Plant Form: Flower
Plant Size: 4’ x 6’
Plant Type: Perennial
Sunlight: Sun, partial shade
Colors: Orange, pink, white, yellow
Physical description: Woody, shrubby, spreading plant with rough, green, aromatic leaves and small, thorny prickles on stems. Flat clusters of small flowers, cream to yellow as young blossoms in cluster center, turning bright pink to orange when mature along outer margin of cluster. Blooms late spring to fall.
Care and maintenance: Aromatic foliage offensive to some. Dies to ground in winter leaving prickly, woody stems to be removed for new growth in spring.
Gardener’s notes: Tropical Mexican plant naturalized in south Texas. Many cultivars and hybrids available in various sizes, including ground covers, and in several colors including all yellow, gold, orange, red and pink flowers. Colorful “New Gold” especially suited to El Paso and is sterile so it is less messy than others. L. urticoides (L. horrida) is a similar Texas native with orange and yellow flowers, seldom available.
Southwest Plant of the Month material courtesy of NMSU ACES