One of my favorite plants for the Sonoran desert is the Coral Fountains(Russelia equisetiformis).
This next plant in the groundcover series has a bushier and grassier appearance. It has beautiful long orange/red flowers that are produced on a stalk. I absolutely love Coral Fountains but unfortuneatly our extreme freeze killed our plant to the ground. It was lush and full....and spreading! Sad times. However, hope remains as it began to come back in mid April. The hummingbirds adored this plant and all it took was one cold freeze for 4 days to take this beauty down. However, I am not giving up on this plant so easily. This plant had performed very well in the garden with intense sun and very little water once it was established. If we have a freeze like that again, I am going to cover this beauty up. I highly recommend this plant for the Tucson area especially if you love your hummingbirds and want something to do well.
A blogger friend, Noelle of Ramblings from a Desert Garden, reported on this plant several months ago. She is up in the Phoenix area so I had wondered how her Coral Fountains did up in the warmer regions of our state after that severe frost. She reported that her plant was brown but had new growth coming back. The temps recorded at El Presidio were 16 to 17 degrees over the course of several days in Tucson which almost completely killed the plant.....so there wasn't any new growth for us until several weeks ago. The temps we experienced were not typical of our winter lows, but they do happen. However, the plant is a great choice for our wildlife and xeric landscapes in Tucson. The link to Noelle's write on the Coral Fountains is below. She's got a great blog on plants from the Phoenix area. If you haven't read Ramblings from a Desert Garden, here's your chance below. Until next time....