Editor’s note: This article was originally printed in the May 2010 issue of the Newsletter for Members. The accompanying table of flowering times has been updated for 2015.
The second half of spring, that is to say, April and most of May, is not for the timid. The perennial plants that flower and fruit during these late spring months are case-hardened desert dwellers that never ask for a break from the heat and wouldn’t get one even if they did. They have no desire to be the wimpy annual wildflowers that germinate in the fall and spend a couple of leisurely winter months growing fatter each day before conveniently flowering and completing their life cycle just as the going gets rough in the first few weeks of April.
Late spring perennials are more trustworthy than annuals too, with far fewer boom or bust cycles. Spring annuals are prone to throw uncontrollable temper tantrums by sometimes never germinating at all or scaring everyone by holding their breath and not germinating until January like they did this year. [Read more…]