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Expert Plant Picks: Western United States

comments (0) December 7th, 2011 in blogs
Ruth Ruth
12 users recommend

Agave Victoria Regina
Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Salvia mexicana Limelight
Agave Victoria Regina Click the image to enlarge.

Agave 'Victoria Regina'

Photo: Steve Aitken

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Landscape designer Scott Calhoun is the owner of ZonaGardens in Tucson, Arizona.  

Agave 'Victoria Regina'

Agave 'Victoria Regina'

1. Prosopis juliflora
Comments: With age, the Arizona native mesquite tree develops craggy dark bark. It has ferny foliage, and is so drought tolerant as to be nearly indestructible. 

2. Hesperaloe parviflora
Comments: A Chihuahuan desert succulent that sends up dozens of pink/red shafts in late spring. 

3. Leucophyllum pruinosom
Comments: A tough silvery shrub with purple flowers that smell like grape bubblegum. 

4. Echinocereus engelmannii
Comments: Engelmann hedgehog has incredible russet and yellow spines, magenta flowers, and strawberry-flavored fruit. 

5. Penstemon superbus
Comments: Tall, elegant coral-colored flower spikes and glaucous foliage set superb penstemon apart. 

6. Astrophytum myriostigma
Comments: The bishop's cap cactus is covered in gorgeous silvery felt. 

7. Ferocactus cylindraceus
Comments: The compass barrel cactus can tolerate temperatures up to 154 degrees F. 'Nuff said. 

8. Fouquieria splendens
Comments: The ocotillo has zigzagging thorny canes topped by orange-red flowers favored by hummingbirds. 

9. Agave victoriae-reginae
Comments: A truly spectacular agave with a tight crown and white markings. 

10. Yucca rostrata
Comments: Beaked yucca sports shimmering silver atop a stout trunk. 

11. Encelia farinosa
Comments: Brittlebush's chartreuse daisy-like flowers hover over its silver foliage.


David Salman is the owner of High Country Gardens and Santa Fe Greenhouses in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Ocimum basilicum
  Ocimum basilicum "Green Ruffles'
1. Agastache 'Ava'
Comments: Hummingbird magnet, long blooming, great color, cold hardy. 

2. Penstemon pinifolius 'Compactum'
Comments: Hummingbirds, evergreen foliage, drought tolerant, long lived, very showy. 

3. Salvia 'Raspberry Delight'
Comments: Very long blooming, sweet herbal scent, very showy flowers, hummingbird magnet. 

4. Lavandula angustifolia 'Sharon Roberts'
Comments: Twice blooming each summer, sweetly fragrant, long bi-colored flower spikes. 

5. Campsis 'Madam Galen'
Comments: Tough, large growing vine, profuse bloomer with huge flowers, hummingbirds. 

6. Malus 'Indian Magic'
Comments: Four season interest, persistent apples feed songbirds in winter, showy fragrant flowers. 

7. Pinus leucodermis
Comments: drought tolerant and pest resistant, olive green needles, slow growing. 

8. Pyrus hybrid:  4-in-1 grafted variety
Comments:  grow 4 different types of pears on 1 tree, late blooming for more reliable fruit set. 

9. Vitis 'St. Theresa'
Comments: Outstanding seedless grape for all soil types, incredibly sweet fruit. 

10. Rubus 'Caroline'
Comments: Primocane raspberry, large, sweet berries, easy to grow. 

11. Ocimum basilicum
Comments: Essential culinary herb.

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