Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Four of my Favorite Characteristic New Mexico Shrubs

Chilopsis linearis, Desert Willow.  In landscaping, this large-flowered shrub will flower for almost half the year.  It is a dependable riparian tree that can survive in washes that are too hot and dry for cottonwood.

Forestiera pubescens.  New Mexico Privet.  Native shrub in the Olive family can form thickets at the base of canyon walls and along upper benches above rivers.  Birds prize the berries almost as much as the non-native Russian Olive.

Lycium pallidum.  Pale Wolfberry.  Lyciums are widespread in the Southwestern deserts, and Lycium pallidum is the most widespread.  Goji berries are Lycium barbarum (nonnative), and Lycium pallidum has been cultivated for its fruit for 1,000s of years.  The trumpet-shaped flowers attract Sphyngid Hawkmoths and Hummingbirds.  

Robinia neomexicana.  New Mexico Robinia, Fabaceae.  Despite its rapacious thorns, this plant made my list for its tenacity and abundance across a range of habitats.  From riparian area in the South to Ponderosa hillsides in the North, Robinia provides abundant pink blossoms and herbaceous cover. 

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