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Smoke Tree Garden

Smoke trees often fill the dry washbeds of our local Colorado Desert.

Smoke trees are in the pea (or legume) family, Fabaceae, and are closely related to several other species found in the desert including indigo bush (Psorothamnus schottii), dye weed (Psorothamnus emoryi) and even lupine (Lupinus spp.). The smoke tree’s scientific name used to be Dalea spinosa, but is now known asPsorothamnus spinosus.

Most of the year they are just a mass of shimmering grey-green twigs which look like smoke in the distance, but in the early summer they are covered with bright bluish – purple flowers which attract many native bee species.

Botanical Name Common Name Family
Ambrosia salsola Cheesebush Asteraceae
Bebbia juncea var. aspera Sweetbush Asteraceae
Brandegea bigelovii Brandegea, Desert Star Vine Cucurbitaceae
Chilopsis linearis Desert Willow Bignoniaceae
Hyptis emoryi Desert Lavender Lamiaceae
Parkinsonia florida Blue Palo Verde Fabaceae
Petalonyx thurberi Sandpaper Plant Loasaceae
Psorothamnus arborescens var. simplicifolius California Indigo Bush Fabaceae
Psorothamnus schottii Indigo Bush Fabaceae
Psorothamnus spinosus Smoke Tree Fabaceae
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