Plant of the Month – May

Catmint Nepeta faassenii Plant Form: Perennial Water Use: Low, moderate Mature Size: 1-2 ft. tall x 2-3 ft. wide Exposure: Full sun, part sun Bloom Time: Late spring (May), summer (June, July) Native to: Asia, Europe, Africa Hardiness: Cold hardy to 0°F Catmint is beloved by gardeners for a host of features: it is fast-growing, long-lived, low-maintenance, resistant to browsing animals and pests, attractive to butterflies and bees, water-wise, and is graced with periwinkle-blue flowers over a long bloom season. This cornerstone […]

Plant of the Month – September

Evergreen Sumac Rhus virens Plant Form: Evergreen Shrub, Small Tree Water Use: Low Mature Size: 8-12 ft. tall x 10-15 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Bloom Time: Summer (June-Aug), Fall (Sept-Nov) Native to: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas Hardiness: Cold hardy to 5°F  Evergreen Sumac is a very adaptable, large, evergreen shrub that tolerates every stressful desert situation thrown at it: burning heat, freezing cold, extended drought, nutrient-poor soils, and even difficult clay and caliche soils. Given all these challenges, this […]

Plant of the Month – August

Golden Dogbane Thymophylla pentachaeta 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 […]

Plant of the Month – July

Peruvian Verbena Glandularia (Verbena) peruviana purple Plant Form: Perennial groundcover Water Use: Low, Moderate Mature Size: 6-12 in. tall x 2-3 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun Bloom Time: Spring (March-May), Summer (June-Aug), Fall (Sept-Nov) Native to: South America Hardiness: Cold hardy to 0°F  Peruvian Verbena is a fairly fast-growing groundcover that trails and spreads with new herbaceous roots to form a dense mat. This desert-friendly, rabbit-resistant perennial produces clusters of colorful flowers at the end of each stem, with colors ranging from purple […]

Harvesting Native Gardens

~ Bladderpod ~ Spring entices a burst of bright yellow flowers on our native Bladderpod, attracting hummingbirds, hawk moths, gardeners, and ethnobotanists. Besides being an attractive, fire-resistant, evergreen shrub, Bladderpod produces showy clusters of flowers and inflated seed pods that can be eaten if cooked. We’ll share with you how to prepare these treats below. ♦♦♦ Part of my appreciation of our native desert plants comes from the indispensable gifts that these plants have provided for millennia to humans, wildlife, birds, insects, soils, and […]

Plant of the Month – May

Santa Rita Prickly Pear, Purple Prickly Pear Opuntia violacea var. santa-rita Plant Form: Cactus Water Use: Very Low Mature Size: 2-6 ft. tall x 4-6 ft.wide Exposure: Full Sun Bloom Time: Spring (Mar-May), Summer (June-Aug) Native to: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico Hardiness: Cold hardy to 0°F  Santa Rita Prickly Pear defies the convention that plants are only showy when they are in bloom. This cactus is colorful year-round. In winter, the fleshy pads attain a rich purple color, lending its […]