Photos by Linda Langelo
Apache Plume is a plant that I consider still very underused in the landscape. This is a native of the southwest which provides interest year-round. In late spring a flush of white roselike flowers appear and continue through midsummer into fall. Once the flowers disappear there are feathery cream to pink styles that stay behind shown in the first picture where they are silhouetted and the second where you can see the light pink color. Lastly, in winter the shrub habit gives a light and airy texture.
This shrub does best in sunny, hot and dry locations. It requires very little supplemental water. It bears the same characteristic as pinyon pines. Neither do well in regular irrigation. In fact the two would do well to be used as companion plants in a landscape.
Plant them and neglect them. Pinyon pines that thrive in New Mexico which gets less than 9 inches of water a year do well. Apache Plume which also does well in New Mexico would do well on as much water. Apache Plume also thrives in Utah, west to California and down into north-central Mexico.
This shrub loves the full-sun exposure, but can tolerate partial shade. When placing this shrub be sure that the partial shade is very limited in the plant's exposure.
This plant is not fussy about soil type. It will do well in either sand or clay.
We are in zone 5 in northeast Colorado and this plant does well in zones 4 to 8 with an elevation range up to 7,000 feet.
Think about adding this plant in your landscape either as an accent or in grouping. It is very attractive and conservative on water along with no input for fertilization, pruning or disease and pest problems.