VEGETATION TYPES FOR AUSTIN

canopy

(tallest trees in a given habitat)

texas red oak (QUBU2)

understory

 (smaller, colorful trees beneath the canopy)

texas redbud (CECAT), texas mountain laurel (SOSE3)

cactus

(xeric desert plants that love the sun)

 spanish bayonet (YUFA)

sunny perennials + shrubs

(bright, smaller plants for sunny spots)

blackfoot daisy (MELE2), texas winecup (CAIN2), zexmenia (WEACH)

shady perennials + creek

(specialists in darker, wetter environs)

scarlet sage (SACO5)

bunch grasses

(showy, clumping tufts of native grass)

texas sedge (CATE7) 

Design with Native Plants

The native plants we recognize today have thrived in Texas for thousands of years without requiring human support, but the modern urban overlay exerts increasing pressure on these ecosystems. Our ultimate goal in native plant design is to restore proper biological functioning for planted areas within the context of designed sustainable spaces for desired structures.  Provided with an increased sensitivity to the richer meaning that exists between native plants and the landscape, Ecotopes seeks to reconnect people to this ecologically abundant world.

Our clarified system of native plant design passes through a couple of thresholds, the first is plant positioning. Each specimen must be physically located in the landscape where site conditions match the corresponding range of growing conditions for that plant. The variables of growing conditions which concern plant positioning include water use, sunlight required, and soil conditions.

The overall challenge of native plant design is developing the web of relationships between plants in proximity to one another, which requires considering the habit and physical characteristics of each plant, including size, leaves, trunks/stems, fruits, and flowers.  Additional plant details that affect native plant design include seasonal color composition, dormancy, invasiveness, litter profile, durability, and benefits to the extended habitat of birds and butterflies.