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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

A botanical expedition

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Late last week, while my fruit trees were preparing to burst their buds, I went on a little southern Arizona plant hunting roadtrip seeking arid adapted, preferably native to the region, plants with food, beauty or pollinator value for my less water needy garden plan.

Spadefoot Nursery is a plant nursery run by a botanist and ecologist couple. It offers limited Southwest native plants for sale at weekends at certain times of the year.


Tucson and the southern Arizona season is slightly warmer, and thus ahead of where I am, but still I found a wide choice of beautiful and multilevel useful plants which would thrive in my climate zone.

Picking just a few was really hard. I failed to notice that three of my choice of four did not have labels. I know one is a lavender flowered salvia/sage hardy to 10 degrees (bottom left of the image). Exactly who it is I'm not sure now but looking at the Spadefoot plant list of sages on offer it is possibly Salvia pinguifolia, Salvia clevelandii or Salvia x trident.


The tree is a hardy to 10 degrees palo verde - possibly Parkinsonia florida and destined to be planted at the front gate. I look forward to offering the showy yellow blossoms to pollinators in spring, and those beautiful green branches to birds and other friends and relatives all year round.


The shrub is possibly Lippia graveolens, a native plant often commonly known as Mexican oregano because it can be used as oregano, and has fragrant white flowers.


It's a mystery who else came home with me in there. I really messed up not ensuring that I knew the names of my purchases. Somehow I thought they would come with identification attached and didn't pay attention. Sigh.

Oh well. It was good to be back in Tucson where ancient, hundreds of years old Saguaro cactus stand at busy intersections and punctuate backyard vistas.

I was a little early for Saguaro blooms while an unusually cold spell had dusted the higher peaks of the surrounding Catalina mountains with snow and put a decided chill in the air.


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