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For The Garden

Red-Blooming Desert Flora

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: December, 2013, Page 122
DALLAS RED LANTANA
(Lantana x ‘Dallas Red’)



Red-blooming plants for the desert

DALLAS RED LANTANA
(Lantana x ‘Dallas Red’)


Type: Groundcover

Elevation: Low, mid; hardy to 0 degrees F

Blooms: Multicolored red and gold; spring to fall

Size: 3-5'H by 4-5'W

Soil: Good drainage

Light: Full sun

Water needs: Low to moderate

Maintenance: Provide frost protection; prune back frost damage in early spring.

Attracts: Butterflies

Note: Freezes to the ground in cold weather. Other flower colors include gold, orange, yellow, pink, purple, white and mixed. Handling may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction.

Why we like it: Heat-tolerant lantana blooms relentlessly near such hot hardscape surfaces as sidewalks and patios.

SIERRA RED FIRECRACKER BUSH
(Hamelia patens ‘Sierra Red’)
SIERRA RED FIRECRACKER BUSH
(Hamelia patens ‘Sierra Red’)


Type: Shrub

Elevation: Low, mid; hardy to 20 degrees F

Blooms: Red; spring to fall

Size: 3'H by 3-4'W

Soil: Good drainage

Light: Full sun

Water needs: Moderate to high

Maintenance: Cut back any frost damage in early spring.

Attracts: Hummingbirds

Note: ‘Sierra Red’ is a selection with a compact shape and intense red blooms. This species may grow larger, and flower color may vary from orange to red.

Why we like it: Bright flowers are followed by small, dark-purplish fruits. Glossy green leaves change to a coppery hue in cool weather.

ARIZONA RED SHADES BLANKET FLOWER
(Gaillardia ‘Arizona Red Shades’)
ARIZONA RED SHADES BLANKET FLOWER
(Gaillardia ‘Arizona Red Shades’)


Type: Perennial

Elevation: Low, mid, high; hardy to -20 degrees F

Blooms: Red; summer to fall

Size: 12"H by 12-18"W

Soil: Well drained

Light: Full sun

Water needs: Moderate

Maintenance: Deadhead (remove) spent blooms; trim old foliage.

Attracts: Butterflies

Note: Native gaillardia wildflowers produce blooms ranging from yellow to orange. They start easily from seed and use less water than hybrids.

Why we like it: Large red flowers stand out against lush green foliage. Its compact mounding shape makes it a good option for containers or small garden spaces.


HUMMINGBIRD TRUMPET
(Epilobium canum; syn. Zauschneria californica)
HUMMINGBIRD TRUMPET
(Epilobium canum; syn. Zauschneria californica)


Type: Shrubby perennial

Elevation: Low, mid; hardy to 10 degrees F

Blooms: Scarlet-orange; summer to late fall

Size: 1-2'H by 1-3'W

Soil: Good drainage

Light: Filtered sun or protection from hot afternoon sun

Water needs: Low to moderate

Maintenance: Cut back in late winter to encourage bushier growth and blooms.

Attracts: Hummingbirds and butterflies

Note: Native to Arizona and California, it also is known as California fuchsia. Look for named selections with bright red, pink or white flowers, or silver (rather than green) foliage.

Why we like it: Tubular flowers during peak bloom guarantee a steady stream of hummingbirds.

Other Favorites:
‘Arizona Sun’ and ‘Burgundy’ blanket flower, Dawe’s aloe, red bird of paradise, ‘Red Spike’ ice plant, scarlet betony
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