Posted on | April 30, 2010 | 2 Comments
If you are considering a hummingbird feeder, try buying a plant instead of a bottle.
For what seems like a year-round fountain of nectar, make that plant a bush snapdragon. Galvezia speciosa, as this Channel Island native is more properly known, flowers four out of four seasons and 365 days a year. Its bright red tubular blossoms clearly evolved with hummingbirds as pollinators, and the birds will stake out your garden the instant the plant goes in the ground.
They are very hard to kill; Galvezia’s only weakness is susceptibility to freezing. Other than that, they can be used throughout most of Southern California. The bright green foliage takes salt air with equanimity, but it thrives inland (where it will thank you for some shade). Galvezia will also happily abide clay. Add to that, its water requirements are so minimal that in all but the hottest inland situations you could probably get away without watering it.
Not that you’d want to be quite so mean; outside its island range, Galvezia appreciates occasional summer water.
To keep reading about Galvezia speciosa in this week’s “The Dry Garden” in the Los Angeles Times, click here.