Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gone With The Wind

All along the highways and byways and in my garden, Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) is in full bloom. This shrub is a great xeriscape plant because once established it does better with no supplemental water, which is the main reason it's used so much on freeways in this part of the country. The shrub grows quickly to about five feet high and wide. Daisy-like flowers are abundant in spring, and then appear intermittently throughout the summer.

The flowers grow on long stems, and make the plant look as if it has a golden halo surrounding it. My plant had a wonderful halo of flowers on 18-inch stems until gusty winds whipped them around helter-skelter. Although the flowers are still there, the halo effect is gone for the season.

The leaves of this plant are silvery gray and contrast perfectly with the bright yellow flowers, and are quite attractive in their own right. If given supplemental water, the leaves become quite large, but the plant doesn't produce many flowers.

Brittlebush, also called Incienso, has some other uses. The hint is in the name. I wrote about this in a previous post.


GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Aiyana .. what a pretty shrub. I love plants that have that silver gray foliage .. you know right off the bat they are drought tolerant and easy care.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Gosh, it's almost prettier when not blooming, but the yellow daisies are nice too. A lot of those silvery foliage plants have fragrant foliage too. I'm think of all the Artemisias.~~Dee

Rose said...

I haven't stopped by in awhile, so I've been catching up on your posts. I am imagining the highways surrounded by yellow brittlebush--sounds lovely! And the beautiful blooms on the cacti!
I had planned to go back to Arizona this month, but it didn't work out, so thanks for helping me take part of the trip vicariously.

Nancy J. Bond said...

A beautiful splash of color!

beckie said...

I am so enjoying all the plants from out there. It amazes me how different our "native plants" are, and what one takes as commonplace, another thinks is spectacular!

WiseAcre said...

beckie expresses my thoughts exactly. It's always a nice visit to your blog.

Tempting too. With near desert like conditions in the house during winter I keep thinking I need to grow some cat stickers :)

Greenman said...

We have them here in our gardens as we have a mediterranean climat!
I like the smell of the leaves when you crush them in your hand!!
And they are colourfull.

Thanks to your visit at GREENMAN.