2005 ------------- 'Texas Lilac' Vitex (Chaste trees (Vitex agnus-castus)

SPRING, (April) 2006 * 'Henry Duelberg' Salvia


SPRING (May) 2006 - Duranta repens and Duranta 'Gold Edge'


SUMMER (August) 2006 - Water Gardening with Texas' Best Water plants such as ‘Texas Dawn' Waterlily.



SPRING, (April) 2007 -------- SunPride Tomato (Commercial Source: Jim Williams, Seminis/Baxter Seed Company, Inc., 230 West Mesquite, Uvalde, TX 78801 : Telephone: Office: 830-278-4139 : Fax: 830- 278-4140; Toll Free: 1-800-662-3957) (Home Garden Source:



Green Magic Broccoli (Commercial Source: Jim Williams, Seminis/Baxter Seed Company, Inc., 230 West Mesquite, Uvalde, TX 78801 : Telephone: Office: 830-278-4139 : Fax: 830- 278-4140; Toll Free: 1-800-662-3957) and - For Home Gardeners the variety Emerald Pride Broccoli can be substituted and found at:



Capsicum Annuum 'NuMex Twilight' Ornamental Pepper

SPRING (April) Petunia ‘Tidal Wave Cherry' 1 Packet (12 seeds) $4.95 1 Packet (15 seed) $3.95

and Petunia ‘Tidal Wave Silver' Trailing 1 packet (15 seeds) $4.95 1 packet (10 pelleted seed) $3.50 1 Packet (15 seed) $3.95


SPRING (May) 2008 – Firecracker Shrub (Jatropha integerrima) (Compacta)-- is an evergreen shrub or small tree with glossy leaves and clusters of star shaped bright scarlet or vermilion flowers. The plant has a rounded or narrow domed form. The flowers are about 1 inch across and borne in multi-flowered terminal clusters almost all year round when growing in full sun to partial shade. Jatropha is a spectacular shrub in bloom, which is most of the year. Use it as an accent or in a mixed shrub border. Jatropha is not salt tolerant, but it is tolerant of poor and dry soils -- it is drought tolerant. Jatropha is tolerant of a wide variety of soils so long as they are well drained. This plant makes a fine container plant on the patio or at pool side which attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Available at Hines, ColorSpot and Greenleaf.

SUMMER, 2008 (July) Pride-Of-Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

Pride of Barbados is an evergreen shrub or small tree in frost free climates, a deciduous shrub in zone 9 (Rio Grande Valley), a returning perennial in zone 8 (South central Texas-San Antonio), and an annual in North and West Texas. Pride-of-Barbados dies to the ground following frost or freezing temperatures, but in zone 8B (South central Texas) it comes back reliable in middle spring. They have survived temperatures as low as 18 F. The plant is usually 8-12 feet tall, growing that large even after freezing to the ground the previous winter. The leaves are fernlike. Pride-of-Barbados has incredibly showy blossoms of orange and red. The flowers are bowl shaped, 2-3 inches across, with five crinkled, unequal red and orange petals, and ten prominent bright red stamens. It flowers in mid to late summer (depending on size of transplant used) and fall. This plant is very easy to grow in alkaline to acidic, well-drained soils. It is a fast growing plant especially when the temperatures are hot and in full sun to partial shade (It blooms best in full sun.) It is moderately tolerant of salty conditions and is extremely drought tolerant. The striking orange red flowers are an attention grabber! Use Pride-of-Barbados as a specimen or in a mixed shrub border.

Available at ColorSpot, Hines and Greenleaf. For blooms 30-days earlier than Texas' producers, order from Mt. States Nursery in Arizona.

SPRING (April) 2009 – Salvia, ‘Mystic Spires Blue’

Available from most commercial nurseries

SPRING (May) 2009 - Caricature Plant (Graptophyllum pictum 'tricolor' Griff) Family: Acanthaceae

SPRING (May) 2009 – Thryallis (Galphimia glauca)

Grown by Greenleaf and ColorSpot

SPRING (May) 2009 – Periwinkle (Annual Vinca), ‘Cora’ and ‘Nirvana’ series.

Resistant to Phytophthora and deer resistant.

