Desert Mistletoe in Your Trees- Part II

DeseMany people try to eradicate desert mistletoe, thinking it is harming the tree. Mistletoe would be a poor parasite if it killed it’s host. Desert mistletoe does minimal amount of damage, and thus lives with the host trees for many years. Desert Mistletoe Provides Food In the previous post I discussed the desert mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) and how it is part of a healthy desert ecosystem. It provides food for the phainopepla – a bird only found in the Southwest. It also provides food for humans – but only the […]

Desert Mistletoe in Your Trees

There are many species of mistletoe around the world, parasitic and hemi-parasitic on a number of trees. All mistletoe plants are toxic. Almost all mistletoe berries are toxic. The one exception is the Sonoran and Mojave desert mistletoe, Phoradendron californicum, also called desert mistletoe. Interestingly, this unique genus is a distant relative of sandal wood. It’s a Hemi Technically, desert mistletoe is “hemi-parasitic.” No, it isn’t packing an awesome engine under the hood. We are talking about plants so it’s a Latin term. In Latin “hemi” means half. These mistletoes […]

A Passion for Passion flower

Earlier this spring, I mentioned  that vines are great in the garden for all their lovely blooms (Part I- Overview and Part II – Native Vines). A reader asked about edible vines, and here is one option for the Southwest – passion flower! Plants with a Punch Called variously passion flower, passion fruit and just plain passion vine, Passiflora has over 500 species and countless varieties, most with edible fruit. You may have tasted it before! Hawaiian Punch is made from the tasty Passiflora edulis. That particular species is not […]

Grow a Marvelous Mesquite

Mesquite harvest is nearing, and I will discuss harvest further on SavortheSW – my site dedicated to using the plants that grow in our yards here in the Land of El Sol.  Meanwhile, lets look at growing a mesquite tree or two to help provide food grown as locally as your own backyard. (Mesquite no-bake cookies are YUM!) All Mesquite are NOT Equal There are a number of mesquite species and some are NOT native. This has lead to problems in the urban landscapes. Non-native mesquites from the grasslands of […]