Iconic Plants of Arizona – Pt. 2

Katelyn Preston August 26, 2016

In Part Two of our series, we take a deeper look at the Brittle Brush, Cape Honeysuckle, Desert Lavender, Green Feathery Senna and the Golden Barrel Cactus.

Brittle Bush (Encelia farinose): This shrub is seen almost anywhere in the Sonoran desert. Typically a medium sized shrub, with long silver and fuzzy leaves, this bush can add texture and a fragrant smell to any home.

Cape Honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis): This flower can add a bit of a tropical vibe to any garden and also attract hummingbird due to its ability to create nectar.  A blazing orange color can add a cheerful feeling to any landscape that needs a bit of “color-love”.

Desert Lavender (Hyptis emoryi): This shrub, native to Southern California and Arizona, actually has a verity of uses in the medicinal world. Crushing the leaves and rubbing it upon irritated skin can decrease inflammation and pain caused by small wounds, rashes, and even bee stings. In the spring, violet-blue flowers sprout and add a fragrant smell that is sure to attract many species of butterfly to your garden.

Green Feathery Senna (Senna artemisioides): With green foliage and low water need, this feather shrub can provide a great learning plant when you start up your backyard. Blooming in December, the pea-like yellow blossoms add a pop of color during the dry winter months.

Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii): Fondly known as the “mother-in-law’s cushion”, this species of cactus is very well known to Central Mexico and can also be found in Arizona. Actually endangered in the wild, this cacti thrives in volcanic rock and is known for is golden spines. They do not need a lot of water and too much of it can lead to rot, during the cooler months. These cacti are many an Arizonian’s personal favorite and are seen at numerous desert botanical gardens.

All photos are credit of the Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert online edition, developed by AMWUA Regional Water Conservation Committee.