SPRING (February - April), 2010 - Rosa *Grandma's Yellow' (Formerly 'Nacogdoches' )-- Will become the official "Yellow Rose for Texas")

The deep yellow shrub rose named *Grandma*s Yellow* is upright and bushy. Most antique yellow roses have a light yellow-almost pale flower. *Grandma*s Yellow* flower is a deep yellow with 17-25 petals and it repeat blooms from spring until the first hard frost.

Its new leaves have a shade of bronze, then turn dark green. Flowers have a light and spicy fragrance. With a full sun exposure, it reaches 4 feet to 5 feet in height and 3 feet width. It is a repeat bloomer from spring until frost and is quite disease resistant - the best disease resistance of any yellow rose. It is cold hardy (root-hardy) to zone 6.

For Wholesale Rose Growers: Available from ColorSpot and Greenleaf

SPRING (March-May), 2010 - Best-for-Texas and the Southwest U.S. is the vigorous variety *BLUE PRINCESS* and her seedlings which include *Rose Princess* and others.

*Blue Princess* verbena was trialed statewide in 1997 after successful promotions in San Antonio in 1996. It was declared a Texas* SuperStar in SPRING ( Mid - March), 1998, as the twelfth Texas SuperStar. After several years of phenomenal sales, the original selection was lost to virus. Now, after 10 years of seedling selection and partnering with Euro-American Propagators, not only *Blue Princess* is available again in a virus-free, vigorous, heat-and-cold tolerant form but multiple color seedlings of this champion are available as well.

Available mainly from ColorSpot Nurseries

SPRING (February - April), 2010 - *Dakato Gold* (Helenium amarum) from Pan American Seed

Scientific Name: Helenium amarum
Common Name: Helenium
Hardiness Degree: 32*F (0.0*C)
Blooming Season: Late Spring, Summer, Autumn, Late Summer Plant Habit: Mounded
Characteristics: Attract Bees, Drought Tolerant, Heat Tolerant, Low Maintenance
Water: Light
Fertilize: Every two weeks
Spacing: 24-30" (61-76.2cm)
Height: 12-14" (30.5-35.6cm)
Width: 24-28" (61-71.1cm)
Exposure: Sun
Uses: Border, Cottage Garden, Filler, Garden Bed, Landscape, Mixed Container, Naturalized Area, Small Container General Information: Loaded with golden yellow flowers, incredbly tough, interesting foliage texture Idea & Tips: Grow in full sun for best performance.
Zones 7 - 11 * Sun

This new introduction shows great heat tolerance and has a nice compact, mounding habit, making it perfect for containers or mass plantings in hot dry areas. Multitudes of bright gold flowers contrast nicely with the fine textured foliage.

SUMMER (June) 2010 - Perennial Hibiscus - Hibiscus moscheutos -- 'Flare' Series -*Flare', *Pink Flare' and *Peppermint Flare'

This is the *Flare' selection and superior seedlings of *Flare'.

This showy perennial has large glowing (the name 'Flare' was used by the breeder to closely depict the color of this flower ,i.e., the color of a burning flare), fuchsia flowers. The offspring have the same superior traits as the original but their colors are pink and peppermint (white with red stripes). Their maple-like emerald green foliage is very attractive on compact plants that are practically sterile which encourages continuous bloom. Zones 5-10.

Available mainly from ColorSpot and to a lesser extent from Greenleaf and Mt. States Nursery in Arizona.

Spring, 2010 - February - May-New Variety of Satsuma Mandarin - The fifth statewide promotion of Satsuma Mandarins was in the Spring of 1993. The original promotion was made possible by Joe Bradberry and the Lone Star Growers Nursery in San Antonio which is now ColorSpot. Joe also helped facilitate the importation of several new Satsuma varieties named Miho, Seto and Okitsu. The easiest to propagate has been determined to be Miho which will be named this year*s Texas SuperStar Satsuma. The other varieties as well as one selection named *Mr. Mac* can be found on the market as well.

Available from Greenleaf and Hines.

