Sandpaper Verbena—Showy Groundcover

Sandpaper Verbena—Showy Groundcover

Sandpaper Verbena
Verbena rigida

  • Plant Form: Evergreen groundcover
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 2’ tall & 4’ wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: March – November
  • Native to: South America
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 15° F

Sandpaper Verbena is a showy groundcover, with large, rough sandpaper-like leaves and ruffled, purple flowers in spring, summer, and fall. It is very hardy, resistant to rabbits, and attractive to butterflies. Sandpaper verbena plants can be grouped together to form a continuous ground cover and used on banks or slopes for erosion control. Cut it back to the ground if it looks ragged (usually in fall or winter), and fresh growth will sprout from hardy underground stems.

 

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Close-up of Apache Plume with Seeds

Close-up of Apache Plume with Seeds

Apache Plume
Fallugia paradoxa

  • Plant Form: Evergreen Shrub
  • Water Use: Very Low
  • Mature Size: 4-6’ tall & 5’ wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: April – June
  • Native to: So. Calif, SW U.S.
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to -10°F

Apache Plume is one of our showiest native desert shrubs. Rose-like, white flowers in spring produce eye-catching, silky pink seed plumes from May to December, said to resemble an Apache headdress. This fast-growing, semi-deciduous shrub with dark green leaves is extremely tolerant of heat and drought, and is an important erosion control plant. Apache Plume likes full sun but accepts part shade, and needs only occasional if any irrigation after it becomes established. Give this plant ample room—it doesn’t stay small for long.

 

 

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Damianita

Damianita

Damianita
Chrysactinia mexicana

  • Plant Form: Perennial shrub
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 2’ tall, 2’ wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: April-September
  • Native to: Texas, Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 10° F

Damianita is a cheery, compact evergreen shrub covered with yellow, daisy-like flowers from April to September. While Damianita is technically a shrub, it is used like a flower, creating a vivid, yellow carpet when massed. Planted in groups, Damianita forms a ground cover useful for erosion control on slopes. Its tiny, dark green, needle-like leaves are wonderfully aromatic. Damianita requires full sun, little water, excellent drainage, and soils not amended with organic matter. Light pruning in early spring promotes denser new growth, but severe pruning may kill the plant. A perfect border plant for flower beds, or a ground cover for hot, exposed areas. Its rounded form gives a soft contrast to yuccas and agaves in desert gardens.

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Purple Rock Rose Blossoms

Purple Rock Rose Blossoms

Purple Rock Rose
Cistus purpureus

  • Plant Form: Evergreen Shrub
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 3’ tall & 6’ wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: April – June
  • Native to: Mediterranean
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 15° F

Rock Roses are sun-loving, fast-growing evergreen shrubs with furry gray-green leaves and showy pink, purple, lavender, or white flowers. Purple rock rose is a compact shrub that thrives in poor, well-draining, dry soils, and full sun. Although each papery flower lasts only one day, these bushes produce a seemingly endless succession of flowers from spring through early summer.

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POTM: April 2012 | Palmer's PenstemonPalmer’s Penstemon
Penstemon palmeri

  • Plant Form: Perennial
  • Water Use: Very Low
  • Mature Size: 4’ tall, 3’ wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: April-June
  • Native to: So. Calif., to Arizona & Utah
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy -10° F to 0° F

Penstemons are a group of showy perennial herbs that bring bright color to gardens while attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. This fragrant pink Penstemon is a real showstopper. Palmer’s Penstemon thrives in the hottest, harshest conditions, is naturally drought-tolerant, and is irresistible to hummingbirds. Other star-performing Penstemons for our desert include Parry’s Penstemon (hot pink), Eaton’s Firecracker (scarlet), Canyon Penstemon (rose-purple), and Coral Penstemon (bright coral).

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Plant of the Month for March 2012

Blackfoot Daisy | Plant of the Month | March 2012

Blackfoot Daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

  • Plant Form: Perennial
  • Water Use: Very Low
  • Mature Size: 1’ tall, 2’ wide
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Bloom Time: March – November
  • Native to: Southwest U.S., Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to <0° F

Blackfoot Daisy is a fast-growing, low, evergreen perennial adorned with delightful white, daisy-like flowers with yellow centers. This dainty, rounded plant thrives in well-drained soil, and attracts butterflies and bees. Although fairly short-lived, this mounding perennial brightens up any drought-tolerant garden.

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