Anisacanthus thurberi or desert honeysuckle is in the Acanthus family, Acanthaceae. I do like the common name cola de gallo, because it captures the “wild crazy looking lips” of the flowers, which are really the long curly petals of the flower. Yes, the flowers are cool! There are ten genera in the Acanthus family found around you and me in the borderlands and they too have very cool flowers. Oh, and I should mention there are other southwestern Anisacanthus spp. that can be found in native plant nurseries. Collect the whole set!
Okay, one last thing because I’m still trying to figure out the meaning of the genus name and while cruising a dichotomous key for the family –very sad- I saw the phrase “stamens in unequal pairs.” Whoa, is that it?…unequal stamens and not thorns? Oh dear, I really need a life.
Hey, the photos are mine. That’s the flower of “Pinky” above and the other photos are of our borderlands desert honeysuckle, Anisacanthus thurberi. You need one in your landscape.