Spring (March), 2011 -- Angelonia or Summer Snapdragon (Angelonia angustifolia)

Plant Form or Habit: upright
Plant Type: annual
Plant Use: beds & borders container plantings
Propagation: stem cuttings
Light Requirement: high
Flower Color: purple, white, blue, pink
Blooming Period: spring summer fall
Height: 18 - 14"
Width: 12"
Foliage Texture: medium
Heat Tolerance: high
Water Requirements: medium
Additional Comments: See:

Spring (April), 2011 Malvaviscus drummondii 'Pam Puryear' (Pam Puryear Turk's Cap)

Sun to Part Sun Zone: 7b-10 60" tall Origin: USA Hybrid This Greg Grant hybrid between M. drummondii x M. arboreus is a fantastic new color break in one of our favorite mallows. The deciduous clumps emerge and when mature will reach 5' tall x 5' wide. The clumps are adorned with rich, green leaves that serve as a backdrop for the axillary flowers that are produced in abundance from midsummer until frost. The turban-like flowers with their sex organs protruding far outside the petals make a great conversation in the summer garden. The flowers on M. 'Pam Puryear' are a peachy, flesh color instead of the typical bright orange-red.

Available from ColorSpot Nurseries


Brent Pemberton, Professor, Texas AgriLife Research, Texas A&M University System
Michael Arnold, Professor, Texas A&M University Dept. of Horticultural Sciences
David Rodriguez, County Agent Horticulture Bexar County, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M University System

The Texas Superstar® Executive Board is excited to announce the promotions planned for 2012. A Texas Superstar® promotion includes a news release that goes out to over 2000 media outlets and contacts and is picked up by many newspaper garden sections, magazines and other publications or news media outlets statewide. In addition, County Horticultural Agents across the state promote these plants via local news media. Texas Superstar® plants are usually identified with a plant tag in retail outlets. The sale of these tags provides revenue to support the trials and development of future promotions. See for more information on all aspects of the program. The Texas Superstar® Program has also partnered with the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Go Texan Program ( Texas Superstar® tags are currently available at no charge from TDA for use in tagging plants for retail sale. Contact TDA for information regarding these tags and other promotional materials. The promotions for the Rio Mandevillas and Gomphrena are planned for May 2012. The promotion for ‘Lowery’s Legacy’ Cenizo is planned for June 2012.

Rio series Mandevilla (Mandevilla syn. Dipladenia) – May 2012 Promotion (promotion details)
New Name In 2018 – Madinia series

Most gardeners are familiar with the mandevilla ‘Alice Dupont’ that will smother a trellis with glossy green foliage and large pink flowers by the end of a long, hot and humid summer. Native to South America, these denizens of the tropics are one of the sweetest rewards of a Texas summer. However, did you know that mandevillas now come in plants that are compact enough to grow in a container? The Rio mandevillas are here. What could be better?
The Rio mandevillas sport glossy foliage and broad, showy, trumpet shaped flowers that come in pink, hot pink, and deep red. Unlike their rampant relatives, these mandevillas grow upright with little or no twining. They flower heavily on compact plants that are actually best grown in large patio containers – no trellis needed. They can be grown alone or mixed with other summer annuals and moved about the deck or terrace wherever a splash of color is needed. They thrive in the heat of summer, but will benefit from some mid to late afternoon shade. They will tolerate denser shade, but will actually try to twine and won’t flower as heavily when light becomes limited. Plants will tolerate substantial heat and some dryness, but regular water and fertilization keeps them at their best. Although the Rios perform better in containers, they can be grown in the ground also and do best in a bed nicely worked with organic matter in a location with some afternoon shade.

Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) – May 2012 Promotion (promotion details)

Globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa), also known as bachelor’s buttons in some parts of the country, are a garden standby that has received renewed attention from industrious plant breeders. Cultivars are now available ranging in height from 6” to 48” and flower colors which were traditionally light purple, lavender or white, now include dark rich purples and pink. Hybridization and selection in the closely related Rio Grande globe amaranth, Gomphrena haageana, has added strawberry red to orange flowers to the mix. The button, cylindrical cones, or sparkler shaped flowers offer season long color from late spring to frost. Individual flower clusters also have a long duration of effectiveness as it is the straw textured colored bracts which constitute the showy portions of the flowers, lasting long after the tiny reproductive portions of the flowers have senesced. These plants thrive in the heat of Texas summers and are at their best when many annuals are fading in the dog days of late summer and early fall. Globe amaranth looks great in combination with later season flowers such as fall blooming salvias and Mexican mint marigold. Small seed feeding birds find the tiny amaranth seeds irresistible and are attracted to the plants in small flocks.
With the recent introductions of the Las Vegas series (intermediate in height) and the Audray series and All Around series (tall in height) added to the existing compact Gnome series and Buddy series, a wide range of colors and plant sizes are available. In addition to the wide range in sizes and flower colors of the various cultivars, plants can be obtained with open informal habits, such as ‘Fireworks’ with flowers that resemble purple sparklers on larger, more open plants. If an informal look is to your liking, then ‘Strawberry Fields’ and other Rio Grande globe amaranths such as the QIS series offer a change up in color and a more sprawling, laxed habit. Give these heat loving plants a sunny spot in the garden with good drainage and avoid setting them out until night temperatures warm in the spring and they will give you season-long color that builds all summer to a peak just before the fall frosts arrive. Also, try using globe amaranths as cut flowers to extend your enjoyment from the garden to indoors.

