The Dry Garden: Hesperaloe

Posted on | November 5, 2010 | No Comments

Mushy leaves of South African aloe can't do this. The fibers of the Chihuahuan Desert native Hesperaloe are used in cordage.

Four years ago, I learned that a lady up the street whom I had for six years referred to as Chloe was named Cheryl. In much the same fashion, I only recently learned that a plant in my parkway that for five years I have called nolina is in fact Hesperaloe parviflora.

I learned this while singing the plant’s praises to a gardening class that had dropped by to see my rain catchment system. If there is comfort in this, it’s that hesperaloe is one heck of a plant by any name.

A member of the agave family and native to the Chihuahuan Desert, hesperaloe’s tolerance for cold (to 12 degrees) and heat (100-plus degrees) means that the plant can cope easily with what our Mediterranean climate can throw at it.

Click here to keep reading The Dry Garden in the LA Times.


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