Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Zauschneria with Nolina nelsonii
     I am always looking for plants that hummingbirds will love and one of these is Zauschneria, a native of dry slopes of western North America, particularly California.  It is sometimes called California fuschia, Hummingbird flower or Hummingbird trumpet.  This plant, which for much of the year is nondescript, is in its element right now in my front border, sporting these orange red hummingbird magnet flowers.  There are a number of different species and named cultivars of Zauschneria and unfortunately, I have lost track of which one this is.  I also have a different one in another part of my garden, and although I know it is a different one it looks almost the same as this one.
     All these zaushnerias seem to have a few things in common.  First and foremost, they are very drought tolerant.  As I have said many times, I never water in my front border and so the plant you see in the picture has gone without any noticeable water for almost 2 months.  It has not seemed to suffer from this, and that makes sense considering where it grows as a native.  Secondly, they all seem to be deer resistant.  Third, they all have very small leaves and grow low to the ground.  This makes them a good groundcover to grow around taller drought tolerant plants like nolinas, yuccas, and dasylirions.
     This particular zauschneria in the picture has been growing there for probably 15 years and it has spread somewhat during that time.  I wouldn't call it an aggressive spreader, but keep in mind that it will spread.
     I cut this plant to the ground when I am doing cleanup of this section of the garden in the spring.  In the winter here the foliage of zauschneria browns off and it looks better then to cut it all away.  In the spring when growth returns it greens up again.
     Zauschnerias never look particularly impressive when they are growing a nursery pot and it would be very easy to pass them by.  I would not call them stars of the garden, but they are certainly worth growing particularly as companions to the various spiky dry land plants we all love.  In addition, if you want to make the hummingbirds happy, by all means plant a zauschneria or two or three or...

1 comment:

  1. A very interesting an unusual plant. Wish I could grow it here...