Lowrey’s Legacy Cenizo (Leucophyllum langmaniae) – June 2012 Promotion (promotion details)

The cenizo ‘Lowery’s Legacy’ (also known as ‘Lynn’s Legacy’) was discovered in the mid ‘80 by the late great plantsman, Lynn R. Lowrey, during one of his many adventures in Mexico. It was found among a native Cenizo population off the Chipinque Park roadside outside of Monterrey, Mexico. Lowery, a legend among botanists and plant collectors, passed away in 1997. Other great plants he has been credited with introducing to the nursery trade include; Mexican sycamore, Montezuma cypress, Monterrey oak and ‘Basham’s Party Pink’ crape myrtle.
Lowrey’s Legacy is sometimes called ‘Lynn’s Ever-blooming’ Texas sage, because of the reliable and continuous profusion of flower displayed throughout much of the year. This flowering consistency is a marketable attribute for wholesalers and retailers alike. It is also a ‘compact’ plant that comfortably grows to a kept size of 4-5 feet tall and it also has a similar-width which makes for a dense, well-rounded and shapely form. The plant does not develop that ‘leggy” appearance many Texas sage/cenizo plants develop over-time. Texas sages’ green foliage provides a wonderful backdrop for its large “azalea like” lilac blue flowers, delivering some of the largest and most attractive blooms of any Texas sages on the market today. For birders, this plant is a “must’ for attracting hummingbirds. And compared to other selections of Texas sage/cenizo, this one is not as dependent on changes in relative humidity for flowering (e.g., the barometer plant); which also means it blooms more often during the course of the summer than other selections.
For home gardeners and landscaper’s throughout Texas, Lowrey’s Legacy cenizo is an easy- to- care for plant with superb drought tolerance and excellent deer resistance. It prefers full sun and requires well-drained soil. It does well even in droughty areas with a lot of reflected heat such as median areas along city streets and highways. This plant will not only save time and water, but also will provide a spectacular show of lilac blue flowers periodically throughout the year. Scientific research has demonstrated that the color blue is supposed to make a person feel good and this plant will certainly help validate that conclusion.


Blackberry Natchez – February 2013 Promotion

Blackberries have been grown in Texas yards for years and in fact many have grown up picking dewberries, ie blackberries on the side of the road. To date the most productive blackberries have been the thorny types. The thornless ones have not only been less productive, but the fruit has tended to be less flavorful. However, thanks to the University of Arkansas blackberry breeding program there are now several thornless varieties which are not only productive, but the fruit is of very good quality. One which has proven to be quite productive with very good fruit quality under the wide array of Texas growing conditions is Natchez blackberry. It is a semi-erect plant meaning that a trellis will be needed. However, the production potential is quite good as the berry is very large averaging eight to nine grams. The fruit of Natchez are elongated, somewhat blocky and very attractive with an exceptional glossy, black finish. The quality is rated very good, and it stores well. It thrives in zones 5-10 and has good disease resistance. No substantial common diseases have been observed including orange rust, fruit anthracnose and double blossom/rosette. It ripens early in late May to early June. It will no doubt be a winner in many Texas gardens!!

