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Old 07-23-2019, 11:11 PM
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Default Native Texas Plants

Howdy, ya'll!

I will be starting a vivarium soon and am on the research stage. The goal is to make an enclosure suitable for a single green anole. It will be a paludarium with the land section being 18x18x18 with a small stream and, hopefully, native plants.

The issue is that I'm having trouble finding much information on suitable plants for a combination of lighting, humidity (60-75%), size and safety for anoles.

There is a plant that grows in my yard that I love, but I made the mistake of assuming it was native. Unfortunately I figured out that it's Asian ponyfoot and wouldn't suit my "native" needs.

Otherwise, I'm currently looking at maidenhair spleenwort, maidenhair fern, and Missouri violet. Ball moss (Tillandsia recurvata) is everywhere here, but I'm not sure if it's suitable.

I'd also love maybe two types of mosses. Of the species native to Texas, I like funaria hygrometrica, weissia controversa and selaginella peruvina, but I have no idea how obtainable these or any Texas-native mosses would be. I don't live in an area where I've ever seen mosses wild. The area I'm in is more known for its evergreen shrubs, live oaks and prairie.

I'd love some suggestions for color and variety and any other insight you guys might have.
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Old 07-23-2019, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Native Texas Plants

I've experimented with a few native temperate plants. You'll have the best luck with evergreen groundcovers, evergreen ferns and evergreen shrubs. There are also some Texas-native vines like Aristolochia and others you can try.

If the light is fairly bright and if you have the substrate set up with good drainage, then live oak and other evergreen trees might be worth trying as well. Most trees can be pruned to control size.

The Tillandsia will probably do fine if you position up at the top with good light + air circulation.

Mosses are more tricky. You might be able to grow mosses if you put them on the right kind of substrate and with a Mist King to maintain very even moisture for them. The mosses you have in Texas probably grow more in winter when temps are cooler.

Last edited by hydrophyte; 07-24-2019 at 12:09 AM. Reason: edit
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Native Texas Plants


Rather than getting caught-up in state boundaries, I would design your anole viv with an eye toward the species itself. Anole's live all around the Gulf coast so you could consider plants that grow from Texas to Florida. Florida, in particular, would have species more suited to an indoor viv where temps will be warmish year-round. You could consider Microgramma ferns, resurrection fern and mosses/liverworts.

If you can provide good air circulation and even moisture (not continuously soggy but never fully dried-out) you'll have the best luck with these plants (and anole's are not rainforest species anyway).
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:00 AM
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Default Re: Native Texas Plants

Thank you for the responses!

You're right about state boundaries. It just seemed easier to say "Texas-native", though anything native to the green anole's southern/gulf habitat is perfectly suitable. None of the plants I'm currently looking at are Texas-specific.

Some of the microgramma ferns are beautiful and I'll definitely be looking into them. Aristolochia is an excellent option for some unique shape and color.

Very helpful! Now I just need to figure out if there are any gulf-native mosses that would work for this setup. It's so difficult to even find people identifying the species when selling moss.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Native Texas Plants

I personally like the Aristolochia. Somehow, they always seem to cause that "wow" reaction
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