Louisiana is in the southeastern United States and is bordered on the south by the Gulf of Mexico.
Louisiana has uplands in the northern part of the state that support prairie and woodland plants.
The coastal areas in the southern part of the state are home to many species of wetland plants.
Louisiana lies within USDA hardiness zones 8 and 9, meaning that it generally has a subtropical climate.
The summers are hot and humid, and the temperature occasionally drops below freezing in the winter.
Irises are a genus of flowering plants that contain at least 200 species.
Iris fulva is native to the Gulf Coast and has several common names such as the swamp iris and Louisiana iris.
They grow in wet soil and can reach a height of five feet. Each flower blooms on an individual stem in the spring and may have a variety of colors.
The copper iris is a cultivated variety of this species that grows to a height of three feet and produces reddish-copper flowers.
Iris giganticaerulea, commonly known as the giant blue iris, is also native to coastal areas in Louisiana.
It grows best in rich, wet soil with partial shade.
The stems grow to a height of five feet and the leaves grow at the base of the stems.
The flowers grow at the top of the stems.
The coloration of the flowers varies considerably, but the most common pattern is blue flowers with white patches on the outer petals.
The giant blue iris normally blooms in early spring, but some varieties bloom in summer and fall.
Seashore mallow, known botanically as Kosteletzkya virginica, is native to the salt marshes on the Gulf coast.
It prefers sandy soil with salt water, although seashore mallow can also grow well in ordinary garden soil.
This plant grows best in full sun with plenty of water.
The stems may reach a height of five feet and grow in tight clusters.
The leaves are light green in color and are slightly fuzzy.
Seashore mallow produces profuse blooms of pink flowers in the middle of summer with a diameter of about three inches.
The yellow stamens protrude from the flowers and are unusually long.
Azaleas include hundreds of natural species within the Rhododendron genus, including more than 10,000 cultivated varieties.
Many of these species grow naturally in Louisiana with the most common being the Florida azalea, known botanically as Rhododendron austrinum.
It grows abundantly in southern Louisiana, reaching a height of 10 feet.
Florida azaleas bloom in early spring and produce many fragrant flowers in a variety of colors such as red, pink, yellow and white.
These azaleas prefer moist soil and should have partial shade, especially in the afternoon.
Gardeners grow larger varieties of Florida azaleas as hedges to enclose an outdoor area or for privacy.
They typically grow smaller varieties with flowers that bloom later in the year.
The Magnolia genus contains about 210 species, many of which grow in Louisiana.
The most well known species of magnolia is the Oriental magnolia, known botanically as Magnolia denudate.
This tree grows to a height of 35 feet and provides excellent shade in spring and summer.
Oriental magnolia produces profuse blooms of fragrant flowers in February and loses its leaves in winter.
The flowers are shaped like tulips and may range from pink to purple in color.
It grows best in well-drained soil and full sun. Gardeners often plant this deciduous tree with evergreen trees that bloom later in the year.
American wisteria, or wisteria frutescens, typically grows along rivers banks and is common throughout Louisiana.
It has dark green leaves and the vines can grow to 30 feet in length.
American wisteria blooms during late spring with blue and purple flowers.
The individual flowers have a diameter of one inch and the clusters can reach a length of nine inches.
The soil should be kept moist and well drained when growing American wisteria in the garden.
The soil should be acidic to prevent the leaves of this plant from turning yellow.
This species requires regular pruning to keep the vines in check.
Yellow Jessamine, or Gelsemium sempervirens, is an evergreen vine that grows throughout the southeastern United States.
These vines can grow to 20 feet in length, which can climb up trees or grow along the ground.
Yellow Jessamine produces clusters of yellow flowers on the stems that bloom in early spring and early fall.
The foliage is normally dark green, but turns yellow in the fall. Yellow Jessamine grows best in full sun, but it tolerates partial shade.
The soil should have good drainage and should remain moist, especially for young plants. Yellow Jessamine can also tolerate dry soil once it becomes established.
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