Tomato BHN 968 – April 2013 Promotion

BHN – 968 is a naturally determinant plant with excellent production and awesome fruit quality. Since the plant is short statured in growth, good fertility will be required to produce optimum yields. The key nutrient will be nitrogen. If adequate fertility is not maintained, the tomato bush will be small and produce much less fruit. BHN - 968 tomato is the most naturally disease-resistant cherry tomato ever sold in Texas. It is genetically resistant to the diseases of Verticilum Wilt and Fusarium Wilt (VF) as well as the viruses of Tobacco Mosaic Virus (T) and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV). It is also the first cherry tomato variety to be nematode resistant (N) since Texas A&M developed 'Small Fry’. The 968 tomato fruit is one-half to three-quarters of an inch in diameter with the sweetest (four times sweeter than a comparable cherry tomato) taste of any cherry tomato every tested by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Taste tests of greenhouse and field grown fruit were conducted every three weeks during the growing season by a taste panel consisting of 10 - 12 individuals ranging in age from 50 – 83. This is the first tomato of any type to be taste-tested by the Extension Service to receive unanimous favorable rating at every testing. BHN - 968 tomato was developed to be a commercial cherry tomato variety but was not chosen because of "a bit lower yields and a somewhat softer fruit than other selections". The plant breeders admit that the 968 tomato does have a superior taste and a much higher disease resistance but the yield and toughness of the fruit is of utmost importance when commercially grown cherry tomatoes are being mechanically harvested and processed for the market. The very "faults" of this tomato which caused it not to be a successful, commercially-grown variety will be the very attributes which will make it a favorite cherry tomato of home gardeners and patio (container) growers.

Napier Grass Princess Caroline –May 2013 Promotion

Princess Caroline has beautiful wide leaves that are a deep purple in color which reflex gracefully on a vase shaped plant. It does not flower, but grows from 4 to 6 feet tall depending on amount of watering and length of the growing season. Princess Caroline is a recently developed Napier grass variety which is a trispecific Pennisetum hybrid (crosses between Pennisetum purpureum Schumach., P. glaucum (L.). R. Br., and P. squamulatum Fresen.) from a breeding program at the University of Georgia. Unlike its predecesors Prince and Princess (bispecific hybrids), it is resistant to the leaf spot disease that is seen in the eastern part of the state on the older varieties. It is very heat and drought tolerant and is perennial in most of the state. It will freeze to the ground, but makes rapid growth in the spring to make a strong statement in the landscape. In north Texas, it can be overwintered if the temperatures are mild and it is grown in a protected location. Very little fertilizer is needed to get this plant to perform. Nitrogen fertilizer will cause the leaves to green up and lose the striking purple foliage that is a hallmark of this new Superstar.

Marimums – August 2013 Promotion

With the heat and the drought of the past two summers, the value of a tough attractive plant is evident. Enter the mari-mum, one of the Texas Susperstars for late summer and fall color. Mari-mum is the concept of using large-flowered hybrid marigolds in place of chrysanthemums in the landscape. These plants have blooms with similar floral appearance to chrysanthemums providing a punch of color just when the fading garden needs it. The flowers last 2-3 times longer than chrysanthemums, are inexpensive and don’t require the constant pinching and pruning. In case you are worried about the spider mites normally associated with marigolds, you can put your worries to rest. By planting mari-mums in the cooler temperatures of late August to early September, the spider mite pressure is greatly reduced. Transplant these fall annuals in containers or in landscape beds will provide you with outstanding color until late in the season. Mari-mums need a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Incorporate organic material and fertilizer as needed. Water the plants in thoroughly and enjoying the dazzling colors of this Texas Superstar.

Lady Bird Johnson Bluebonnet – Late September 2013 Promotion

The latest addition to the Texas Superstar lineup of colored bluebonnets is the variety named ‘Lady Bird Johnson Royal Blue.’ Approved for release in November, 2010, this outstanding addition accompanies ‘Abbott Pink’ (1993), ‘Barbara Bush Lavendar’ (1994) and ‘Texas Maroon’ (2000) as outstanding color variants of the Texas native bluebonnet selected by Dr. Jerry Parsons and his cooperators. This striking cobalt blue color was derived from an isolated planting of another possible new color of red bluebonnets in 2006, selected originally from a ‘Texas Maroon’ bluebonnet field. Cobalt blue flowers were selected for two more years until a pure (>99%) cobalt blue-flowered population was obtained. ‘Lady Bird Johnson Royal Blue’ has all the other growth characteristics of the native Texas bluebonnet and can be grown from seeds or transplants.

