Plant of the Month

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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, 2020

JANUARY : Jupiter’s beard : Centranthus ruber


Scientific name:  Centranthus ruber (pronounced sen-TRAN-thus  ROO-ber) Common names: Jupiter’s beard, red valerian, keys-to-heaven, kiss-me-quick Family name:  Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle)  (pronounced cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) Jupiter's Beard in full bloom. Photo by Janice Tucker. Article by Janice Tucker. Photos by: Janice Tucker and Sonny Tucker Wouldn’t it be great if there was a perennial with showy [...]

JANUARY : Jupiter’s beard : Centranthus ruber2020-01-02T09:29:58-07:00
1 Dec, 2019

DECEMBER : Siberian elm : Ulmus pumila


Scientific name: Ulmus pumila Pronunciation: UL-mus pu-MIL-a Common names: Siberian elm, Asiatic elm, dwarf elm, but not Chinese elm (they are Ulmus parviflora) Family: Ulmaceae Article by Jeanne Gozigian Photo by John Hilty, Illinois Wildflowers Ah, Siberian elms, the trees I loved to hate! When I was the chair of the landscape committee [...]

DECEMBER : Siberian elm : Ulmus pumila2019-12-04T13:35:48-07:00
1 Nov, 2019

NOVEMBER : big sagebrush : Artemisia tridentata


Scientific name: Artemisia tridentata Nutt. Common Name: big sagebrush, Great Basin sagebrush Family: Asteraceae (Aster Family) Article by Susan Bruneni The vast landscape of the American West is often portrayed in art forms with seas of big sagebrush. Artemsia tridentata has a native range that spans from the southern Rocky Mountains of New Mexico to coastal [...]

NOVEMBER : big sagebrush : Artemisia tridentata2019-10-31T11:19:16-06:00
1 Oct, 2019

OCTOBER : New England aster : Symphyotrichum novae-angliae


Scientific name: Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (L.) G. L. Nesom Pronounced: sim-fy-oh- TRY-kum  NO-vee ANG-lee-a Synonym: Aster novae-angliae. Pronounced: ASS-ter  NO-vee ANG-lee-a Common names: New England aster, Michaelmas daisy (MI-kull-muhs), New England daisy, hairy Michaelmas daisy New England asters with bee. Photo: Janice Tucker Plant family: Asteraceae/Compositae (aster/composite). Pronounced: ass-ter-AY-see-ee/kom-POZ-ee-tay Article by Janice Tucker As [...]

OCTOBER : New England aster : Symphyotrichum novae-angliae2019-09-26T19:23:43-06:00
31 Aug, 2019

SEPTEMBER : cowpen daisy : Verbesina encelioides


Scientific name: Verbesina encelioides Common names: cowpen daisy, golden crownbeard, butter daisy Family: Asteraceae (Compositae) Article by Jeanne Gozigian Close up of Verbesina encelioides (cowpen daisy) leaves and flowers. Photo by Janice Tucker. How could such a lovely daisy-like flower, known for its grand stands of golden/yellow blossoms and being a primary host [...]

SEPTEMBER : cowpen daisy : Verbesina encelioides2019-08-31T11:23:10-06:00
1 Aug, 2019

AUGUST : rubber rabbitbrush : Ericameria nauseosa


Scientific name: Ericameria nauseosa (Pursh) G.L.Nesom & G.I.Baird Common names: rubber rabbitbrush, gray rabbitbrush, chamisa, chamiso Family: Asteraceae By Susan Bruneni Photo: Joy Mandelbaum A prominent feature in northern New Mexico landscapes is rubber rabbitbrush, locally known as chamisa. (Note: The common names chamisa or chamiso are used for a variety of desert [...]

AUGUST : rubber rabbitbrush : Ericameria nauseosa2019-07-30T16:55:38-06:00
1 Jul, 2019

JULY : Rocky Mountain beeplant : Cleome serrulata


Scientific name: Cleome serrulata (Pursh) (klee-OH-me ser-yoo-LAY-tuh) Synonym: Peritoma serrulata (per-eye-TOH-muh) Common names: Rocky Mountain beeplant, bee plant, bee spider plant and others Plant family: Cleomaceae (spider plant) (klee-ohm-AY-see-ee) Other Plant families mentioned:  Capparaceae (caper) (kap-ar-AY-see-ee), Brassicaceae (mustard)  (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) Article and photos by Janice Tucker Rocky Mountain beeplant and other wildflowers in Arroyo de las [...]

JULY : Rocky Mountain beeplant : Cleome serrulata2019-06-28T10:21:37-06:00
1 Jun, 2019

JUNE : cardinal flower : Lobelia cardinalis


Scientific name: Lobelia cardinalis Common name: cardinal flower Family: Campanulaceae Article by Jeanne Gozigian When I first started volunteering as a docent at the Leonora Curtain Natural History Area (now the Leonora Curtain Wetland Preserve, LCWP) outside of Santa Fe in La Cienega, New Mexico, our prize plant specimen was a lone cardinal flower.  It [...]

JUNE : cardinal flower : Lobelia cardinalis2019-05-28T15:44:33-06:00
1 May, 2019

MAY : western sand cherry : Prunus pumila var. besseyi


Scientific name: Prunus pumila var. besseyi Common name: western sand cherry Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family) Article by Susan Bruneni The western sand cherry, Prunus pumila var. besseyi, is native to Central and Western United States, and Central and Western Canada. Western sand cherries grow wild from Canada to Colorado and although it is technically exotic, [...]

MAY : western sand cherry : Prunus pumila var. besseyi2019-04-30T11:49:53-06:00
1 Apr, 2019

APRIL : Rocky Mountain penstemon : Penstemon strictus


Scientific name:  Penstemon strictus Common names:  Rocky Mountain penstemon, Rocky Mountain beardtongue, beardtongue Family scientific name:  Plantaginaceae Family common name:  plantain Article and photos by Janice Tucker Summer will soon come calling to Northern New Mexico, bringing with it a full complement of wildflowers that will grace the natural landscape and fill flower beds in [...]

APRIL : Rocky Mountain penstemon : Penstemon strictus2019-04-02T15:17:07-06:00