This week’s plant of the week, orange zexmenia, is another native wildflower that will bring a burst of sunshine yellow to rock gardens, roadsides, and pastures. Scientifically named Wedelia texana, orange zexmenia is best established from seed and is included in many native wildflower seed mixes. If you are looking to beautify a natural space, this wildflower will help you get the job done.
Orange zexmenia is eaten by both livestock and native wildlife such as white-tailed deer and bobwhite quail. Wedelia texana is sometimes referred to by gardeners as the “miracle plant” because of its hardiness, versatility, heat and drought tolerance and long season good looks. The only requirement for this plant to thrive is well-drained soil. This plant is commonly found in pastures with light cattle grazing over a long period of time. If the pastures are heavily grazed by sheep and goat, this wildflower may only be seen growing amongst yucca and cacti.
The orange-yellow flowers are visited by pollinators and the vegetative materials provide habitats for many beneficial insects and butterflies. This perennial grows from a woody base and branches out with stiff, hairy stems. The leaves are ovate- lanceolate shaped and come to a point on each end. Due to tiny hairs on the leaves, leaf surfaces are rough to the touch. Wedelia texana will grow upright if planted in full sun, or will recline and grow more like a ground cover plant when grown in shade. The nickel-sized yellow flowers resemble a daisy and grow off long slender stems that reach above the foliage. Orange zexmenia will stay in bloom from March to December.
Come take a walk through the gardens to see the orange zexmenia in bloom.
Republished with permission of the Goldthwaite Eagle. By Savannah Lane.