Tycoon Tomato named Texas Superstar 03/13/2014

Tycoon Tomato: Texas Superstar (Video) 03/28/2014

Purple Flash named Texas Superstar 05/06/2014

Super cold hardy Satsuma Orange Frost named Texas Superstar 06/04/2014

New and old fall zinnias named Texas Superstars 08/22/2014

Heat–tolerant hybrid alyssum named Texas Superstar 04/29/2015

Arctic Frost satsuma mandarin hybrid named new Texas Superstar 06/10/2015

Little Ruby alternanthera named newest Texas Superstar plant 07/31/2015


Whopper Begonias (Early May Promotion)

Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum Whopper® Series

Wax begonias have long been a staple of Texas Landscapes. But, this recently introduced series distinguishes itself with large leaves on large plants that have enormous flowers held well above the foliage for a showy display. They are outstanding in shade and partial shade and will tolerate full sun except in extreme heat. Both green and bronze foliage types are available with red or rose flowers. “Everything is bigger in Texas” and Whopper begonias fit the bill!

Exposure: Does best in partial to full shade. Also does well in morning sun and will tolerate full sun except in extreme heat, especially with low relative humidity.

Height: In shade can reach 24-30 inches with a 12 to 16 inch spread. Will be shorter and more compact with more sun.

Plant type: Annual

Planting time: Best in spring just after frost, but can be planted later. Will be more heat and sun tolerant if allowed to establish well prior to summer heat. If planting in mid-summer, a shady location is advised.

Soil type: A well prepared bed with organic matter and good drainage is best, but tolerant of soil types. Should be kept moist, but not too wet. Moderately drought tolerant.

Suggested uses: Excellent for mass bedding, in mixed borders, and in containers.

Special notes: Be careful not to overwater, especially if growing in containers.

Brazilian Red Hots Alternanthera (Very Early June Promotion)

Alternanthera dentata ‘Brazilian Red Hots’

Brazilian Red Hots is a dependable selection of the old-time Joseph’s Coat that grows with a mounded habit. The attractive, lively, hot pink and rose shades outlined foliage make it a delightful addition to any Texas garden. It’s an easy to grow and low input plant that prefers partial shade, but can tolerate the Texas hot summer heat, if planted early in the spring. However, its attractive foliage color is most vibrant if planted in intense sunlight. Once established, which might take a period of supplement irrigation in a well prepared soil amended with organic material, the plants are somewhat drought tolerant. Though not the biggest feature of this plant and often inconspicuous, ball shaped white flowers spring out above the foliage in mid-winter in regions where there is no or little frost.

Exposure: Prefers partial shade in hot regions, but will tolerate full sun well if planted early and can take more sun in the northern part of the state.

Height: 24 - 36 inches tall with a 12 - 18 inch spread

Plant type: Annual in most of Texas as it is sensitive to frost. In frost-free areas it can be a short-lived perennial.

Planting time: Best in spring after frost, but can also be planted in mid-summer or fall if watered adequately for establishment.

Soil type: A well prepared soil amended with organic material with good drainage is best, but will tolerate poor soils.

Suggested uses: Is an excellent stand-alone plant; be it planted as a mass border planting or accenting a repertoire of other popular Texas Superstar selections, such as Cora Vinca, Butterfly Pentas, Serena Angelonia and Baby’s Breath Euphorbias. It will also complement combination plantings in containers.

Special notes: Plants benefit from being cut back lightly as days become longer in late spring for a vigorous flush of summer color and possibly again in late summer for fall satisfaction.

Basham’s Party Pink Crapemyrtle (Late June Promotion)

Lagerstroemia indica × Lagerstroemia fauriei ‘Basham’s Party Pink’

Basham’s Party Pink crapemyrtle is one of the best large crapemyrtles for USDA zone 8 and warmer locations in Texas. This beautiful tree-form crapemyrtle can be grown as a single or multiple trunk specimen maturing with beautiful fluted smooth bark which exfoliates in shallow plates to expose predominantly light tans, gray and silver-gray bark highlighted with some reddish brown under-tones. The graceful canopy is covered in spring to early summer with one or more flushes of large soft lavender-pink terminal flower clusters. The handsome dark green foliage appears to have inherited some resistance to pests and diseases from its L. fauriei heritage and a lesser propensity for seed pods than some of the other hybrids from its L. indica parentage. It was introduced to the nursery trade by the legendary Texas plantsman and nursery professional Mr. Lynn Lowrey in 1965, making ‘Basham’s Party Pink’ the granddaddy of Texas hybrid crapemyrtles and a time tested Texas Superstar®.

