Southwest Native Plants 30 Ideabooks

Residents in the Southwest who are fortunate enough to have Texas ranger (Leucophyllum frutescens) growing in their gardens are familiar with the eager anticipation of the year’s first flush of purple that covers this attractive yet tough shrub. Sometimes referred to as “barometer bush,” it often flowers...
Great Design Plant: Beavertail Prickly Pear Wows With Color
Take a walk through the desert in spring or early summer, and you’ll halt at the sight of vivid magenta flowers bursting forth from this medium-size prickly pear. Beavertail prickly pear’s lack of long spines and presence of attractive gray-blue...
Great Design Plant: Color Outside the Lines With Harebell
There are seemingly endless choices of plants available in the Campanula genus, but few have the resiliency and native range to compete with harebell. Harebell is found in so many unique places; go hiking in the mountains in southern Colorado or...
Great Design Plant: Chuparosa Brightens Casual Desert Gardens
It may come as a surprise that many plants native to the dry desert produce beautiful flowers. Chuparosa is one such plant; its bright red flowers add beauty to landscapes throughout the low-desert regions of the Southwest. Found along desert washes,...
Great Design Plant: Desert Ruellia Brings Beauty to Dry Gardens
Finding a plant that can handle hot, dry conditions without needing a lot of water is a common goal for homeowners who live in the dry Southwest. When you pass by one that is also beautiful, it is time to take a second look and consider adding it to...
Great Design Plant: Yellow Bells, a Screening Queen
If you love yellow, then this is a shrub for you. Masses of trumpet-shaped flowers cover yellow bells nonstop from spring through fall in garden zones 8 to 11. Its large size makes it perfect for covering up a bare wall or for screening an undesirable...
Great Design Plant: Baja Fairy Duster, a Scarlet Stunner
Whether you call the uniquely shaped flowers of this shrub fairy dusters or puff balls, they are sure to add beauty to a Southwestern landscape. Baja fairy duster’s dark green, lacy foliage provides a great backdrop to the vibrant red flowers, which...
Great Design Plant: Blackfoot Daisy for Prettier Dry Ground
Daisies will brighten up any landscape, and blackfoot daisy is no exception. Despite its fragile appearance, this low-growing perennial flourishes with little water in areas that experience bitter-cold winters, while also thriving in hot, dry desert...
Rudbeckia Mania: Go Beyond Black-Eyed Susan in the Garden
I must admit that in my early gardening days, I wasn’t much of a black-eyed Susan fan. The plants are OK — they look nice enough, add a nice splash to any garden and are fairly easy to maintain. I do like how some of them self-sow and slowly change...
Great Design Plant: Desert Marigold Cheers Up Hot, Dry Areas
The flowers of desert marigold will brighten up the landscape even where water is scarce and the sun is blazing. Often seen along roadsides, in wildflower gardens or even growing alongside cacti, desert marigold is one perennial that can handle tough,...
Great Design Plant: Santa Rita Prickly Pear for Purple Appeal
No matter the season, Santa Rita prickly pear adds a variety of colors to the desert garden, along with great texture, thanks to its paddle-shaped pads. As winter approaches, a truly wondrous transformation takes place: The edges of the gray-blue pads...
Great Design Plant: Brittlebush Brightens Rocky, Dry Spots
Desert hillsides are dotted in a carpet of yellow in winter and spring as brittlebush comes into bloom. This Southwestern native may be beautiful, but it is also one very tough shrub. Brittlebush handles areas with rocky soil, full sun and little water...
Great Design Plant: Ocotillo for High-Reaching Flair
The deserts of the American Southwest are famous for the many different types of plants that flourish in the hot and dry conditions. Perhaps the most iconic plant found in all three Southwestern deserts is the ocotillo. Although ocotillos are found...
Great Design Plant: Red Yucca Spikes Dry Spots With Color
What if you could get the ability to tolerate freezing temperatures and blazing heat in a single plant? Add a few other characteristics, such as beautiful flowers, drought tolerance and low maintenance, and you've got red yucca. It has all these traits...
Great Design Plant: Quaking Aspen for 3-Season Beauty — on Its Own Turf
If you've seen groves of quaking aspen in the wild in full fall glory, your likely question is, "Can I grow them at home?" The quick answer is yes, if you live where the trees grow naturally. If not, growing an aspen in a home garden is almost as difficult...
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