Plant of the Month – November

Great Basin Sage Big Sagebrush Artemisia tridentata Plant Form: Evergreen shrub Water Use: Low Mature Size: 3-6 ft. tall x 3-10 ft. wide Exposure: Full sun Bloom Time: Summer (July-Aug), Fall (Sept) Native to: Western North America, Canada, Baja California Hardiness: Cold hardy to -20°F Great Basin Sage is a study in silver and gray. This shrub forms the primary vegetation across vast stretches of the Great Basin desert. A member of the sunflower family, it develops a woody trunk […]

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 […]

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 – November

Mountain Mahogany Cercocarpus betuloides Plant Form: Evergreen Shrub Water Use: Very Low Mature Size: 8-15 ft. tall x 10-12 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Bloom Time: Spring (Mar-May) Native to: California, Oregon, Baja California (below 6,000 feet) Hardiness: Cold hardy to -30°F  Mountain Mahogany is a large, upright, evergreen shrub or small tree with beautiful, smooth, light gray bark. Small, wedge-shaped leaves with toothed edges resemble birch leaves, giving this plant its other name, Birch-leaf Mountain Mahogany. Its small, cream-colored, rose-like […]

Plant of the Month – October

Sulfur Buckwheat Eriogonum umbellatum Plant Form: Evergreen Sub-shrub Water Use: Very Low Mature Size: 1-2 ft. tall x 1-3 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Bloom Time: Summer (June-Aug), Fall (Sept-Oct) Native to: California, Western North America, Central Canada (4,000 feet – 10,000 feet) Hardiness: Cold hardy to 15°F Sulfur Buckwheat creates a big garden impact despite being such a diminutive plant. This exceedingly variable species can vary from a small perennial herb only 3 inches tall to a […]

Plant of the Month – September

Desert Willow, Desert Catalpa Chilopsis linearis Plant Form: Deciduous tree Water Use: Low Mature Size: 15-25 ft. tall x 18-20 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Bloom Time: Spring (Apr-May), Summer (June-Aug), Fall (Sept-Oct) Native to: California, Arizona, Mexico (below 5000 feet) Hardiness: Cold hardy to 0°F Desert Willow is a fast-growing, multi-trunked tree or large shrub that twists and leans as it reaches skyward, creating an interesting, open crown in age. Its long, narrow, bright green leaves give a willowy appearance, […]