Archive for “Plant of the Month” Category

PLANT OF THE MONTH: SALVIA OR SAGE

September 21, 2016

With over 750 species, salvia (commonly called sage) offers a great variety of forms, foliage, and seasonal colors. Sages are known for their fragrant foliage and long-lasting, spectacular blooms. The flowers emerge above the rounded shrubs either distinctly spaced on tall skewers or in long, densely clustered spikes. Although mostly noted for their cool blue, purple, or lavender blooms, some …

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PLANT OF THE MONTH: LEUCOPHYLLUM OR TEXAS SAGE

August 30, 2016

Texas sages are among the most reliable and fool-proof of the low water use plants available in Arizona. In the past twenty years, many new species and varieties have been brought into cultivation. These evergreen shrubs are native to Texas and Mexico, and perform well in our desert with very little maintenance. These shrubs require full sun and good drainage. …

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Chihuahuan Sage

PLANT OF THE MONTH: CAESALPINIA OR BIRD OF PARADISE

July 26, 2016

Caesalpinias make the landscape come alive with color. Their large bright flowers provide vibrant color for long periods of time. The shades of yellow, fiery red, and orange contrast with the feathery foliage. Commonly called bird of paradise, they range in size from medium shrubs to small trees. They thrive in the desert heat and can survive on little supplemental …

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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 …

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PLANT OF THE MONTH: CASSIAS

March 29, 2016

Cassias are native to the warm regions of Australia and Africa. Many of the Australian and North American species previously called Cassia have been reclassified to the genus Senna. However, these plants are still widely sold in our local plant nurseries under the scientific name of Cassia. Most cassias have fine textures foliage and bloom from late winter through spring. Most …

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PLANT OF THE MONTH: MUHLENBERGIA

November 13, 2015

These spectacular, non-invasive, ornamental clumping grasses are versatile and require very little maintenance. Muhlenbergias are native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico at elevations of 2500 to 7000 feet. With over 125 species, this large and diverse group can be used as a vertical specimen or accent, a softening feature around boulders and contrasting dessert plants, or a …

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PLANT OF THE MONTH: QUEENS WREATH

October 14, 2015

What a perfect name for this beautiful late summer blooming vine. The elegant Antigonon leptopus or Queen’s Wreath (also called Coral Vine) is one of those show-stopping plants that has likely caused near automobile accidents when you happen upon a stunning display of the bright pink clusters. The rich, green, heart-shaped leaves seem to luxuriate in the excessive summer heat …

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PLANT OF THE MONTH: FAIRY DUSTER

September 17, 2015

The name calliandra refers to the beautiful stamens which make the tufted or ball-like flowers on these loosely branched shrubs. Their colors, ranging from pale pink through deep red, are indeed beautiful. These small to medium sized shrubs produce their flowers against a backdrop of finely divided, lacy-looking foliage. Calliandras can be used in a wide variety of landscape situations. Fairy dusters …

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PLANT OF THE MONTH: AGAVE

August 11, 2015

Agaves are impressive leaf succulents with a wide range of color, texture and size to their rosettes. There are approximately 200 species found throughout the southwest, Mexico, and Central America. The bold rosettes are dramatic accents for the garden that contrast well with the fine texture of desert trees and shrubs. Agaves are some of the most useful desert plants, …

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PLANT OF THE MONTH: DESERT WILLOW – CHILOPSIS LINEARIS

July 20, 2015

Desert willow is a fast-growing tree reaching up to 30 feet with spectacular trumpet-shaped flowers and bright green, willow-like foliage. Chilopsis linearis is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, and is commonly seen in dry washes from 1,500 to 5,000 feet. The fragrant orchid-like flowers, in varying colors, attract hummingbirds. Desert willow blooms in clusters from May …

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PLANT OF THE MONTH: PROSOPIS MESQUITE

June 19, 2015

Prosopis, commonly known as mesquites, are extremely adaptable and tolerant to a wide range of growing conditions. They adjust to little or abundant water and will survive during times of drought by slowing down their growth. Mesquites have supplied shade, food, and medicine for people of the desert for ages. Because every part of the tree is useful, it is …

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PLANT OF THE MONTH: HESPERALOE

May 18, 2015

The strong vertical form of hesperaloe with its spectacular flower spikes makes this clumping, evergreen perennial an ideal accent plant for gardens. While not a true yucca or aloe, it is related to yuccas and agaves, and like its relatives, is a carefree, non-demanding plant. Hesperaloes are extremely hardy, tolerating both heat and cold well in our climate. Hesperaloes prefer …

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