All posts by T. Beth Kinsey

Abutilon abutiloides – Shrubby Indian Mallow

Abutilon abutiloides - Shrubby Indian Mallow (flower and fruit with a white flower spider)

Abutilon abutiloides - Shrubby Indian Mallow (dry fruit)

Abutilon abutiloides - Shrubby Indian Mallow

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Abutilon abutiloides

Synonyms: Abutilon californicum Benth., A. lemmoni

Common Name: Shrubby Indian Mallow

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert

Flower Color: Golden orange-yellow

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Height: To 60 inches (1.5 m) tall

Description: The 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide flowers have a central column of stamens and 5 petals that are slightly longer than the sepals. The flowers open late in the afternoon. The leaves are heart-shaped with toothed edges. Both the plants and leaves are stellate pubescent (covered in short, velvety, radiating, star-shaped hairs). The similar A. berlandieri (A. californicum auct. non Benth.) is not found in Arizona.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae – Mallow family
Genus: Abutilon Mill. – Indian mallow
Species: Abutilon abutiloides (Jacq.) Garcke ex Hochr. – shrubby Indian mallow

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map

Penstemon parryi – Parry's Beardtongue

Penstemon parryi - Parry's Beardtongue, Parry's Penstemon

Penstemon parryi - Parry's Beardtongue, Parry's Penstemon

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Penstemon parryi

Common Names: Parry's Beardtongue, Parry's Penstemon

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland

Flower Color: Pink to lavender pink

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: To 40 inches (1 m) tall

Description: The tubular, 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) long flowers have a hairy lower "mouth", two upper lobes, and three, forward-projecting lower lobes. The leaves are bluish green, opposite, and ovate to narrowly lanceolate.

Both the plants and seeds are commercially available. This attractive spring wildflower does well in xeriscape gardens and is a good choice for a butterfly garden.

Special Characteristics

Butterfly Plant – The flowers attract butterflies like Pipevine Swallowtails (Battus philenor).

Hummingbird Flower – The tubular, nectar-filled flowers attract hummingbirds.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
Genus: Penstemon Schmidel – beardtongue
Species: Penstemon parryi (A. Gray) A. Gray – Parry's beardtongue

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map
Time to Plant Penstemon Seeds! – The Firefly Forest

Echinocereus fasciculatus – Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus

Echinocereus fasciculatus - Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus

Echinocereus fasciculatus - Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Echinocereus fasciculatus

Synonym: Echinocereus fendleri var. fasciculatus

Common Name: Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Shrub, Cactus

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland

Flower Color: Brilliant magenta pink

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: Up to 20 inches (51 cm) tall

Description: The 3 inch (7.6 cm) wide flowers have darker centers and green stigmas. The fruits are red and fleshy. Ground squirrels and other rodents will eat the ripe fruit. The stems are covered in sharp, variably colored spines. The central spine is the longest and is at right angles to the stem and surrounded by shorter radial spines. The central spines are dark brown at the stem tips.

The similar Engelmann's Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii) has 2 to 6 central spines per areole, while this cactus has only 1 central spine per areole.

Special Characteristics

Legal StatusProtected Native Plant (Salvage Restricted)

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae – Cactus family
Genus: Echinocereus Engelm. – hedgehog cactus
Species: Echinocereus fasciculatus (Engelm. ex B.D. Jacks.) L.D. Benson – pinkflower hedgehog cactus

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map

Ferocactus wislizeni – Candy Barrelcactus

Ferocactus wislizeni - Candy Barrelcactus, Candy Barrel Cactus, Arizona Barrel Cactus, Southwestern Barrel Cactus, Fishhook Barrel Cactus (orange flowers)

Ferocactus wislizeni - Candy Barrelcactus, Candy Barrel Cactus, Arizona Barrel Cactus, Southwestern Barrel Cactus, Fishhook Barrel Cactus (red flower)

Ferocactus wislizeni - Candy Barrelcactus, Candy Barrel Cactus, Arizona Barrel Cactus, Southwestern Barrel Cactus, Fishhook Barrel Cactus (yellow flowers)

Ferocactus wislizeni - Candy Barrelcactus, Candy Barrel Cactus, Arizona Barrel Cactus, Southwestern Barrel Cactus, Fishhook Barrel Cactus (fruit)

