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‹ Growing Native with Petey Mesquitey

The Fissures of Men and Dalea formosa

April 20, 2017

The Fissures of Men and Dalea formosa
Growing Native with Petey Mesquitey

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The pumping of ground water to irrigate corn, alfalfa, cotton, pecan trees and pistachio trees in the Sulphur Springs Valley is…I can think of what it isn’t, sustainable…, but it is phenomenal. Maybe thoughtless is the word I’m looking for and I know the word sustainable gets thrown around way too much, but please, it’s not sustainable. It is ironic that new agricultural wells were put in only yards from a sign that warns of earth fissures. (see photo) Oh well, end of diatribe.

There are over 200 species of Dalea and I read that they are all found in the western hemisphere. Whaa? North America and Oceana too? Well, there are a mess of them in the borderlands. Arizona Flora lists almost forty species, though I would note that some are now the genus Psorothamnus. I just want to make sure we are all confused. But hey, what’s cool is that many of our native Daleas have been cultivated and you can find some beautiful species in nurseries. Some are a bit over used, like trailing indigo bush, Dalea greggii, which seems doomed to urban medians where its sprawling silvery leafed branches catch gum wrappers, styrofoam cups or whatever city detritus is blowing about.  Geez, I’m a bit negative here…shouldn’t have started with the fissures thing I guess, but there are beautiful natives to see in the wild.  I have found Dalea formosa hard to grow at my little nursery. I can’t seem to tame it, but that’s okay. I love that it’s hard to grow and I bet someday I’ll walk into a nursery and find some growing in pots and exclaim, “How did you do that?”

A couple notes: the photos are mine The feather bush, Dalea formosa, is along Dragoon Road in that wonderful limestone rubble that tumbled out of the Dragoons. The sign, well it speaks for itself…loudly.

Dalea Formosa,   earth fissures in southern Arizona,   Growing Native,   Petey Mesquitey,  


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