The Brilliance of Brittlebrush

encelia farinosa

Encelia farinosa, the brittlebrush of the Sonoran Desert, is a perennial wildflower here.  Its golden springtime daisies are fairly certain to appear somewhere, whatever the weather has been, though they would be in greater abundance following a wetter winter than we have just had!  Just now they are flowering alongside the highway - and in my garden!

encelia farinosa

It's a bit rangy, not surprising given it is a wild thing that grows happily in roadside ditches.  But very pretty in its way, for all that, with brilliant yellow-gold flowers and pewter-white foliage.  The latter persists long after the blooms have fallen, making it an intriguing long-season addition to the garden.

encelia farinosa

In the wild it generally goes more or less dormant during the fierce summer months, but should remain fairly fresh with the extra bit of moisture in the garden.  It is not a plant to be overwatered, however; and I've read that the leaves lose that silver hue if given regular moisture.  So it is a plant for the drier parts of a desert planting, and that is just where I have put it -- down at the bottom in the East Border.  So far it is thriving.

encelia farinosa

I had wanted to plant one for quite a while; but despite its prevalence in local roadsides, it remained elusive at nurseries.  I finally was able to purchase one last year, and this is its first bloom season in the garden.

encelia farinosa

And flowering pretty freely for its first season!

encelia farinosa

And now a quick note about the blog, as this is the first time I have posted in nearly a month - very unusual for me.  I've been pretty depressed lately, what between national events and local attitudes, besides dealing with worsening health in my beloved fourteen and a half year old dog, Bella.  So I just disappeared for a bit from the blog.  I apologize especially to those of you whose comments I've missed replying to!  


I'm back for now because I love the blog and I've so appreciated the people that take the time to follow it. In the interests of keeping on, I think the pace and style of posting may be a little different for now, with more photo posts - something that keeps me enjoying life and the garden - and fewer meme entries.  At all events, I hope you'll continue to enjoy the blog as I do!  I love to share my garden with you!

encelia farinosa

Weather Diary: Partly cloudy and windy; High: 74 F (23 C)/Low: 55 F (13 C); Humidity: 30%-43%

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Comments: 8
  • #1

    Kris P (Thursday, 15 March 2018 13:05)

    I'm sorry you're dealing with the blues, Amy. There does seem to be a lot of that going around. Watching a beloved furry companion decline isn't easy under any circumstances - please give Bella a pat for me. Gardening helps me get out of my head, if only for awhile, and I hope it helps you that way as well. Your desert daisy is beautiful.

  • #2

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Friday, 16 March 2018 02:57)

    Thanks so much, Kris! I feel how fortunate I am that Bella has made it to fourteen, in particular that she didn't succumb to the surgery for bloat last summer. But you're right, it's never easy. Gardening does help - I don't know what we'd do without it!

  • #3

    Diana Studer (Friday, 16 March 2018 16:40)

    Gardening and my weekly hikes - still looking at plants, but without the burden of ... must prune that, fill that gap, replace that, etc.
    Hard to to deal with the big political issues, and the piece of your heart ones.

  • #4

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Saturday, 17 March 2018 12:33)

    Thank you kindly, Diana! Yes, we must give ourselves some slack at times like these - not something I'm generally good at. It's time I learned, I suppose! :)

  • #5

    Cathy (Saturday, 17 March 2018 16:21)

    Amy, I was sorry to hear you have been low. It seems world events have got to many of us recently, and on top of having a poorly doggie. I hope Bella isn't in pain. She has reached a great age, but I know how hard it is to see a beloved pet age and decline.
    I love your yellow flower, and think that is an excellent strategy, taking natives that survive the roadside conditions and planting them in your garden. That is what I try and do to a great extent here. Lovely photos. All the best to you and Bella!

  • #6

    Brian Skeys (Sunday, 18 March 2018 06:39)

    Gardening is a known therapy for the blues and sharing, wether with a friend or blogging friends can help.

  • #7

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 20 March 2018 03:35)

    Cathy - Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Bella has been doing a bit better since I realized she was also suffering from seasonal allergies (the down side to getting some light rainfalls!), and since I managed to cheer up somewhat... I do like using the natives and was noticing the wild Sphaeralcea in bloom today as I went into town - must get some of that into the garden too...! ;-) It's a little harder to place as it sprawls unapologetically!

  • #8

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 20 March 2018 03:37)

    Thank you so much, Brian! The encouragement and good cheer of my blogging friends has certainly done much to help me keep my head above water!