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Psilostrophe (photo courtesy of Cristina Lichti/Alamy)
Psilostrophe (photo courtesy of Cristina Lichti/Alamy)

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Psilostrophe

Paper Flower

Perennials, Flowers

The 1-in. yellow flowers on these short-lived, mounding perennials become papery and tan as they dry in place. They extend the show but eventually give plants a ragged look that is easily corrected with light shearing.

Flowers peak in spring, with repeat bloom coming after summer rains or irrigation (but regular watering reduces bloom, and poor drainage kills the plants).

Psilostrophe cooperi

Native to 2,000–5,000-ft. elevations in the desert mountains of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and northern Mexico. Grows into a mound 12–18 in. tall and twice as wide, with whitish stems and narrow green leaves.

Psilostrophe tagetina

Native to 4,000–7,000-ft. elevations in the desert mountains of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, and northern Mexico. Grows into a 2-ft. mound. Similar to P. cooperi, but with slightly larger leaves. Self-sows.

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