Exposure: Full sun for optimum flowering.

Height: 20 to 30 feet tall with two-thirds to similar spread.

Plant type: Small to medium single or multiple stem deciduous tree.

Planting time: Fall or early spring planting is best, but plants can be readily established from containers or balled-and-burlap at any time of year with appropriate irrigation.

Soil type: Tolerant of all but very alkaline soils as long as the soil is well drained.

Suggested uses: Specimen flowering tree, small shade tree, near patios and outdoor entertainment areas, street trees with training, in cut flower arrangements, or in very large landscape containers. Bark, trunk and branch architecture can be nicely highlighted with night lighting.

Special notes: Water during establishment and in severe drought. To reduce foliar disease problems plant where it is mostly sunny and there is good air movement. Avoiding direct irrigation spray on the foliage will also reduce disease incidence and lessen the potential for foliar damage where salty irrigation water is a problem. Plants are cold tolerant in USDA plant hardiness zone 8 and warmer, but should be used only in protected locations in colder climates. If frozen to the ground in a severe winter, established plants will usually regrow several feet in a single growing season.


‘Victoria Red’ Grape (February 2017 Promotion)

Vitis species ‘Victoria Red’

The University of Arkansas, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Tarkington Vineyards have released a Pierce’s disease (PD) tolerant grape variety named ‘Victoria Red’. Evaluated as Arkansas 1475, ‘Victoria Red’ was bred in 1971. It has been shown to be very tolerant to Pierce’s disease (Xylella fastidiosa) referred to as “PD”. The most significant characteristic of ‘Victoria Red’ is its sustained health, vigor and productivity in Coastal Texas, an area of the United States with extremely high Pierce’s disease (PD) pressure. It is a seeded grape with both large berries and clusters that are attractive and quite long with a bright red skin color. Average cluster weight at Tarkington Vineyards near Victoria, TX exceeded one pound. The Tarkington Vineyards’ location is approximately 40 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and has very intense Pierce’s disease (PD) pressure. Vines at this location were vigorous and productive for twenty years while all other susceptible varieties died rapidly from PD.

Exposure: Does best in full sun and wide spacing; 8 to 10 feet apart.

Height: Will grow luxuriantly; best not to over fertilize and prune to keep in bounds each year.

Plant type: Perennial; can suffer some freeze damage as you move further north.

Planting time: Bare root plants in early winter.

Soil type: Well drained; may require iron chelate on high pH soil.

Suggested uses: ‘Victoria Red’ is recommended primarily as a fresh-fruit cultivar in USDA hardiness zones 7b or warmer. ‘Victoria Red’ is typically a two seeded berry with an occasional third seed trace. In addition to yield and quality potential, ‘Victoria Red’ has loose clusters which appears to make it resistant to bunch rot organisms common on more tightly clustered varieties.

Special note: A major limitation of this variety can be its lack of cold hardiness as it routinely suffered cane and trunk injury in West-Central Arkansas. However, it has been grown successfully in the Lubbock area, but obviously has some occasional freeze damage.

‘Balsamic Blooms’ Basil (April 2017 Promotion)

Ocimum hybrid ‘Balsamic Blooms’

‘Balsamic Blooms’ is a versatile basil from new breeding lines. This plant has attractive green foliage and deep purple blooms. Unlike most basils, the entire plant is edible so you can chop the flowers and sprinkle them on your salad to provide a nice color contrast. The foliage may be used for traditional culinary uses. The long-lasting purple blooms allows this new plant introduction to be considered an excellent edible ornamental.

Exposure: Does best in full sun to maintain the colorful flowers. Space plants 18-24” apart.

Height: Has a mounding growth habit reaching 18-24” and is great for either the garden or the landscape.

Plant type: Annual with the ability to continue to grow soft new foliage while it continues to carry the purple flowers. The blooms and foliage are long lasting.

Planting time: Transplants are available in spring in several pot sizes from 4” to 1 gallon containers.

Soil type: Most any well drained soil. Keep the soil slightly damp while establishing the plants and then slow the supplemental irrigation.

