One of our favorite wildflowers is in bloom now – Standing Cypress. Watch for the tall red plumes along roadsides in North Texas in May – July, and in the Native Plant Garden adjacent to the Visitor Center at Hagerman NWR. According to the Native Plant Information Network, Standing Cypress is a biennial plant, in the Phlox family. The botanical name is Ipomopsis rubra; additional common names are Red Texas star, Texas plume and Red gilia.
Standing Cypress may reach 4 -6 feet in height. The red blossoms begin appearing from the tip down. The bloom may also be orange or yellow. The plant grows in dry, well-drained soil. You can collect seed in pods as the bloom dries if you want to try to propagate it, sowing in the fall – expect about 60% success, according to the Aggie Horticulture site. Seed is available for purchase also. From NPIN: “The first year of growth will produce a ferny rosette, followed by a flower spike the second year. When the spike has bloomed out, cut it off, and new spikes will be formed.“