Pronounciation: Air-e-mo-FI-la hi-grow-FA-na
Sunset 8, 9, 14-24
USDA 8 (with protection), 9-11 (arid and semi arid regions only)
Landscape Use: Informal and somewhat small accent plant, attracts hummingbirds, xeric landscape design theme, extereme urban sites.
Form & Character: Blue bells is a semi-woody evergreen perennial with a relatively regularly rounded yet informal habit, passive, recessive and visually non-threatening in the landscape, but with blue floral suprises.
Growth Habit: Moderately slow to grow after transplanting into the landscape ultimately reaching about 3 feet in height with somewhat greater spread.
Foliage/Texture: Alternate arrangement, lanceolate, sessile, densely tomentose light gray leaves to 2 inches; medium fine texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Violet blue, axillary and tubular flowers on short curved peduncle which holds 1 inch long borne upright, profuse; fruit inconspicuous.
Seasonal Color: Flowers almost all year around.
Temperature: Hardy to 20oF.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Extremely salt and alkaline tolerant, must have good drainage.
Watering: Tolerates moderate aridity.
Pruning: Rarely needs pruning, only occassional heading cuts to improve shape. PLEASE do not shear this precious shrub. In Phoenix, it's growth rate and ultimate size are somewhat reduced by watering less.
Propagation: Semi-hardwood cuttings root easily.
Disease and pests: None if properly cared for. Root rot is overwatered.
Additional comments: This is an OUTSTANDING small mostly herbaceous perennial subshrub that makes a fine addition as a small accent shrub to xeric landscape settings in south central Arizona. Blue bells works well with other local xeric landscape shrubs such as Calliandra californica or Eremphila 'Valentine'.