As the summer watering season approaches, people begin seriously thinking about
drought tolerant plants for their gardens. Be aware though that anything
planted now will require regular watering through the summer and fall,
most drought tolerant of plants. And yes, even cactus and succulents need water in the
summer to maintain their health. One shrub that can eventually exist on
Nature's water is the
now showing off its fuzzy white fruits
in its desert home. Another group of plants that need little supplemental water
after establishment are the
What can we say about them? Are they naughty? nice? nasty? notable? ... It
depends on your preferences. Basically
are fairly large grassy looking plants that exist as clumps or as tree like
forms. They lend a nice variety to any landscape with larger cacti, trees and
shrubs and are excellent accent plants for your pool area, since they don't make
naughty messes with their leaves and flowers. The clumpy kind may not appeal to
the person that likes a manicured look, as the older leaves and leaf tips become
brown and dry. The most notable of the clumping
is the native
Sacahuista (Nolina microcarpa).
throughout Arizona on hillsides above about 3000', this plant is famous for its
use in Indian basket making. It is also used commercially to make brooms.
sports stalks several feet tall with creamy flowers during early summer.
Texas Bear Grass (Nolina
texana) is a similar but smaller growing
species with a flower stalk that does not extend much beyond the leaves. Leaf
edges of all species inflict nasty cuts.
Several species of
form trunks after many years.
Desert Nolina (Nolina
occurs naturally in western Arizona and resembles a Yucca in appearance. Quite
a few of the tree form
Nolinas are native to Mexico and with
lots (and we mean Lots!) of time become imposing landscape specimens with
arching leaves and fat trunks. Anyone with a large one of these in their yard
would have a valuable plant indeed! Blue
grows slightly faster than some of the other species eventually getting a trunk
10-12' tall with a round head of stiff bluish leaves.
Mexican Tree Bear
Grass (Nolina matapensis)
over 20' tall and develops branches with heads of grassy leaves. Regular summer
watering will somewhat speed up the growth of these pokey plants. Large
specimens are not often available, so if you want one for future generations to
enjoy or are extremely patient (and young too!) you'll have to settle for small
plants. We have to say, however, that small plants look pretty nondescript and
that most people, including us, can't tell them apart.
One well known plant that some consider a
Ponytail Palm (Nolina or Beaucarnea recurvata).
How could you not want one of these interesting and versatile plants? If you're
a fat base admirer this is the plant for you! A common houseplant everywhere
Palm makes a wonderful patio plant
here. It can even be grown outside in full sun but looks more lush with some
shade. Young plants exhibit the small bulb that with age becomes a most
fantastic broad base.
Older plants may develop multiple branches.
is another less common Bottle Palm that has stiffer, shorter leaves and a
fissured base. Both of these plants can remain unscathed in the same container
for years, even when bases completely fill the pot. They can endure periods of
dry soil without death, but grow best with fairly regular soakings.
The folks at the Lost Dutchman Travel Trailer
Resort sure have a pretty garden at their east entrance on Plaza south of
Superstition Blvd. All winter they had a show of blooming winter
annuals. Hollyhocks and Irises are blooming now. Take a look!
CALLING ALL HUMMINGBIRDS AND
HUMMINGBIRD LOVERS !!!!
called Sierra Starr. This shrub, introduced by Mountain States Wholesale
Nursery, is a real eye catcher. It is a hybrid between the native pink flowered
and Mexican red flowered
and combines the best features of both. Its bright red flowers attract
hummingbirds as well as people! It grows moderately fast to several feet tall,
remains fairly dense, has some blooms most of the year and loves full sun and
heat. What a deal.