Spring - Summer
May require pruning to refresh in the spring
An evergreen shrub grows to 4' tall by 4' wide. Many branches. Leaves are hairy on both surfaces. Flowers are purple, funnel-shaped and slightly fragrant. Plants will bloom nearly year round in warm climes. Tolerates light frost but can be disfigured or killed by a hard frost. Not attractive in winter but can rapidly regrow in spring. Native to the lower Sonoran desert. Usually found growing on dry, gravelly slopes and along bajadas, hillsides, rocky washes, arroyos, and canyons. They are often the only plants in bloom during dry parts of the year.
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.