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Showing posts from June, 2012

Mimosa Tree

The Mimosa Tree ( Albizia julibrissin ) is commonly called the silk tree or just mimosa. It is a nitrogen fixing legume, forming a symbiotic relationship with a bacterium in its roots. These bacteria form nodules on Mimosa roots and provide nitrogen (nitrogen fertilizer) to the tree.   The Mimosa is native to the Middle East and Asia and was first grown in the United States in 1785. The Mimosa can grow 1’-3’ annually with regular water eventually reaching 20’-25’ tall and 25’-30’ wide. It generally grows with a spreading canopy that provides cooling shade over a wide area. The Mimosa Tree has fernlike leaves that are attached to stems alternately. Each leaf consists of groups of smaller leaflets. Mimosa leaves close slowly as darkness approaches and stay closed during the night. Mimosa flowers are produced in abundant clusters covering the tree through early summer.   Its showy flowers attract hummingbirds as well as bees and butterflies. Individual flowe

New Mexico Agave

New Mexico ( Agave neomexicana ) also called century plant or mescal is native to southern New Mexico.   New Mexico Agave grows as a rosette with broad gray green leaf blades. The tip of each leaf blade has one long burgundy colored terminal spine. Each leaf blade also has short burgundy colored downward curving marginal spines. New Mexico Agave grows slowly increasing in diameter annually with some specimens reaching about 3’ wide and 2’-2.5’ tall. New Mexico Agave flowers once in its lifetime sending up a tall thick stalked candelabra-like flower panicle. Flowers are usually red (or yellow) in color opening to yellow at maturity. Flowers are attractive to hummingbirds. New Mexico Agave may grow for 8-20 years of more before flowering. This massive spectacular flower stalk is the plants last act as the mother plant then dies. Although the mother plant dies after flowering, she also reproduces vegetatively leaving at her base fro

Mulberry Tree

The Mulberry tree ( Morus alba ) is also known as white mulberry. Mulberry trees are fast growing, deciduous trees that are native to China. Mulberry trees can reach 25’-30’ tall and 35’-40’ wide, or larger. Fruitless mulberry or male trees are generally considered more desirable than the female or fruit bearing trees. However, fruitless mulberry trees are prolific pollen producers and are banned in some communities because of allergen potential. Mulberries can grow 4’-6’ per year producing a tree canopy that is more wide than tall. Where water is not limiting, mulberries make great shade trees producing a deep, dark, shade canopy. Leaves are large and sometimes variable in shape. A few strategically planted mulberries can shade an entire yard. The female mulberry tree produces abundant sweet fruit that resemble blackberries. Female trees are very messy because of fruit drop so plant them away from sidewalks, driveways, and the house. Mulbe

Trumpet Vine

The Trumpet Vine ( Campsis radicans ) is also known as Trumpet Creeper, Hellvine, Devils Shoestring, or Hummingbird Vine.   It is also sometimes called Cow Itch Vine because the leaves can cause a rash in some animal like cows. Trumpet Vine is native to the eastern United States. Trumpet Vine is a very vigorous woody vine grown for its colorful trumpet-shaped flowers. Trumpet Vines are available with Red Flowers ,   Orange Flowers ,   and Yellow Flowers .   These flowers attract pollinators like Hummingbirds and Bumblebees. Trumpet Vine produces large seed pods. As these mature, they dry and split releasing thin, brown, papery seeds. It is often used to cover arbors, walls, telephone poles, and fences. Left on its own it will cover telephone poles or trees. An established Trumpet Vine can easily grow 10’-20’ each season. It climbs like English Ivy using aerial rootlets which can take hold of most surfaces like stucco, wood, and brick walls

High Desert Companion Plants

How do we know what plants will be successful or what plants can be planted together   in our High Desert Landscapes?   Luckily Mother Earth and Mother Nature have demonstration gardens all around us that show what combinations of plants grow well together.   Plants that “Grow Well Together” means grow successfully in the same soil, temperature, and moisture conditions.   We hiked the Pino Trail on the West Side of the Sandia Mountains.   High Desert Companion Plants growing in the area where mesa meets mountain were recorded. Follow the attached link to view our video. High Desert Companion Plants recorded in this video include: Apache Plume Bear Grass Chamisa Claret Cups Club Cholla Clump Grasses Gambel Oak Gray Oak Mountain Mahogany Pinon Pine Prickly Pear Three Leaf Sumac Tree Cholla Turbinella Oak Trees That Please Nursery specializes in growing these New Mexico native plants. Contact the

Desert Willow

The Desert Willow ( Chilopsis linearis ) is a small flowering tree grown for its orchid like flowers and tolerance to hot arid landscapes. The Desert Willow is a New Mexico native tree that normally grows with multi-trunks to about 15′-18’ tall and wide. If pruned into a single-trunk tree it can grow much taller. This trees common name, Desert Willow, is given due to its willow-like leaves (photo). The Desert Willow is not related to other willows like Globe or Weeping. The Desert Willow is well suited for the xeric landscape or to cool down a west or south facing wall. In particularly hot areas, areas with low annual rainfall or where water is limiting the Desert Willow makes a great specimen tree because of its tolerance to these conditions. In hot, dry areas the Desert Willow is sometimes used as the sole landscaping tree (photo). It produces a light dappled shade due to its leaf and canopy structure that is ideal to cool down hot sun facing walls (photo). It