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Apache Plume

Fallugia paradoxa

In stock

2-3 gallon

Plant Care

Native region:

Mojave Desert; Sonoran Desert

Water needs:



Mature size:

Growth rate:

Full Sun



Flower color:

Flower season:



Late Spring

None - For rejuvenation cut the oldest woody stems to the ground.




Nectar pollinators:


Nighttime pollinators:


Rabbit resistant:


Apache Plume blooms in late spring with loose clusters of white, delicate, five-petaled flowers that are about 2 inches across. Rich in nectar, they attract bees and butterflies and contrast nicely with the dark foliage. Feathery, white to pink seed heads provide a dramatic second act throughout the winter that are said to resemble Apache headdresses. This showy shrub typically grows between 3 to 6 feet tall but can reach a height of 8 feet by 10 or more feet wide. The stems have shreddy pale beige bark. Gracefully arched new stems, growing directly from the roots, surround the older, upright central stems. The small, gray-green downy leaves are about ¾ inches long and curve slightly downward. Spreading by woody rhizomes it will also form an informal hedge relatively quickly. The flowers attract bees and butterflies and provide shelter for small wildlife. Birds are attracted to the seeds and deer will occasionally browse it, especially in late winter.
It grows in rocky gravelly soils and prefers full sun. Is cold hardy to minus 30 degrees F. Regular watering is needed for the first year to establish this plant. It can gradually be taken off irrigation but will grow better with occasional supplemental watering. Native to California in a small area of the Mojave Desert east to Texas and into northern Mexico, from 3000 to 8000 feet. Apache Plume is native to regions that receive summer monsoonal rain so supplemental irrigation is recommended during the hottest months in the low desert. In areas of summer monsoons, it should be drought tolerant. It needs no fertilizer and little maintenance, but its carefree billowy shape means it is best placed in more natural areas of the garden. It can be pruned back lightly to shape and encourage fresh growth and more blossoms, but hard pruning or shearing gives it a somewhat unnatural look. Plant it to the east or west of your view where you can admire the lovely backlit plumes.
The botanical genus Fallugia is named for an Italian botanist, Abbott V. Fallugi of Vallombrosa. circa 1840. The specific epithet paradoxa means “contrary to expectation” and is more descriptive of the plant because “contrary to expectation”, the Apache plume is a member of the Rose family (Rosaceae).

Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information

The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others! 


Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.


Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.

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