Plant of the Month

/Plant of the Month

Read in depth descriptive articles about plants that grow well in the Santa Fe area. Learn about plant diversity growing around you! More plant of the month articles available here

1 Jan, 2017

JANUARY : banana yucca, Spanish dagger: Yucca baccata and the Yucca species

Scientific Name: Yucca baccata and the Yucca species Common Names:  banana yucca, Spanish dagger Plant Family:  Asparagaceae – asparagus (recently in the Agavaceae family, which is now the sub-family Agavoideae of the Asparagaceae plant family) Article by Janice Tucker Photo credit: Carl Troy The presence of a Yucca in a New Mexico garden [...]

1 Dec, 2016

DECEMBER : Winter bulbs : Hippeastrum & Narcissus

This month's article features two plants: Scientific name: Hippeastrum Common name: amaryllis Family: Amaryllidaceae Scientific name: Narcissus papyraceus Common name:  paperwhite Family: Amaryllidaceae Article by Jeanne Gozigian “Forcing” bulbs for winter indoor floral beauty can be a fun and easy project when outdoor gardening is under a layer of snow and all is a dreary brown in [...]

1 Nov, 2016

NOVEMBER : Mountain mahogany : Cercocarpus montanus

Scientific name: Cercocarpus montanus Common name: mountain mahogany Plant family: Rosaceae Article by Susan Bruneni Mountain mahogany is a delightful feature of the new ethnobotanical gardens, Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands, and has been a useful plant in this area for centuries. The mountain mahogany is a shrub or small tree in the Rosaceae [...]

1 Oct, 2016

OCTOBER : muhly grass ‘Autumn Embers’ : Muhlenbergia reverchonii ‘Autumn Embers’

Scientific name: Muhlenbergia reverchonii ‘Autumn Embers’ Common name: ‘Autumn Embers’ muhly grass Plant Family:  Poaceae - Grass Article and photos by Janice Tucker Muhlenbergia reverchonii 'Autumn Embers' (Photo credit: Janice Tucker) The ‘Autumn Embers’ muhly grass (Muhlenbergia reverchonii ‘Autumn Embers’) is truly a plant for all seasons. As the earth begins to warm, signaling [...]

1 Sep, 2016

SEPTEMBER : ‘Pat Austin’ rose : Rosa ‘Pat Austin’

Scientific name: Rosa ‘Pat Austin’ Common name: 'Pat Austin' rose Family: Rosaceae Cultivar: AUSmum Trademark name: Pat Austin™ Article by Jeanne Gozigian One of the spectacular roses at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill is the 'Pat Austin' rose.  It is a medium sized shrub rose which can be a short climber.  Its arching glossy foliage [...]

1 Aug, 2016

AUGUST : Field bindweed : Convolvulus arvensis

Scientific Name: Convolvulus arvensis Convolvulus arvensis photo by Patrick J. Alexander, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database Common name: Field bindweed Family:  Convolvulaceae - morning glory Article by Susan Bruneni The delicate pink and white flowers along the sidewalk at Geneveva Chavez Community Center seem like charming wildflowers, but beneath their innocent appearance lurks [...]

1 Jul, 2016

JULY : Salvia spp. : Salvia

Scientific names (common names) Salvia species (salvia, sage) Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Furman’s red autumn sage) Salvia darcyi ‘Pscarl’ VERMILION BLUFFS (Vermilion Bluffs Mexican sage) Plant family:  Lamiaceae – mint Sphinx moth on Mojave sage (Photo by Janice Tucker) Article and photos by Janice Tucker We celebrate the joy of gardening by [...]

1 Jun, 2016

JUNE : ‘New Dawn’ climbing rose : Rosa x ‘New Dawn’

Scientific name: Rosa × ‘New Dawn’ Rosa x 'New Dawn' (Photo: Janice Tucker) Common name: ‘New Dawn’ climbing rose Family: Rosaceae by Jeanne Gozigian The story of ‘New Dawn’ and other rose cultivars is as interesting as the biographies of celebrities and royalty. History and the study of plant genetics contribute to the understanding of [...]

1 May, 2016

MAY : ‘Heavy Metal’ switch grass : Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’

Scientific Name: Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’ Common Name: Heavy Metal Switch Grass Family: Poaceae Article by Susan Bruneni One of the showiest switch grass cultivars is 'Heavy Metal' switch grass, named for its distinct metallic blue foliage when mature. Heavy metal also provides the advantage of a rigid structure, maintaining its up-right stance. Other switch [...]

1 Apr, 2016

APRIL : Columbine : Aquilegia species

Scientific name: Aquilegia species Common Name: Columbine Plant Family: Ranunculaceae (buttercup) Article and photos by Janice Tucker Blue columbine (Photo: Janice Tucker) The Aquilegia, commonly known as the columbine, is one of Mother Nature’s highest artistic achievements. The beautifully designed origami-like flowers with their spurred petals perform a freestyle ballet as they sway [...]