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Plant of the Month

Read in depth descriptive articles about plants that grow well in the Santa Fe area. Learn about plant diversity growing around you! More plant of the month articles available here

MARCH : Fernbursh : Chamaebatiaria millefolium

Scientific name: Chamaebatiaria millefolium Common names: fernbush or desert sweet Family:  Rosaceae By Jeanne Gozigian The alternate common name of fernbush, desert sweet, gives away the fact that this member of the Rose family is sweetly aromatic.  Chamaebatiaria is a monotypic genus of shrub, meaning that is the only representative of a genus containing just Read more »

March 1, 2015, Plant of the Month

FEBRUARY : Giant sacaton : Sporobolus wrightii

Scientific name:  Sporobolus wrightii Common name: giant sacaton, big sacaton Plant Family:  Poaceae Article by Susan Bruneni Giant sacaton (Sporobolus wrightii) has become a popular feature in drought-tolerant gardens in the Southwest and is readily available to gardeners. Giant sacaton  produces showy, feathery floral spikes in the late summer. Plants reach five to seven feet Read more »

February 1, 2015, Plant of the Month

JANUARY : Fringed sage : Artemisia frigida

Scientific Name: Artemisia frigida Common Name:  Fringed sage (or sagebush), Silky wormword, Prairie sagewort, Arctic sage Plant Family:  Asteraceae – Aster By Janice Tucker In addition to the bright flowers and showy shrubs, there are plants that enhance and tie everything together to make a garden pop. The Artemisia frigida belongs to the latter group. Read more »

January 1, 2015, Plant of the Month

DECEMBER : Rosemary : Rosemarinus officinalis

Scientific name: Rosemarinus officinalis Common name: Rosemary Family:  Lamiaceae (Mint) Article by Jeanne Gozigian “Are you going to Scarborough Faire? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Remember me to the one who lives there, She once was a true love of mine.” The Scarborough Faire was a medieval gathering of traders and entertainers, held annually in a small Read more »

December 1, 2014, Plant of the Month

NOVEMBER : Hollyhock : Alcea rosea

Scientific name: Alcea rosea Common name: Hollyhock Family: Malvaceae Article by Susan Bruneni Photos by Janice Tucker The image of vibrantly colored hollyhocks, adobe walls and bright blue skies is a distinct characteristic of northern New Mexico today. But the scene has been the same since the earliest Spanish settlers planted their fields. When Juan de Read more »

November 1, 2014, Plant of the Month

OCTOBER : Sedum ‘Angelina’ : Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’

Scientific name: Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’

Synonym: Sedum reflexum ‘Angelina’

Common names: Sedum ‘Angelina’, Stonecrop, Rocky Stonecrop, Love Links Plant Family:  Crassulaceae (Stonecrop) Article and photos by Janice Tucker “Color it autumn” is the best way to describe the foliage of the Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ this time of the year.  It is attractive, hardy, Read more »

October 1, 2014, Plant of the Month

SEPTEMBER : Beardtongue : Penstemon species

The genus Penstemon Including the pink balloon flower (Penstemon palmeri), Rocky Mountain penstemon (Penstemon strictus) Plant family: Plantaginaceae Article by Jeanne Gozigian Penstemon are fascinating plants, so much so that there is an American Penstemon Society that is devoted to them.  They are called beardtongues, because of the presence of the staminode, a Read more »

September 1, 2014, Plant of the Month

AUGUST : Scarlet globemallow : Sphaeralcea coccinea

Scientific name: Sphaeralcea coccinea Common name  Scarlet globemallow Family: Malvaceae Article by Susan Bruneni The small, orangish blooms and grayish foliage of the scarlet globemallow hold a unique spot in history. It is reportedly the last plant specimen collected by Meriwether Lewis on the Lewis and Clark expedition. The original specimen is on display at Read more »

August 1, 2014, Plant of the Month

JULY : Clematis species and cultivars : Clematis spp.

Clematis species and cultivars Common names:  Clematis, Traveller’s Joy, Virgin’s Bower, Old Man’s Beard, Leather Flower, Vase Vine Plant Family:  Ranunculus (Ranunculaceae) By Janice Tucker Special thanks to Rosemary Minard for providing sources and access to her beautiful garden. Also special thanks to Helen Woody for her proofreading skills. When viewing a garden, our instincts Read more »

July 1, 2014, Plant of the Month

JUNE : English Lavender : Lavandula angustifolia

Scientific name: Lavandula angustifolia Common name: English Lavender Plant Family:  Mint  (Lamiaceae) Article by Jeanne Gozigian “Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly, lavender’s green…”, so goes the song and nursery rhyme, which originated in a bawdy, 17th century English folk song, called “Diddle Diddle!  This much beloved favorite of Santa Fe gardeners indeed has flowers ranging from Read more »

June 1, 2014, Plant of the Month

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