Suggested uses: ‘Balsamic Blooms’ is a lovely herb with multiple flavors on the same plant. Use the minty blooms to add color in a salad. The foliage has a sweeter basil flavor which may be used for pesto or other traditional culinary uses. ‘Balsamic Blooms’ is so attractive it may be used as an edible ornamental in the landscape.

Special note: ‘Balsamic Blooms’ does not require pinching or other special care, though removing older flowers will keep the plant actively growing with fresh new growth and flowers. It is also pollinator friendly!


‘Mystic Spires Blue Improved’ Salvia (Late April 2018 Promotion)

Mystic Spires Blue Salvia

(Salvia longispicata x farinacea ‘Mystic Spires Blue’)

Improved for 2018!

Mystic Spires Blue Salvia is a compact form of another popular salvia called ‘Indigo Spires’. Though shorter than ‘Indigo Spires’, it flowers even more freely during the entire growing season. It produces masses of true blue flowers that mix nicely with other annuals and perennials, is tolerant of heat and humidity (low and high), and is not bothered by pests or diseases or deer. The ‘Improved’ form sheds dead petals for a cleaner look in the garden. After 2018, the ‘Improved’ part of the name will be dropped as the original form is no longer available. A great selection gets even better!

Exposure: full sun
Height: 18 to 30 inches
Plant Type: perennial
Planting Time: spring to summer from containers
Soil type: adapts to most soils, but needs good drainage
Suggested uses: bedding, containers, perennial border, cut flowerv

Special notes: Mystic Spires Blue Salvia is hardy to USDA hardiness zone 7 with good drainage. Excess water and fertilizer can result in excessive vegetative growth and lack of flowers. If needed, plants can be pruned during the growing season as reflowering occurs quickly. Shoots can be pruned to 12 inches or so in the fall after being killed by freezing, but refrain from pruning to the ground until growth is strong in the spring.

‘Basket of Fire’ Ornamental Pepper (early June 2018 Promotion)
Basket of Fire Pepper
(Capsicum annuum 'Basket of Fire’)
The “Basket of Fire” pepper bred especially for hanging baskets is an edible ornamental pepper.
It will thrive even in extreme heat and low humidity. With a mature height of 12 inches this little plant will spread with cascading branches to 20 inches wide. This pepper is not shy and will produce hundreds of peppers per plant! With a tolerance for cooler temperatures and the beautiful warm colors, “Basket of Fire” is a great addition to your fall garden.

Exposure: full sun

Height: 12-14 inches

Spread: 20 inches

Plant Type: annual

Planting Time: spring to summer from containers

Soil type: adapts to most soils, but needs good drainage

Suggested uses: bedding or vegetable, containers, hanging baskets

Special notes: Basket of Fire Pepper is hardy to USDA hardiness zone 11-12. The flowers are small, white and star-shaped. This prolific little pepper is grown mainly for its extremely showy fruits which are edible. The fruit will start out creamy in color. As the fruit matures it will deepen to yellow then orange and finish with a bright red. At any given time all colors can be present on the plant. The fruits are relatively small 1-2 inches with a Scoville heat rating of approx. 80000shu. Fruit set is normally in 90 days.

‘Festival’ Strawberry (October 2018 Promotion)

(Fragaria × ananassa Duchesne ‘Festival’)
‘Festival’ strawberry is a grower favorite because it has a sturdy bush that is easy to harvest, doesn’t yield huge quantities of fruit on any one date, and produces very few cull fruit. The fruit are attractive, fit well in one pound clamshell containers, and have a long shelf life. In addition the fruit are flavorful, firm fleshed, deep red on the outside, bright red on the inside, conically shaped, and have large, showy calyces.

Fruit Size: Medium
Yield: Approximately 1 ½ pounds per plant
Growth Habit: Upright rosettes and vigorous, spreading by runners; When desired, these runners are typically removed as they are formed to keep the plants compact.
Harvest Period: typically February to May with moderate early yields

Exposure: full sun

Height: 8 to 10 inches

Plant Type: Grow as an annual

Planting Time: Fall, late September to October

Soil type: sandy; needs good drainage

Suggested uses: raised beds, containers

Special notes: Will tolerate freezing conditions during the winter; only needs protection when temperatures are forecast to be in the low teens.


Texas SuperStar Plant Brochure for 2009 from Texas Department of Agriculture

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