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Fallugia paradoxa (D. Don) Endl. ex Torr.
Apache Plume, Ponil
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
USDA Symbol: FAPA
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Apache-plume is a slender, upright, deciduous to semi-evergreen, multi-branched shrub, usually 2-6 ft. tall, with grayish-white, pubescent branches. A shrub with white flowers and silvery puffs of fruit heads borne at the tips of very dense, intertangled, twiggy, slender branches. Dark green leaves (silver beneath) contrast well with the loose clusters of fragile, white, apple blossom-like flowers. Distinctive, pink, feathery plumes characterize the persistent fruit.
These rather thick shrubs appear unkempt, but in full flower their white petals are attractive against the dark foliage. Fruit clusters with feathery, purplish tails said to resemble Apache headdress.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 12 feet tall, often much shorter.
Flower: Flowers 2 inches.
Fruit: Feathery, pink or purplish, 2 inches long.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , CO , NM , NV , OK , TX , UT
Native Distribution: C. & w. TX to CO & s. CA, s. to n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky slopes; open woods; dry washes; 3000 to 8000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, gravelly, sandy soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type
Conditions Comments: Apache plume is easy to grow and blooms the first year from seed. It is good for erosion control because of drought-tolerance and aggressive seeding. It can, however, become too aggressive in optimum conditions. Cut oldest woody stems to the ground to rejuvenate.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Grows in clumps, Blooms ornamental, Color, Winter-hardy, Erosion control, Rocky hillside
Use Wildlife: An important forage plant for wild animals. Nectar-insects, Cover, Nesting site, Nesting material, Browse
Use Medicinal: Hopis steeped leaves and applied the liquid as a rinse to promote hair growth. (Weiner) Roots dug in fall boiled in water for coughs, spring twigs made into tea for indigestion and spring fever.
Use Other: Slender branches used for sweeping, straight branches used for arrows. Leaves steeped in water used for washing hair.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Germinates readily from fresh, untreated seed that has not been allowed to dry out. Seed that has dried must be stratified. Easily propagated from layers and separation of suckers from horizontal roots.
Seed Collection: Collect from August to November when pink styles of fruits turn white and seed is easily stripped or shaken from tree. Air dry seeds and store in cloth bags in dry, well-ventilated place.
Seed Treatment: Stratify 30 days at 41 degrees. No treatment may give satisfactory results.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Replacing grass with xeric plants in Nevada
March 20, 2009
I am looking to xeriscape my front yard - remove all grass! I am thinking 3-4 larger plants: bird of paradise (mesquite??), aloe, and ..?? Also, possibly a Chilean mesquite. Do you have suggestio...
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From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
BibliographyBibref 1207 - Earth Medicine, Earth Food (1990) Michael A. Weiner
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Webref 1 - Texas Native Shrubs (2002) Texas A&M University Agriculture Program and Leslie Finical, Dallas Arboretum
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Fallugia paradoxa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Fallugia paradoxa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Fallugia paradoxa
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-18
Research By: TWC Staff