Chrysactinia mexicana

This low-growing, compact looking shrub with masses of spring color reaches heights of two feet or more with aromatic, dark, evergreen, needle-like leaves. It produces a beautiful bouquet of golden yellow, daisy-like blossoms that appear in springtime and then intermittently into the fall. This drought-resistant plant likes full sun and reflected heat and tolerates the hottest locations in the landscape. If planted in the shade it becomes leggy. It takes a variety of soil types as long as they are well-draining. Prune lightly in spring after blooming to shape and remove dead wood, but do not over-prune. Provide supplemental irrigation during the warmer weather and keep it drier in winter. The blooms are more prolific with additional water. The plant is hardy to ten degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Use it to attract butterflies and as a border shrub in flowerbeds and entryways. The damianita can also be used as erosion control on steep slopes, or a groundcover for hillsides and hot, exposed areas like medians and roadsides. It makes a nice contrast when planted with agaves, yuccas, and other low-water-use accent plants in the landscape. This plant is native to the hillsides of western Texas, New Mexico, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas. It grows on south-facing, rocky, or limestone slopes at elevations of 1,800 to 3,000 feet.

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