Plant Profile Aug 1996

Botanical name: Fallugia paradoxa

Family: rose

Common names: feather rose, feather duster bush, ponil. Apache plume

Range: New Mexico, southern Colorado, West Texas, Arizona, southern California, southern Utah, southern Nevada, and northern Mexico on gravelly or rocky dry slopes and dry arroyos from 3,000' - 8,000'

Apache plume is a medium-sized, multi-branched, semi-evergreen shrub that is long lived and depending on available water grows from 2 to 8 feet tall and wide. It has very small, dark green triangular leaves with three to seven deep lobes. The white flowers are five-petaled and resemble an old fashioned rose. The fruit is an achene, a dry fruit that does not split open when ripe and contains a single seed. Paradoxa stands for the unusual habit to produce both flowers and fruit at the same time. It is easily grown from fresh seeds, which requires no special treatment and usually flowers the first year after germination. The fragrant flowers and long-tailed, feathery, pink fruit seed heads bloom from May through October. Pruning is not necessary since the plant has a nice rounded shape, but new growth flowers best so pruning the older stems in early spring will produce a showy display. Site plants where the seed plumes are backlit by the rising or setting sun. Drought tolerant, heat loving, and hardy to -30 degrees F., it also provides cover and seeds for birds and is very effective for controlling soil erosion.

Fallugia paradoxa- a plant you should get to know!

Cheri Melton
August, 1996