Plant of the Month

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Golden Dogbane
Thymophylla pentachaeta

This dainty, long-blooming perennial brings color to southwest gardens from spring to fall. It is admired for attracting butterflies but repelling rabbits, and reseeds where it is happy.

  • Plant Form: Perennial
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 6-10 in. tall x 1-2 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring (March-May), Summer (June-Aug), Fall (Sept-Nov)
  • Native to: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Northern Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 0°F 

Golden Dogbane is a dainty, colorful plant that brings happiness to both gardeners and butterflies. Because it provides both nectar and food for butterflies and their larvae, it is perfect for butterfly gardens. Gardeners can plant just a few of these short-lived perennials, and sit back as they multiply and migrate around the garden. While they reseed readily, they are easily controlled – but we bet you will want them to continue popping up in most places they sprout. Masses of tiny, golden-yellow, daisy-like flowers cover the foliage in spring and fall, flowering through summer in higher elevations, and even into winter where temperatures are mild. The finely textured foliage is strongly scented, yielding it rabbit-resistant. Lightly prune in early spring to rejuvenate or after freezing temperatures to remove any dead stems. This desert-friendly perennial works well in rock gardens and low planters, around pools and on patios, and mixed with groundcovers and wildflowers.

Check out our “Garden Tasks” for August