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Plant Lists

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

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.

 

Distant Phacelia (Phacelia distans)

Other common names:  Wild heliotrope, Caterpillar Phacelia, Caterpillar Weed, Distant Scorpion-weed

Difficulty level (when grown from seed): Easy

 Distant phacelia in bloom

Distant phacelia, by Jeny Davis. Used with permission

 

 Dainty flowers that support pollinators make it a must for wildflower plantings

TYPE SIZE FLOWERS GERMINATION CARE WILDLIFE BENEFITS EDIBLE OTHER CAUTIONS

Annual

 1'X1'

Blue/Purple
(Feb-May)

Direct sow or
scatter in Fall

Full sun, low water once established

Special value to native bees, nectar

No

Once established will likely reseeds each year

Not generally available at nurseries

Leaves can be irritating to the touch and can cause itching and rash in susceptible individuals

Recommended use in the landscape:  As one of our native wildflowers, excellent to incorporate into a wildflower garden with poppies, lupines and other native wildflowers.

For further information:

Native North American Plant database, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 2020.  Phacelia distans profile.  

SEINet. 2020. Phacelia distans profile.  

Southwest Desert Flora, 2020. Phacelia distans profile.  

                                                         

 

 

 

 

Fall Wildflower Mix

Contains the following species: Blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata), Scarlet flax (Linum grandiflorum rubrum), California poppy ‘splendid mix’ (Eschscholzia californica), Parry’s penstemon (Penstemon parryi), Coneflower mixture (Ratibida sp & Rudbeckia sp) and New Mexico thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum 
 
Difficulty level (when grown from seed): Easy

Easy to grow wildflower mix of annuals and perennials for the desert Southwest

TYPE SIZE FLOWERS GERMINATION CARE WILDLIFE BENEFITS EDIBLE OTHER CAUTIONS

Annuals & Perennials

varies see individual species profiles

varies see individual species profiles

Direct sow or scatter in Fall or early Winter

Full sun, low water  

Nectar

No

 N/A

 

 None

Recommended use in the landscape:  Sow in fall to early winter for a display of wildflowers in Spring. Plant anywhere you have full sun.

For further information:

Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County. 2001. Flower planting guide for the low desert

Native Seed Search. 2020. Tips for Southwestern Wildflower Gardening.

 

 

 

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 OTHER CAUTIONS

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

N/A

None

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 CAUTIONS

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

 

None

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.