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Hummingbird Garden at Oasis

The garden represents the co-evolution of hummingbird plants and hummingbirds. The open exposed stalks of unscented tubular flowers, the hummingbird’s long tongues, their ability to hover, and their lack of sense of smell are examples of co-evolution.

This garden provides a variety of plants attractive to hummingbirds showing the potential for attracting hummingbirds to the home garden and illustrating the fact that hummingbirds are also attracted to non-traditional flowers; flowers that are not red as in variously colored penstemons like Penstemon spectabilis andPenstemon palmeri and not tubular as in fairy dusters (Calliandra spp.)

Certain species of flowers have evolved to attract hummingbirds rather than insects as pollinators. The flowers are often tubular so that only the tongue can reach the nectar while the anthers are situated so that they deposit pollen on the bird’s head, neck and throat. The flowers are often unscented so that they do not attract insects.

Hummingbird flowers are born on open, exposed stalks where the birds can hover in front of them without striking their wings against leaves and twigs. At least a small majority of hummingbird flowers are some shade of red although they will visit flowers of other colors.

Hummingbirds use their tongues to extract nectar from the flowers. The slender bill is designed to protect the long, delicate tongue. While the hummingbirds of North America all have straight bills, hummingbirds in Central and South America have bills of various shapes and sizes – each adapted to specific types of flowers.

The “hummingbird” plants in this garden are native to the deserts of southwestern United States and Mexico. You can create your own beautiful garden for these special birds around your own home.

Link to foxpaws article: Hummingbird Heaven

Botanical Name Common Name Family
Aloe sp. Aloe Xanthorrhoeaceae
Anisacanthus andersonii Anderson’s Honeysuckle, Limita Acanthaceae
Anisacanthus wrightii Desert Honeysuckle Acanthaceae
Aquilegia chrysantha Golden Columbine Ranunculaceae
Calliandra californica Baja Fairy Duster Fabaceae
Chilopsis linearis Desert Willow Bignoniaceae
Dodonaea viscosa Hopbush Sapindaceae
Fouquieria splendens Ocotillo Fouquieraceae
Hesperaloe parviflora Red Yucca Asparagaceae
Justicia spicigera Mexican Honeysuckle Acanthaceae
Lobelia laxiflora Mexican Lobelia Campanulaceae
Lycium sp. Wolfberry Solanaceae
Muhlenbergia rigens Deer Grass Poaceae
Parkinsonia florida Blue Palo Verde Fabaceae
Pedilanthus bracteata Giant Slipper Plant Euphorbiaceae
Pedilanthus macrocarpus Candelilla, Slipper Plant Euphorbiaceae
Penstemon baccharifolius Rock Penstemon Plantaginaceae
Penstemon cardinalis Cardinal Beardtongue Plantaginaceae
Penstemon parryi Parry’s Penstemon Plantaginaceae
Penstemon sp. Beardtongue Plantaginaceae
Plumbago auriculata Cape Leadwort Plumbaginaceae
Poliomintha maderensis Lavender Spice Lavender Spice, Madrean Rosemary Lamiaceae
Ruellia peninsularis Baja Ruellia Acanthaceae
Russelia equisetiformis Coral Fountain Plantaginaceae
Salvia farinacea Mealy-cup Sage Lamiaceae
Salvia greggii Autumn Sage Lamiaceae
Salvia leucantha Mexican Bush Sage Lamiaceae
Salvia spathacea Pitcher Sage, Hummingbird Sage Lamiaceae
Tecoma stans var. stans Yellow Bells, Esperanza Bignoniaceae
Tecoma x Orange Jubilee Orange Jubilee Bignoniaceae
Vitis girdiana Desert Grape Vitaceae
Washingtonia filifera Desert Fan Palm, California Fan Palm Arecaceae
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