mhills at seedsolutions.com
Thu Apr 8 18:14:09 MST 2004
Lysiloma is fairly cold hardy, being from a desert mountain foothills
climate. So first question would be to verify at the very base of the
plant that there is no new growth. Many times these will freeze to the
ground and come back from the very base, after a hard winter. Several
other plants that were frozen badly by the colder temperatures this winter
are just now starting to show green buds the last week or two - many species
are only showing buds at the ground level. It is definitely possible you
are in a colder part of Tucson, and since your plant was newly planted last
Fall it could be dead - but please double check before you make yourself
start digging again.
If you do decide it is dead, one consideration is to replant now with
another Lysiloma for the look you are trying to achieve. The temperatures
this past winter were unexpectedly low, and not expected that low again for
some time. Plus by planting the shrub now and letting it grow through a
full preferred warm summer, it will be better established before this coming
winter, and better able to handle cold temperatures. You may want ti
attend the plant and music festival at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum this
Saturday and check out the good selection of plants remaining from their
earlier plant sale. They also have a nice selection of shrubs and small
trees scattered over the arboretum property, so you can see what different
potential plants look like mature.
Since the Lysiloma can reach 15-20 fet in height on a mature speciment, how
tall would you like a replacement shrub?
If you want something smaller, have you considered a Fairy Duster - the
native is pink blooming, while the california species is more bright red -
both are hummingbird magnets.
Your Acacia berlandieri suggestion usually is grown as a small multi-trunked
tree about 10+ feet tall.
A graceful small open tree acacia that I like is Palo Blanco or "Willard's
Acacia". About the same mature size as the Acacia berlandieri, but the
Palo Blanco is more interesting looking in structure.
Here is a plant list for Tucson and Pima County with links to photos and
descriptive pages, as well as origins on the various species. This may be
more helpful as you compare traits.
I would also suggest that you buzz over to the Tucson Botanical Garden to
inspect a number of shrubs, small trees, etc. for mature size, shape,
structure. The plants are usually well labeled and seeing them mature will
give you a better feel than looking at web photos, to imagine how they will
look in your garden and landscape.
If you want a great smelling, short Baja Desrt native to add to your
ladnscape, look at Salvia clevelandii or "Chaparral Sage" - with adequate
drainage this is a great shrub 3-5 feet wide by 3-4 feet tall, with great
hummingbird blooms, wonderful scent and even use in culinary dishes.
Master Gardener Volunteer, Maricopa County
From: arid_gardener-bounces at CALS.arizona.edu
[mailto:arid_gardener-bounces at CALS.arizona.edu]On Behalf Of
jaydavis1 at earthlink.net
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 3:14 PM
To: arid_gardener at Ag.arizona.edu
Subject: [Arid_gardener] Fern-of-the-desert replacement?
It looks like the Lysiloma watsoni I planted last fall didn't survive the
Big Freeze in December... while a Kidneywood planted nearby has bounced
back, the lysiloma still looks, well, dead. I've read that the Acacia
berlandieri has a similar size and characteristics, but better
cold-tolerance, so that's one possible replacement -- can anyone suggest
others? It's a western exposure in midtown Tucson; I've been using
something of a Chihuahuan desert plant theme nearby (rain sage, indigo
bushes, saltillo primrose) but that's not a strict requirement.
Arid_gardener mailing list
Arid_gardener at CALS.arizona.edu
More information about the Arid_gardener