Ferocactus wislizeni - Candy Barrelcactus, Candy Barrel Cactus, Arizona Barrel Cactus, Southwestern Barrel Cactus, Fishhook Barrel Cactus (yellow flowers)Ferocactus wislizeni - Candy Barrelcactus, Candy Barrel Cactus, Arizona Barrel Cactus, Southwestern Barrel Cactus, Fishhook Barrel Cactus

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Ferocactus wislizeni

Synonym: Ferocactus wislizenii

Common Names: Candy Barrelcactus, Candy Barrel Cactus, Arizona Barrel Cactus, Southwestern Barrel Cactus, Fishhook Barrel Cactus

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial (Long-lived)

Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub, Cactus

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland

Flower Color: Orange (the most common flower color), Red, Yellow

Flowering Season: Summer. These cacti bloom from July to September.

Height: To 8 feet (2.4 m) tall

Description: The 2 1/2 inch (6.35 cm) wide flowers have numerous narrow tepals and are followed by edible, but sour yellow fruits. Ground squirrels and other desert rodents are very fond of the fruit. The large, stout main spines are reddish and downcurved. The barrel-shaped stem leans to face southward. The showy flowers ring the tops of the barrel-shaped cacti. These plump cacti eventually grow too tall and heavy for their roots to support, and they will then fall over and slowly die.

These attractive cacti are available in native plant and cactus nurseries. They are protected, so don't collect wild plants.

Special Characteristics

Edible – The ripe yellow fruits are edible, but they are tart, lemony, and firm-textured. The flowers and flower buds are edible and are best if cooked and used like a vegetable.

Legal StatusProtected Native Plant (Salvage Restricted)

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae – Cactus family
Genus: Ferocactus Britt. & Rose – barrel cactus
Species: Ferocactus wislizeni (Engelm.) Britt. & Rose – candy barrelcactus

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map

Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana – California Poppy

Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana - California Poppy, Mexican Gold Poppy (orange flower)

Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana - California Poppy, Mexican Gold Poppy (yellow flowers)

Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana - California Poppy, Mexican Gold Poppy (white flower)

Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana - California Poppy, Mexican Gold Poppy

Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana - California Poppy, Mexican Gold Poppy

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana

Synonym: Eschscholzia mexicana

Common Names: California Poppy, Mexican Gold Poppy

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual, Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert

Flower Color: Golden Yellow, Orange, White (rare)

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: Up to 16 inches (41 cm) tall

Description: The up to 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) wide, cup-shaped flowers have 4 petals that are generally deeper orange-colored at the base. The flowers are only open during the daytime and on sunny days. The seed capsules are slender and up to 4 inches (10 cm) long. The leaves are bluish green and finely dissected.

The seeds are commercially available, but most wildflower seed mixes contain the larger, more orange-flowered main species E. californica. These plants cannot be transplanted, so sow them where they are to grow.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order: Papaverales
Family: Papaveraceae – Poppy family
Genus: Eschscholzia Cham. – California poppy
Species: Eschscholzia californica Cham. – California poppy
Subspecies: Eschscholzia californica Cham. ssp. mexicana (Greene) C. Clark – California poppy

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map
California Poppies at Picacho Peak State Park

Mammillaria grahamii – Graham's Nipple Cactus

Mammillaria grahamii - Graham's Nipple Cactus, Pincushion Cactus, Arizona Fishhook (flowers)

Mammillaria grahamii - Graham's Nipple Cactus, Pincushion Cactus, Arizona Fishhook (fruit)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Mammillaria grahamii

Synonym: Mammillaria microcarpa

Common Names: Graham's Nipple Cactus, Pincushion Cactus, Arizona Fishhook

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Shrub, Cactus

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert

Flower Color: Pink

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer

Height: Up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall

Description: The 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide flowers are followed by bright red, 1 inch (2.5 cm) long fruit. Desert rodents eat the ripe fruit. Numerous, grayish, radial spines cover the short stems. The fewer upright central spines are dark colored and curved like fishhooks.

Special Characteristics

Legal StatusProtected Native Plant (Salvage Restricted)

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae – Cactus family
Genus: Mammillaria Haw. – globe cactus
Species: Mammillaria grahamii Engelm. – Graham's nipple cactus

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map