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‹ Growing Native with Petey Mesquitey

Black-tailed Jacks, Mexican Elderberry and Vegan Cowboys

June 6, 2018

Black-tailed Jacks, Mexican Elderberry and Vegan Cowboys
Growing Native with Petey Mesquitey

00:00 / 5:18


For goodness sake, I forgot to mention the black-tailed jackrabbit’s ears! The large ears are magnificent parabolic reflectors that keep them well informed of anything approaching. I’ve noticed that sometimes in an effort to become invisible under a shrub, a jackrabbit will lay its ears down across its back. And by the way, when those ears are upright and back lit by the sun they are a translucent pink…sweet!

Mexican elderberry (Sambucus caerulea var, mexicana) is a tree that likes moist soil, and in habitat it is found along arroyos, and creeks, but I have observed old planted trees at abandoned homesteads that are existing on rainfall. This observation was made in the uplands of southern Arizona and not in the low desert. I have an old landscape book for the low desert called Plants for Dry Climates. In 1981 it was one of the first books to come out and promote desert plants in urban landscapes…think Tucson and Phoenix. Mainly it’s full of drought hardy exotics, but it was the southwestern native plants described that caught my interest and under Sambucus caerulea var. mexicana it says that it is “summer dormant”. That’s a nice way of saying it doesn’t really care for life in a hot urban environment. That makes two of us, but listen, if you were to drive to Sonoita and then on down to Patagonia you will find it green and thriving along Sonoita Creek. While you’re there in Patagonia you can get a latte and look for New Age cowboys and cowgirls. Ye-haw!

The photos are mine.  I love the big ears on that jackrabbit hiding in shade of a mesquite. The elderberry photos are of an elderberry at our home. In the one photo I’m looking up into the tree. I like those clouds…clouds in June is a good thing… and then look at that flat cluster of flowers that will become clusters of small purplish berries. Yum! Edible for critters and you and me too. Oh, and don’t forget to look up Mexican elderberry in your favorite herbal. It had medicinal uses that may interest you. Now you know.

black-tailed jackrabbit,   Growing Native,   Lepus californicus,   Mexican elderbrry,   Petey Mesquitey,   Sambucus caerulea var. mexicana,  


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