Plant of the Month – October

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Paperflower, Whitestem Paper Flower

Psilostrophe cooperi

The bright yellow flowers on this showy shrub persist long after flowering, turning papery to give the illusion of a longer bloom season, and providing unique dried flower bouquets.

  • Plant Form: Evergreen perennial
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 2 feet tall x 3 feet wide
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring – Fall (Mar – Oct)
  • Native to: S. California, Arizona, New Mexico, & Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 10°F

Paperflower is a showy, mounded shrub named for its bright yellow flowers that persist on the flower head long after blooming, turning tannish-yellow and papery—giving the illusion of a much longer blooming season. At peak bloom in late spring, its gray-green foliage is almost hidden by the mass of one-inch daisy-like flowers. It keeps blooming with a little summer water. Prune off old flower heads to encourage new growth and stimulate more flowers. To avoid leggy growth, plant in full sun, and don’t overwater, which favors vegetative growth at the expense of flowers. Paperflower complements rock and cactus gardens, works as a border, and brightens any garden space with good drainage and no organic mulch. Cut flowers make a nice dried flower bouquet.

Check out our  “Garden Tasks” for October