Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Psilostrophe cooperi:

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Form: A subshrub having a woody base with herbaceous stems.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Drought deciduous.
Growth rate: Rapid.
Mature Size: 1-2' high and 2-3' wide.
Flowers: Yellow rays, 1" wide, with yellow centers, last a long time, then turn papery off-white with age, and remain on the plant.
Bloom: Spring through fall in response to rain. Blooming ceases during drought.
Fruit: Seed in a papery cone at the center of the dried flower head.
Leaves: Slender, hairy, silvery to green.
Stems: No thorns. Semi-woody, many-branched, leafy, hairy, silvery to green. One flower appears at each branch tip.
Wildlife: The flowers attract insects, possibly butterflies and moths.
Toxic / Danger: This plant is not known to be toxic, however other Psilostrophe species are toxic to livestock, especially sheep in winter.
Origin: California through New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8b-11.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: After several months of drought, this plant loses its leaves and dies to the ground. It recovers from its roots during summer rains.
Sun: Full sun. This plant grows leggy in part shade.
Water once established: Monthly.
Soil: Well drained, dry, sandy, low organic content, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline).
Mulch: Bare soil or gravel. Avoid organic mulch.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ornamental, xeric garden.

This plant is a member of the Aster family (Asteraceae).

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Psilostrophe cooperi: Whitestem Paperflower - flowers

Psilostrophe cooperi: Whitestem Paperflower

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Latest update: August, 2020