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Plant Lists

This guide organizes, categorizes and provides information about plants from the Maricopa Native Seed Library.

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Other common names:  California Gold PoppyDesert Gold Poppy, Mexican Poppy (Spanish: Amapola, Amapola del Campo, Amarilla)

Difficulty level (when grown from seed): Easy

  California poppy, by Danielle Carlock 

 

 This popular desert wildflower is a great performer in the garden, supporting native bees and butterflies with a spectacular annual bloom

TYPE SIZE FLOWERS GERMINATION CARE WILDLIFE BENEFITS EDIBLE CAUTIONS

Annual

2'X2'

 

Orange/yellow (Feb-May)

Direct sow or scatter: likely to reseed each year

Full sun, low water once established   

Special value to native bees and bumblebees, nectar, host plant to Acmon blue and Mormon metalmark butterflies

No

Can be poisonous if ingested

Recommended use in the landscape: Mix with other wildflowers, especially lupines, desert chia and other purple colored flowers for a great effect.

For further information:

Native North American Plant database, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 2020. California poppy profile.

SEINet. 2020. California poppy profile.

Southwest Desert Flora, 2020. California poppy profile.

 

 

Cowpen daisy (Verbesina encelioides)

Other common names: Butter daisy, Golden Crownbeard, American Dogweed (Spanish: hierba de la bruja, girasolillo)

Difficulty level (when grown from seed): Easy

 

 Cowpen daisy plant in flower

Cowpen daisy, by Danielle Carlock 

 

Easy to grow, showy, drought tolerant plant that supports a lot of wildlife

TYPE SIZE FLOWERS GERMINATION CARE WILDLIFE BENEFITS EDIBLE OTHER CAUTIONS

Annual

 3'X3'

Yellow
(Apr-Oct)

Direct sow or scatter

Full sun, low water once established   

Special value to native bees and honeybees, nectar, host plant to the Gold Moth and the Bordered Patch butterfly, seeds eaten by birds

No

Long bloom season

Not generally available at nurseries

Can live longer than one season 

 

 None

Recommended use in the landscape:  Cowpen daisy can be planted with other wildflowers for a colorful bloom, or massed for effect. With the long bloom period it would also be well enjoyed by patios. You may also get two crops per year (March-July and July-December).

For further information:

Native North American Plant database, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 2020. Verbesina encelioides profile

SEINet. 2020. Verbesina encelioides profile.  

Southwest Desert Flora, 2020. Verbesina encelioides profile.     

Texas Butterfly Ranch. Cowpen daisy, San Antonio’s Unofficial Pollinator Plant of the Year. Retrieved from

 

Desert chia (Salvia columbariae)

Other common names:  California Sage, Chia Sage, Golden Chia, Desert Chia, Chia, (Spanish: Chía, Salvia, Hisopo, Romerillo)

Difficulty level (when grown from seed): Easy

 Desert chia plant

                                                                               Desert chia, by Jeny Davis. Used with permission

 

Our local chia plant, that's also a great wildlife attractor

TYPE SIZE FLOWERS GERMINATION CARE WILDLIFE BENEFITS EDIBLE OTHER CAUTIONS

Annual

 1'X1'

Purple/blue
(Mar-Jun)

Direct sow or
scatter in Fall

Full sun, low water once established   

Special value to Native bees, nectar, attracts hummingbirds

Yes- produces chia seeds, rich in omega 3 fats and fiber 

Once established will likely reseed every year

Not generally available at nurseries

When the flowers dry
they can be sharp to handle

Recommended use in the landscape:  Plant with other annual wildflowers for a great display. Pairs well in particular with the yellow and orange colored wildflowers such as poppies and desert marigolds.

For further information

Native North American Plant database, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 2020. Salvia columbariae profile.  

SEINet. 2020. Salvia columbariae profile.  

Southwest Desert Flora, 2020. Salvia columbariae profile.  

