Texas Superstar® Selection Policy
One of the keys to the success of the Texas Superstar® program is the quality and reliability of the plant material that is highlighted in educational and marketing campaigns. Every effort is made to ensure that highlighted plants will perform well for Texas consumers. Wherever appropriate, limitations to highlighted plants are mentioned during marketing campaigns. Additionally, cultural information is provided to give the consumer guidance regarding proper plant care.
The Texas environment varies a great deal from east to west and south to north. Minimum annual temperature, soil moisture amount and seasonal availability, and soil type have a tremendous impact on plant growth and adaptation. Zones which are similar in factors affecting plant growth are illustrated in the image below.
An important factor in determining plants to be recommended as Texas Superstars® is their performance in actual landscape and garden settings. The Superstar® team includes horticultural professionals located in the different ecoregions who actually grow the plants for several seasons and report on their performance. The test locations include ones illustrated on the graphic below.
The decision as to which plants are highlighted in Texas Superstar® marketing campaigns is made by the Texas Superstar® Executive Board (Greg Grant – Tyler; Tim Davis — College Station; Mike Arnold — College Station; Russell Plowman— Lubbock; Larry Stein — Uvalde; David Rodriguez — San Antonio; Paul Winski – Houston; Dan Lineberger, Cynthia McKenney, and Brent Pemberton). The board typically plans marketing campaigns at least two to three years in advance. Advisory input is received from the representatives, county horticulturists, arboretum and botanical garden representatives, horticultural writers, and landscape designers.
The Executive Board’s decision as to which plants should be highlighted is primarily based upon observations made at replicated plots and demonstration trials across the state. In some cases, recommendations made by university horticulturists in other southern states are also considered. Because ornamental plant performance can be rather subjective, the board gathers as much input as possible from competent horticulturists who understand the importance of both landscape performance and marketability. Another important factor considered when selecting plants for educational and marketing campaigns is whether sufficient numbers of plants can be produced to meet the increased consumer demand generated by Texas Superstar® efforts.