Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Apache Plume

Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa) is a native plant of the southwestern United States including New Mexico. It grows throughout all four of the southwestern deserts: Chihuahuan, Great Basin Mojave, and Sonoran.  Apache Plume is a small, drought and heat tolerant shrub, normally growing to about 3’-4’ tall and wide. It is at home in the xeric landscape or any hot, dry, exposed place in your yard (see photo).

Leaves are small, dull green, lobed and curled (see photo).

Apache Plume is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae). The flowers of Apache Plume are white and rose-like in appearance (photo).

 Its flowers attract both bees and butterflies to the landscape. After the white petals fall away the elongated plume-like styles (plumes) become very apparent and most often have a pinkish color (photo)

but sometimes they are white (photo).

These styles are part of the female portion of the flower and are attached to a developing fruit (carrying a single seed) called an achene. Eventually, the wind will pull the plumes away from the plant and carry the achene (seed) away.

            The Apache Plume is best grown in full sun on a well-drained soil. It is cold hardy to -30 degrees. It requires little care. After establishment water deeply once every 7-10 days during summer. If it becomes overgrown or oddly shaped simply prune it back. Pruning is best done in late winter before spring growth resumes. Prune the plant back to about 8”-12” when overgrown or woody and this will reinvigorate it, normally resulting in vigorous spring growth.

Written By:

Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist

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