Dung on a Twig
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
5d ago
The etymology of the word mistletoe is all over the place and has been traced to Old English, Middle English, Anglo Saxon and old German…a mix of all of the above. I do like the meaning “dung on a twig.” And listen, mistletoe is really an excellent plant for birds, so why don’t native plant nurseries offer Phoradedron californicum for your ironwood or mesquite or catclaw? Ask your favorite nursery person for dung on a twig! The photos are mine. Look at those berries!   ..read more
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Your Yowser Yucca
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
1w ago
When I used to give talks I would always show photos and talk about our regional yucca species; Yucca elata, Y. baccata and Yucca madrensis… Yucca madrensis, by the way is the former Yucca schottii, but here’s what’s cool about this resident of the Madrean Evergreen Woodlands; it’s pollinated by a different moth species than Y. baccata or Y. elata. They each have their own yucca moth species doing the pollinating. Cool? Very! Well there’s some more to know about this yucca, soo, you could pull a book or two off the shelf or you can grill your favorite nursery person with ..read more
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Whortleberry!
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
2w ago
I read in HORTUS THIRD that there are about 150 species of Vaccinium found in “cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere,” 40 of which are found in North America. In this episode I rattle off some of the common names I came across, but think of all the hundreds of names indigenous peoples must have given to these shrubs. Pretty cool. I love the common name whortleberry and there are other Vaccinium species called whortleberry. Lingonberry is red whortleberry or bilberry is bog whortleberry and the list goes on. It’s all wonderfully confusing. If my hunt and gather for ..read more
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Grouchy Groundhog and Signs of Spring
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
3w ago
Anyone who lives in groundhog country will have a woodchuck tale or two to tell. Growing up in Kentucky I sure did. The first piece I wrote for a poetry class I took at the University of Arizona in 1969 was about groundhogs. I’ll spare you. Anemone tuberosa is truly a harbinger of the spring to come and I talk about this sweet early bloomer every February. The photos are mine. And, below you’ll find a book highly recommended by the local school librarian. “It’s quite informative and considerably lighter in bed.” She should know…we sleep together.   ..read more
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A Heart Beating in the Borderlands
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
1M ago
This is an episode about hearing my heart beat. I initially was going to talk about the noise made by ORVs, ATVs, SUVs and pickup trucks out in the deserts and hills. I fall in the “pickup truck” category. Don’t want you thinking I’m a holier than thou sorta guy…ha! Anyway, guess I’ll pontificate about all that another time. You’re welcome. So, this is an episode about hearing my heart beat while hanging out on a rocky slope in the Galiuro Mountains. The photos are mine ..read more
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Wood Stove Reading
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
1M ago
Surely I’m not the only person who sits around reading field guides by a warm wood stove. And our field guides do end up in the truck headed out to the borderlands. Hey, Jim Koweek and I met in 1980, hmm, maybe 1981, but yeah, it is an old friendship. And listen, besides Sonoran Desert Plant ID for Everyone, Jim is also the author of Grassland Plant ID for Everyone, except folks that take technical stuff too seriously. Yes, that’s the title and the two books look very good together on a truck seat. Oh, and excellent reading around a ..read more
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Happy New Year from the Borderlands
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
2M ago
I originally wrote and recorded the song Road Across the Grassland in 2005…well, maybe a little before, but listen, there really is a dirt road that starts about three miles from our home and that road will take you across grassland, through desert scrub and woodland and right to the Mexican border. I love it…I’m guessing you knew that. Thank you so much for listening all these many years and Happy New Year ..read more
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Ragged Rock Flower
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
2M ago
If I had wobbled up any higher on that rocky slope I may or may have not fallen by a ragged rock flower. It ranges from 1,800 ft to 4,500 ft in elevation across southern Arizona. I found a wonderful line in the plant description found at the site SEINet; “An unassuming plant with attractive flowers, often growing in out of the way places.” Sweet….also some photos of Crossosoma bigelovii can be found at that site. The photo used here is mine taken of Lucretia Breazeale Hamilton’s drawing in a favorite book of mine called Trees and Shrubs of the ..read more
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Layer Up!
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
2M ago
There are sixty-five to seventy species of Fraxinus found around the world, so of course ancient Romans had a name for ash trees. Carl Linnaeus, the king of binomial nomenclature, used the classical Latin name fraxinus as the genus for ash trees and one hundred years later the American botanist John Torrey gave the species name velutina to the tree I’m jabbering about in this episode, Fraxinus velutina or velvet ash. Seven species of ash are found in Arizona and most if not all can be found in the horticulture trade. That’s awesome, so hey, collect them all! The photos ..read more
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Arroyo Surprise
Growing Native
by Petey Mesquitey
2M ago
What a fun discovery in the desert east of Douglas, Arizona. There is just something about these large spinescent shrubs in the buckthorn family, Rhamnaceae. I love Condalia warnockii and friends who frequent the western deserts of Arizona love Condalia globosa…okay, me too. And now I’m adding Condalia correllii to my favorite spinescent shrub list. And hey, it was a guess, but yes the specific epithet correlli is named for botanist Donovan Stewart Correll. Oh, and as far as my jokingly pondering whether Antonio Condal and Jean Pierre Florens knew of one another… only if either one could time ..read more
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