Archive for “Plant of the Month” Category

PLANT OF THE MONTH: EVENING PRIMROSE

April 27, 2016

Oenotheras, also known as Evening Primrose, are spreading or clumping groundcovers, native to the plains, grasslands and deserts of North America. They have large, showy four-petaled flowers in pink, white, or yellow, and create carpets of bright color in desert landscapes. Oenotheras are generally night-blooming plants, but most will stay open until midday. These widely adapted plants can be used …

Read More

PLANT OF THE MONTH – DESERT MILKWEED

August 31, 2017

Description Desert Milkweed, Asclepias subulata,  has slender gray-green stems that grow vertically to 4 feet from a woody base. The plant’s spread can reach 2 feet or more. Leaves 2 inches long by 1/8-inch-wide appear on new growth but soon drop. The white milky sap that oozes from cut stems contains rubber. From spring through fall, flat-topped clusters of pale …

Read More
Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed

Plant of the Month: Globe Mallow

March 5, 2019

Globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), both drought tolerant and beautiful, brings a unique “cottage-garden” feel to the desert plant palette along with some surprises. In spring a flush of colorful flowers are produced that will cause people to stop in their tracks. After that, globe mallow will bloom off and on throughout the summer and fall. This shrubby, perennial is native …

Read More

Plant of the Month: Fairy Duster

September 2, 2020

Calliandra, commonly known as Fairy Duster, refers to the beautiful stamens which make the tufted or ball-like flowers on these loosely branched shrubs. Their beautiful and vibrant colors range from pale pink to deep red. These small to medium-sized shrubs produce their flowers against a backdrop of finely divided, lacy-looking foliage. Fairy Dusters can be used in a wide variety …

Read More

Plant of the Month: Justicia

February 8, 2021

A different kind of flower this Valentine’s season. With long, colorful, tubular flowers, justicias are a hummingbird’s delight. Flower colors range from yellow to deep red. Justicias’ green foliage contrasts well with gray desert plants. Native to tropical and subtropical regions, they can be used in many types of landscapes. These semi-evergreen shrubs bloom throughout the year, inviting hummingbirds into …

Read More

PLANT OF THE MONTH: PINK TRUMPET VINE OR PODRANEA

September 18, 2017

The Pink Trumpet Vine, Podranea ricasoliana, exuberantly blooms in fall with flared, trumpet-shaped flowers. If looking for seasonal color, be sure to add this one to your plant palette. Note – be sure to properly identify at the nursery as it can commonly be mistaken for Bower Vine or Pandorea jasminoides. DESCRIPTION The lush green leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers of …

Read More

Plant of the Month: Desert Hackberry | Plants for Birds – Part 1

February 22, 2019

Desert Hackberry – The Winter Underdog. This is the first in a three-part series on plants for birds, presented by Arizona Audubon. Short winter days can mean lackluster landscapes: sober yards comprised of cheerless greys and browns. Occasional bird visitors to such spaces can be observed listlessly searching for springs’ first green gifts or insect morsels. Sound familiar? To shake …

Read More

Plant of the Month: Fall Planting for Spring Blooms

October 16, 2020

Spring wildflower season is one of the desert’s most colorful periods. But planning for those multicolored displays in the spring requires planning in the Fall. It’s prime time for fall planting! From late September through early December is the perfect time to sow spring seeds in the Arizona desert. Most spring-blooming wildflowers benefit from the cold temperatures of winter and …

Read More

PLANT OF THE MONTH: PENSTEMON

March 16, 2015

With many beautiful varieties of penstemon, it is hard to recommend just a few. These perennials are spectacular in bloom, with their trumpet shaped flowers ranging in color from orange to red, to purple, to white, and everything in between. Hummingbirds cannot resist their flowers. Penstemons are wonderful accent plants, and make great additions to rock gardens or as a …

Read More

Plant of the Month: Texas Ebony

July 27, 2020

Texas Ebony is native to the lowland regions of the Gulf of Mexico from southern Texas to northeastern Mexico. The highly ornamental, glossy, dark green foliage is its most striking feature. This popular small to medium tree has flexible, zigzagged branches, and fragrant catkin-like spring flowers. The dense canopy is evergreen in lower desert regions. Texas Ebony, Ebenopsis ebano (formerly …

Read More

Plant of the Month – Desert Lavender

October 20, 2017

Description The gray leaves of Desert lavender, Hyptis emoryi, are covered with fine hairs and are soft to the touch. A pleasant lavender scent is released following rains or if you brush against the foliage. Individual leaves are 1-inch-long by ¾ inch wide, broader at the base than the tip. The edges have rounded teeth. The branches grow upright to …

Read More
Desert lavender surrounds a bench

Plant of the Month: Chuparosa | Plants for Birds – Part 2

April 16, 2019

The Hummingbird’s Choice Award goes to … Chuparosa! If Arizona’s hummingbirds could vote on a state flower, it would be Chuparosa (Justicia californica). A mainstay of most wildlife gardens, this long-suffering desert beauty asks little and gives much.  It can be grown long and lanky, spindly branches vining into trees — or pruned to take on a more civilized appearance. …

Read More