The Fairy Duster is the Plant of the Month!

The fairy duster is a low-growing, densely branching, semi-evergreen shrub with fernlike leaflets that drop during periods of drought or in cold temperatures. It gets one to three feet tall and will spread three to four feet wide. The plant produces dense clusters of pinkish white, puff-shaped blossoms in early spring that bloom sporadically throughout the warm weather. Long, pink stamens produce the magnificent color on the flower. After blooming, a legumelike seedpod appears, and when it opens, the exposed seeds fall to the ground, becoming a great food source for quail, birds, and rodents. It is hardy to fifteen degrees Fahrenheit and takes full sun and reflected heat. The fairy duster needs supplemental irrigation during the hot summer and explodes with a flush of color and new foliage during the summer monsoons. It prefers well-draining, coarse, rocky soil and is an easy plant to grow. Use it as an informal hedge, in medians, cactus and rock gardens, or for a hummingbird and butterfly attraction. This slow-growing plant can also be used on slopes for erosion control. It is native to the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona, as well as Western Texas, Southern California, New Mexico, and Mexico. The fairy duster can be found in grassland areas growing at elevations of 1,000 to 5,000 feet.

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