Robin Kobaly teaches a class.

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Finding Food, Fun, & Healing in SW Native Plants ~
Hardy and helpful southwest desert plants can add richness to your kitchen, your medicine chest, your home, and your garden, as well as enhancing the lives of your neighborhood wildlife.

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Cooper's Goldenbush_8316

Why Plant Native?

We have been trained, over generations of time, that whenever we move into an area, we are to remove the native plants growing on our new site and replace them with plants from wherever we were before, or at least with plants we are familiar with. The plants we introduce into our new setting are not necessarily the ones best adapted to that area, but are the ones that have been marketed to us as the industrial standards that are […]

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Notes from Songbird Cottage

Home Building in Birdland

Suddenly, all the wayward string, sticks, fibers, feathers, paper, and cushion stuffing have become hot commodities around our yard. Now that nest-building season has arrived, what was earlier considered debris has become treasure to the birds living throughout Songbird Cottage’s yard. The path-side, spiny trimmings from our wild plums (Ziziphus parryi, also known as Parry Abrojo) that we had temporarily set beside the pathway have now been picked over by a pair of industrious verdins, and incorporated into their nest – […]

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Robin Kobaly

Welcome!

Robin Kobaly with The Power of Plants is your source for information about uses of native plants of the southwestern United States, and water-wise landscaping using native and drought-tolerant plants.

You’ll find useful tips here, as well as information on where you can take classes or obtain books and DVD’s on using native and water-wise plants in your daily life. Your guide, Robin Kobaly, is a professional botanist with thirty years of experience whose passion about plants has guided her entire life. We’re glad you’ve joined us here to explore the fascinating world of plants.

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About the Power of Plants
Water-Wise Landscaping: The DVD

Mycelium, the thread-like hyphae of fungus, growing on dead wood.

Native desert plants are faced with a big dilemma: how to gather nutrients and moisture from soils that are practically devoid of either. To the rescue are fascinating, symbiotic root partners: fungal relatives of truffles, attached to plants’ roots by thread-like hyphae called mycelium. These living, microscopic fungal partners, or mychorriza (literally “fungus root”), attach to plant roots and spread outward like a three-dimensional net, expanding the surface area and absorption capability of the plant’s root system by magnitudes, and […]

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