Full Sun; Part Shade
Spring - Summer
Big Galleta is a species of clumping perennial grass that is widespread in California deserts. The clumps help stabilize sand dunes. According to botanist Philip A. Munz, "it is said to be one of the most valuable forage grasses of the desert". Clumps can live more than 100 years.
Big galleta is found in sand dunes, bajadas, scrublands, woodlands, and deserts. It prefers dry, open, sandy to rocky slopes and flats. It occurs on all soil types but has poor growth in clay soils. It is tolerant of arid environments such as desert floors, and it is the dominant grass in some desert scrub regions. It acts as a nurse plant to seedlings of other species, such as cholla and barrel cactus, in turn receiving protection by growing next to the spiny plants.
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.