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Acacia

Many acacias are relatively short lived—20 to 30 years. But if a plant reaches 20 ft. high in 3


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Ipomopsis

These American natives have a definite wildflower look, with erect single stems, finely divided leaves, and tubular red (or yellow-and-red) flowers. Individual plants are narrow and somewhat startl...


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Opuntia bigelovii

Teddy Bear Cactus (Cholla)

Native to Southwest deserts and northern Mexico. Slow growing to 3–6 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide, with a treelike form. Woody trunk is covered with black spines, which are less conspicuous than their prominent yellow-gold sheaths. Cylindrical, easily detached joints are covered with vicious silvery yellow spines. Most plants never bloom, though they may bear 1–1 1/2-in. pale green, yellow, or white flowers (all with lavender markings) in early spring. Grows freely in the hottest


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Atriplex lentiformis

Quail Bush

Native to alkali wastes in California valleys and deserts and east to Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. Densely branched, sometimes spiny shrub, to 3–10 ft. high and 6–12 ft. wide. Oval, bluish gray leaves 1/2–2 in. long. Useful as salt-tolerant informal hedge or windbreak.


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Dendromecon

Bush Poppy

Bush poppies give a showy display of bright yellow, 2-in. wide, poppylike flowers. Use on banks and roadsides, with other native shrubs.

Can be propagated from cuttings taken in summer. Get...


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Carnegiea gigantea (photo courtesy of Jennifer Cheung)

Carnegiea gigantea

Saguaro

Long-lived Sonoran desert native grows very slowly to 50 ft. tall; in the wild, may be a column only 3 ft. high after 30 years. Typically produces branches after attaining 12–15 ft. Prominent ribs give a fluted appearance; they allow the plant to expand when they take up water, and shrink during drought. Light brown, 1/2–3-in.-long spines. Mature plants bloom in late spring; 3–5-in. long, single white blossoms (the state flower of Arizona) open at night and remain open


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Pinus bungeana

Lacebark Pine

From northern and central China. Grows to 50–75 ft. tall and 20–35 ft. wide. Starts out pyramidal to rounded, then becomes more open, spreading, and picturesque. Often multitrunked, som...


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Acacia greggii

Catclaw Acacia

Native from California to Texas. Grows 15–25 ft. tall and 15 ft. wide, with finely divided, feathery leaves on spiny branches. Creamy yellow flowers appear in spring, then intermittently thro...


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Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Flying Saucers’ (photo courtesy of PlantHaven International, Inc.)

Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Flying Saucers’

Nearly sterile selection with single, flat, 2-in.-wide yellow flowers over a long period.


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Pinus mugo mugo

Dwarf Mugo Pine

From the eastern Alps and Balkan states. Slow growth to 4–8 ft. high and 8–15 ft. wide. From the start, a shrubby, symmetrical little pine. Often spreads in old age. Dark green needles to 2 in. long are held in groups of two and are crowded on branches. Cones to 1 1/2 in. long are oval and tawny to dark brown.

Widely used in rock gardens and containers. Pick plants with dense, pleasing form. Pumilio group includes a number of compact selections.


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Eucalyptus ficifolia (photo courtesy of Steffen Hauser/botanikfoto/Alamy)

Eucalyptus ficifolia

Red-flowering Gum

Hardy to 25°F to 30°F (–4°C to –1°C). Grows to 18–45 ft. tall, 15–60 ft. wide; usually single-trunked and round headed. Deep green, leathery, 3–7-in.-long leaves. Showy foot-long clusters of red flowers (sometimes white, cream, pink, or orange) all year, peaking in summer. Heavy 1-in. seed capsules resemble dice cups; prune these from young trees to avoid weighing down the branches and spoiling the form. Seldom thrives in lawns or hottest


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Monardella odoratissima (photo courtesy of Mark Turner)

Monardella odoratissima

Bushy plant with a sprawling, woody base. Grows from 4 in. to 2 ft. high, spreading as wide as high. Hairy gray-green leaves; 1-in.-wide heads of small purplish flowers in summer and early fall. Ha...


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