Vegetation in arid climate regions can include sparse grasslands,
shrublands, and woodlands.
Plants adapted to arid climates are called xerophytes, and include:
Here are a few examples of the plants we use with Xeric Gardening.
|Allium Accuminatum Onion
Allium acuminatum, also known as the tapertip onion or
Hooker's onion, a species in the genus Allium and is native to the
Western United States and Canada. Its bulbs are small and
spherical and smell like onions. The flowers are pink to purple
on a long stem which appear after the leaves have died.
|Allium Accuminatum Onion Flower
The onions were eaten by first peoples in southern British Columbia.
They were harvested in either early spring or late fall and usually
cooked in pits.
Balsamorhiza sagittata is a species of flowering plant in the
sunflower tribe of the plant family Asteraceae known by the
common name arrowleaf balsamroot. It is native to much of
western North America from British Columbia to California to
the Dakotas, where it grows in many types of habitat from
mountain forests to grassland to desert scrub. It is drought
tolerant. All of the plant can be eaten.
|Artemisia Tridentata Sagebrush
Artemisia tridentata ("big sagebrush" or "sagebrush") is an
aromatic shrub from the family Asteraceae, which grows in arid
and semi-arid conditions, throughout a range of cold desert,
steppe, and mountain habitats in the Intermountain West of
North America. The vernacular name "sagebrush" is also used
for several related members of the genus Artemisia, such as
California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica).
Liatris cylindracea, also known as Cylindrical blazing star, or
Ontario blazing star, is a plant species in the aster family
Asteraceae and genus Liatris. It is native to north eastern and
central North America, where it is found in habitats such as
prairies, limestone and sandstone outcropings, bluffs, barrens,
and glades and dunes. It is also found along roadsides and in
sandy pine-oak, wooded northern slope plant communities.
It blooms in mid to late summer with purple flower heads.
Pseudoroegneria spicata is a species of grass known by the common name
Bluebunch Wheatgrass. This native western North American perennial
bunchgrass is known by the scientific synonyms Elymus spicatus
and Agropyron spicatum.
The grass can be found from Alaska to Texas. It occurs in many types of
habitat, including sagebrush, forests, woodlands, and grasslands. It is a
dominant grass in some habitat types.
Grindelia squarrosa (curly-top gumweed or curly-cup gumweed) is a small
North American biennial or short-lived perennial plant which grows to a
height of 90 cm (appx. 3 ft) and bears yellow flowers from June to
September. It was used by Great Plains Tribes as a medicinal herb.
The name derives from the flower stems, bearing many small flowers,
which curl over at the top in a manner reminiscent of the head of a fiddle.
Fiddlenecks are in the family Boraginaceae, along with borage and
Fritillaria pudica (yellow fritillary) is a small plant found in the sagebrush
country in the western U.S and Canada. It is a member of the lily family,
or Liliaceae. Another (somewhat ambiguous) name is "yellowbells", since
it has a bell-shaped yellow flower. It may be found in dryish, loose soil;
it is amongst the first plants to flower after the snow melts, but the flower
does not last very long; as the petals age, they turn a brick-red colour
and begin to curl outward.
Sphaeralcea is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family
(Malvaceae). There are about 40-60 species, including annuals, perennials,
and shrubs. Most originate in the drier regions of North America, with
some known from South America. They are commonly known
as globemallows, globe mallows, or falsemallows.
The name of the genus is derived from the Greek words
(sphaira), meaning "sphere," and (alkea), meaning "mallow."
Lomatium dissectum is a species of flowering plant in the carrot family
known by the common name fernleaf biscuitroot. It is native to much
of western North America, where it grows in varied habitat. It is found
in the eastern Transverse Ranges and the Sierra Nevada in California.
Lupinus, commonly known as lupin or lupine (North America), is a
genus of flowering plants in the legume family (Fabaceae).
The genus comprises about 280 species
Gutierrezia sarothrae is a species of flowering plant in the daisy
family known by the common names broom snakeweed,
broomweed, snakeweed, and matchweed. It is a subshrub native
to much of the western half of North America, from western
Canada to central Mexico, and can be found in a number of
arid, grassland, and mountain habitats.
Chamaebatiaria is a monotypic genus of aromatic shrub in the
rose family containing the single species Chamaebatiaria
millefolium, which is known by the common names fern bush
and desert sweet. Its genus name comes from its physical
resemblance to the mountain miseries of genus Chamaebatia,
which are not closely related.
Castilleja, commonly known as Indian paintbrush or prairie-fire,
is a genus of about 200 species of annual and perennial
herbaceous plants native to the west of the Americas from Alaska
south to the Andes, northern Asia, and one species as far west as
the Kola Peninsula in Siberia.
Mirabilis is a genus of plants in the family Nyctaginaceae known
as the four o'clocks. The best known species may be Mirabilis
jalapa, the plant most commonly called four o'clock.
Molinia caerulea (purple moor grass) is a species of flowering
plant in the grass family Poaceae, native to Europe, west Asia,
and north Africa. It grows in locations from the lowlands up to
2,300 m (7,546 ft) in the Alps. Like most grasses, it grows best
in acid soils, ideally pH values of between 3.5 and 5.
Rhus trilobata A drought tolerant shrub
has trilobed leaves that turn a bright red to orange color in
the fall. Plants are either male or female with a bright red
furry fruit produced on the female plants.
Oenothera caespitosa, known commonly as tufted evening
primrose and fragrant evening primrose, is a perennial plant
of the genus Oenothera native to much of western and central
North America. It produces a rosette of lobed or toothed leaves
each up to 36 centimeters long around a woody caudex.
The Common Woolly Sunflower (Eriophyllum lanatum), also
known as Oregon Sunshine, is a widespread, herbaceous dicot of
the sunflower family Asteraceae. It is native to western North
America, commonly growing in many dry, open places below
10,000 ft, but it also grows on rocky slopes and bluffs.
Astragalus (As-trá-ga-lus) is a large genus of about 3,000
species of herbs and small shrubs, belonging to the legume
family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. The genus is native
to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
Phacelia (phacelia, scorpionweed, heliotrope) is a genus of
about 200 species of annual or perennial herbaceous plants,
native to North and South America.
Penstemon palmeri, the Palmer's Penstemon, is a perennial
penstemon notable for its showy, rounded flowers.
The plant, in the Plantaginaceae family, is named after the
botanist Edward Palmer.
Opuntia, also known as nopales or paddle cactus is a genus
in the cactus family, Cactaceae. Currently, only prickly pears
are included in this genus of about 200 species distributed
throughout most of the Americas. Chollas are now separated
into the genus Cylindropuntia, which some still consider a
subgenus of Opuntia.
Scutellaria is a genus of flowering plants in the mint family,
Lamiaceae. It contains about 300 species, which are commonly
known as skullcaps. The generic name is
derived from the Latin word scutella, meaning "a small dish,"
referring to the shape of the calyx.
Strict buckwheat is a mat forming subshrub to 60 cm tall.
The woody stems are prostrate to ascending. Found in both
Ponderosa Pine forests and sagebrush, on sandy or
Eriogonum umbellatum is a species of wild buckwheat known
by the common name sulphurflower buckwheat, or simply
sulphur flower. It is native to western North America from
California to Colorado to central Canada, where it is
abundant and found in many habitats.
Clarkia purpurea is a species of wildflower known by the
common names winecup clarkia, winecup fairyfan,
and purple clarkia.
This annual plant is native to western North America.