How Can You Tell a Lysiloma from an Acacia?

Feathery leaves, pale puffball flowers – is it a Lysiloma or is it an Acacia? Inquiring minds want to know! What is in a Name? Bear with me here as we start with some history and botanical exploration. If you get bored you can skip to the final paragraph – but I hope you won’t. Acacia are a group of trees in the Legume or Pea Family. “Acacia” was first described by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773 based on the African species he called Acacia nilotica. The name […]

Lovely Lycium – the Desert Goji Berry

Lycium? Yep – that’s the name for goji berries. Did you know we have native goji berries in the Southwest? World Wide Plant Goji, goji berry or wolfberry is the name applied to the fruit of two Asian plants, Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense. but the genus is found around the globe, from China to Chile, Southern USA to South Africa. There are roughly 100 species all told, mostly living in arid areas, including rocky hillsides in Italy. Here in the Southwest we have these six common species, and some […]

Plant Bulbs in Autumn for Spring Color

Hiding underground for most of their life, many bulbs spring forth in Spring with shining flowers to brighten our gardens and days. I know the trailing heat of summer (especially this summer) does not seem like the best time to think of spring color but it is! (Science Nerd Note: In this article I am using the term “bulbs” to also include corms, tubers, and rhizomes.) Plan Now Like the title says, now is the time to order bulbs for planting now and into October. (Spring wildflowers too, but that […]