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Creeping shrubby ice plant

Ruschia pulvinaris

A gem for rock gardens and other fast-draining soils, creeping shrubby ice plant forms a soft, cool mat of evergreen foliage and fuchsia-pink flowers. Blooming for three to four weeks in late spring, this easy-to-grow perennial is a mass of welcome color in low-water gardens. Be sure to plant it near the front of the garden where you can enjoy its blooms. When not in bloom, creeping shrubby ice plant's short stems and succulent foliage have a neat and tidy appearance.

Note: It needs well-drained soil to thrive; this plant will quickly rot away in heavy clay.



Under 6 inches


To 12 inches wide

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Claret cup cactus
Light up the desert garden with the huge, showy flowers of claret cup cactus. Deep orange, nearly scarlet blossoms open in late spring on top of short, stout succulent stems. The papery petals offer delicate beauty atop the spiny stems and last for weeks. This easy-to-grow cactus is very heat-tolerant and generally begins blooming three to four years after planting. Punctuate a dryland garden with swaths of three to five claret cup cacti.This plant is native to areas of the North American Southwest.
Pine muhly
Most muhlygrasses are high on drama, offering their beautiful floral display to dryland gardens. They have a soft, airy appearance that is welcome among agaves and other rough-texture plants that permeate low-water gardens. Pine muhly, in particular, grows best in fast-draining soil that is low in nutrients -- a sandy soil is perfect. Avoid heavy clay and wet locations.
A yucca in bloom is a showstopper. It produces imposing spires of large, bird-attracting white flowers in summer and fall. The evergreen rosettes of stiff, sharply pointed leaves, often variegated with cream or white, are striking. Use them to punctuate the end of a walkway, mass them as a barrier, or plant them as accents throughout the border. Be careful not to site them away from paths or other places people could be scratched by their sharp leaves. Free-draining soil and sun is all yuccas require.This plant is also sometimes called Hesperoyucca.

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