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Springtime in the desert southwest is a glorious time.  

We say “goodbye” to cold, winter temperatures and delight in the landscape around us and it bursts into bloom.

I enjoy spending time outdoors this time of year, realizing that soon I will go into what I like to call ‘summer hibernation’ as the temperatures reach triple digits.

Today, I thought that I would share with you some beautiful, pink flowering plants that are in bloom right now…

Pink Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla)

Pink fairy duster shows off its pink flowers once a year in spring.  The rest of the year, it quietly recedes into the background until spring arrives again.

Beavertail Prickly Pear (Opuntia basilaris)

My favorite prickly pear has vibrant, pink flowers throughout spring.  One of the reasons that I like beavertail prickly pear is that it stays rather small and does not become overgrown like other species can.

Parry’s Penstemon (Penstemon parryi)

I’m a sucker for plants that produce flowering spikes, like Parry’s penstemon.  It has such a delicate, pink color and hummingbirds find it irresistible.

Pink California Poppy

Did you know that the traditional, orange California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) comes in other colors?  I think I’m in love with the pink variety.

‘Raspberry Ice’ Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea makes an excellent container plant. All you have to do is water them deeply and then allow them to dry out before watering again.  Although I have a deep, magenta bougainvillea in my own garden – I must admit that I really like the variety ‘Raspberry Ice’ which has cream-colored brachts with pink tips.

Pink Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Siskiyou Pink’

Although traditionally a summer-bloomer, this pink gaura was already blooming in March.  I have white gaura growing underneath my front windows and I love it.

Mexican Evening Primrose (Oenothera berlandieri)

Pink, cup-shaped blooms cover Mexican evening primrose in spring.  This groundcover looks great in natural desert landscapes, but can be invasive, so be careful where you use it.

Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii)

The one beauty of this spiny cactus are its magenta flowers that appear in spring.

In my own garden, I have two pink flowering plants in bloom…

Hollyhock

Every year, hollyhocks come up from seed next to one of my vegetable gardens.  They tower over our house and are at least 15 feet tall. 

I first planted hollyhock seeds 4 years ago and that was it.  Every year, they self-seed and I thin them out so that 5 remain.  I’m never sure what color variety will come up.  Sometimes they are white, pale pink or red.



This year, they are deep pink.  Aren’t they pretty?

Pink Wood Sorrel 

I received a small division of pink wood sorrel from a fellow blogger who lives in Oregon.  I wasn’t sure if I could grow it in our desert climate.  So, I gave it a home in my vegetable garden.

Since then, it has done so well.  So well in fact, that I have divided it and planted it in all three of my vegetable gardens.  

It dies back to the ground in summer, but comes back in fall.

Do you have any favorite pink-blooming plants?  Are any in your garden?  
Mexican Evening Primrose (Oenothera berlanderi syn. Oenothera speciosa)
Aren’t these flowers just lovely?
I do love pink flowers. 
Our local big box nursery had quite a few of these on display over the weekend.  
Mexican Evening Primrose is a groundcover the produces beautiful pink flowers in the spring.  They are drought tolerant and hardy to Zone 5 through 9.  They do not require fertilizer and thrive on neglect.
 
Now you may be wondering what secret it is harboring.  Surely a plant with such beautiful flowers cannot have anything to hide, can it?
Well, I discovered it’s secret years ago as a new homeowner.  I was in heaven over having my own garden for the first time.  I discovered these pretty plants at my local nursery and brought some home and planted them in a raised planting bed.  
 
They grew very well and although they were fairly boring when not in bloom, they more then made up for it in the spring when they were covered with pink flowers.
 BUT, one year after I planted them, I began to notice them coming up in my lawn, adjoining beds and the cracks in the driveway.  It was then that I found out that they could be invasive.  They spread by stolons and by seed.  **It was experiences like this one that I had as a new gardener that motivated me to obtain my degree in horticulture.  However, I am still learning as I go along and just when I think I know all about a particular plant – one will surprise me by doing something different 😉
Now, I am not saying not to ever use Mexican Evening Primrose in the landscape.  They do have a place in the landscape.  For example, they do very well along dry hillsides and other areas where their growth can be contained in a particular area.
What I do recommend, is to research a plant before you decide to put in your garden.  Mexican Evening Primrose can be invasive in a residential garden, but can be the answer to a difficult, bare hillside.  This goes to prove that just because a plant has a “pretty face”, doesn’t mean that it is delicate.

**Butterfly Update:  Guess What?!!  The butterflies emerged for their chrysalis.  I will post about them soon!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!