 

                                                         

 

 

 

Devil's claw (Proboscidea parviflora)

Other common names:  Doubleclaw, Red Devils Claw, Unicorn Plant (Spanish: Cuernitos) 

Difficulty level (when grown from seed):  Medium

  

Devil's claw in flower

Devil's claw in bloom, Frankiecoburn 


Long used by many native peoples of Central Arizona for food and basketry, Devil's claw makes an unusual showpiece for the yard with its unique seed pods

TYPE SIZE FLOWERS GERMINATION CARE WILDLIFE BENEFITS EDIBLE OTHER CAUTIONS

Annual

3'X3'

Pink
(Mar-Oct)

Peel outside layer of the seed, soak in warm water for 24 hours and then sow (in Spring)

Full or partial sun, low to medium water 

Nectar

Pods and seeds are edible (Foraging Texas, 2020)

N/A

Seed pods are sharp

Recommended use in the landscape:   Place in a sunny or part sun location where the beautiful flowers and unusual seed pods can be enjoyed

 

For further information

Foraging Texas, 2020. Devil's claw.

Native North American Plant database, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 2020. Devil's claw profile.

Southwest Desert Flora, 2020. Doubleclaw profile.

 

Plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)

Other common names: Golden Tickseed, Goldenwave, Calliopsis

Difficulty level (when grown from seed): Easy

 

 

Plains coreopsis, by Danielle Carlock 

 

 Great plant for a wildflower garden or anywhere you want bright pops of color

TYPE SIZE FLOWERS GERMINATION CARE WILDLIFE BENEFITS EDIBLE OTHER

Annual

1.5' X 1.5'

Yellow/red (Apr-Jun)

Direct sow or scatter

Full sun, medium water  

Nectar, birds eat seeds

No

Some plants may survive longer than a year

Recommended use in the landscape: Add to wildflower gardens or intersperse with succulents and cacti for an interesting effect.

For further information:

Native North American Plant database, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 2020. Plains coreopsis profile.

SEINet. 2020. Plains coreopsis profile.

Southwest Desert Flora, 2020. Plains coreopsis profile.

 

 

Sunflower (Heliathus annuus)

Other common names: Annual sunflower, Wild sunflower (Spanish: Girasol, Mirasol, Flor de Sol)

Difficulty level (when grown from seed): Easy  

 

 Sunflower in full bloom 

Common sunflower, by Danielle Carlock. 

 

Our native sunflower, which supports a variety of wildlife 

TYPE SIZE FLOWERS GERMINATION CARE WILDLIFE BENEFITS EDIBLE

Annual

8'X1'  

Yellow

Direct sow or scatter

Full sun, low to medium water     

Special value to native bees, Host plant for California Patch, Bordered Patch, and Painted Lady butterflies. nectar, birds eat seeds

Seeds, oil and flower buds are edible

Recommended use in the landscape:  Plant in the back of a wildflower garden, against a wall where it can stand out, or near vegetable gardens to attract pollinators to your crops.

For further information

Native North American Plant database, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 2020. Helianthus annuus profile

SEINet. 2020. Helianthus annuus profile.  

Southwest Desert Flora, 2020. Helianthus annuus profile

 

                                                         

 

 

 

Tahoka daisy (Machaeranthera tanacetifolia)

Other common names: tanseyleaf tansyaster, aster, Takhoka-daisy, tanseyleaf aster, tanseyleaf goldenweed

Difficulty level (when grown from seed): Easy

Tahoka daisy plant

Tahoka daisy, by conorflynn. 

 

Like other asters, the late season blooms can fill a nectar void in your landscape  

TYPE SIZE FLOWERS GERMINATION CARE WILDLIFE BENEFITS EDIBLE OTHER

Annual

2'X2'  

Blue/Purple with yellow centers
(Jun-Oct)

Direct sow or scatter

Full or partial sun, low water once established   

Nectar, especially in Fall, host for Hooded owlet moths, Sagebrush checkerspot, Bordered patch, and Pearl crescent butterfly

No

May live two seasons (biennial)

Fern-like leaves

Not generally available at nurseries

 

Recommended use in the landscape:  Plant with wildflowers or mass for a nice effect. Will also work nicely interspersed in a cactus or succulent garden. Very similar to fall false tansy aster, also available at the seed library.

 

For further information:

Native North American Plant database, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 2020. Machaeranthera tanacetifolia profile.  

SEINet. 2020. Machaeranthera tanacetifolia profile.  

Southwest Desert Flora, 2020. Machaeranthera tanacetifolia profile.