Plant of the Month – May

Basketbush Sumac, Fragrant Sumac Rhus aromatica Plant Form: Deciduous Shrub Water Use: Low Mature Size: 5-6 ft. tall x 6-8 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade Bloom Time: Spring (Mar-May) Native to: California, western U.S., Canada to Mexico (below 7,500 feet) Hardiness: Cold hardy to -15°F Basketbush Sumac is a surprisingly lush plant to be found in dry desert habitats. It is a tidy shrub with arching stems and dense leaves, spreading by rhizomes to form a thicket. This […]

Plant of the Month-April

Foothill Penstemon, Bunchleaf Penstemon Penstemon heterophyllus Plant Form: Evergreen herbaceous perennial Water Use: Low Mature Size: 1-3 ft. tall x 1-2 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Bloom Time: Spring (Apr-May), Summer (June-July) Native to: California (below 5,500 feet) Hardiness: Cold hardy to 10°F Foothill Penstemon makes you smile just to look at it. Every one of its abundant blossoms appears to be stretching up to greet you personally. From its yellow flower buds, you would never guess the flower […]

Plant of the Month – Jan. 2018

Coffeeberry Frangula californica Plant Form: Evergreen Shrub Water Use: Low Mature Size: 5-12 ft. tall and wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Bloom Time: Spring – Summer (May-July) Native to: California, southwest Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, northern Baja (below 7000 feet) Hardiness: Cold hardy to 10°F Coffeeberry is touted as looking “trimmed without trimming”, although this tidy evergreen does take pruning well. This long-lived California native, also known as California Buckthorn, grows naturally in a wide range of habitats, with many available varieties, so check […]

Alter-Natives for Desert Gardeners

“Great Native Alternatives to Traditional Yard Plants” A Presentation by Robin Kobaly | Botanist, Executive Director of The SummerTree Institute for Master Gardeners – UC Cooperative Extension, as part of  their 18-week Master Gardener Course   Wednesday, January 24th | 9-11 am  UCR Palm Desert | 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert, CA   Wednesday, January 24, 2018 Presentation 9-11 am UCR Palm Desert | 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92211 Not open to the Public ~ however, you may sign up for a future Master […]

Plant of the Month – October

Paperflower, Whitestem Paper Flower Psilostrophe cooperi 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. […]

Plant of the Month – May

Firecracker Penstemon, Eaton’s Firecracker, Scarlet Bugler Penstemon eatonii Plant Form: Evergreen perennial Water Use: Low Mature Size: 2 feet tall and wide (flower stalks 2-4 feet tall) Exposure: Full sun Bloom Time: Late winter – spring (Feb – June) Native to: S. California, Colorado, Utah, Arizona Hardiness: Cold hardy to 0°F Firecracker Penstemon is irresistible to hummingbirds due to its nectar-filled, brilliant, scarlet flowers. It is among the first to bloom in spring, providing an early-season nectar source for hummingbirds. […]