Thurber's desert honeysuckle, more...
[Anisacanthus siphoglossa (Torr.) A. Gray, more]
Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Benson and Darrow 1981
Common Name: Thurber's desert honeysuckle Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub General: Perennial, cold-deciduous shrub 1-2 m tall; leaves reappear in early spring; bark exfoliating, brown to gray with two vertical lines of pubescence. Leaves: Opposite lanceolate, sparsely hairy, entire, 4-6 cm long, 1-1.5 cm wide, to 2 cm rarely, puberulent to glabrous. Flowers: Usually brick red, occasionally yellow or orange, tubular, 2-3.5 cm long. Fruits: Dehiscent, 2-valved capsule 12-14 mm long, flattened with a long stalk. Ecology: Rocky canyon bottoms and gravelly or sandy washes from 2,000-5,000 ft (610-1524 m); blooms March-June, rarely in Fall (October-November). Distribution: AZ, sw NM; south to c MEX. Notes: A charismatic shrub of deserts with its showy orange-red tubular flowers with 1 lobe above and 3 below and long, exserted stamens; distinguished by being pubescent all over; whitish, exfoliating older bark; opposite, lanceolate leaves; and inflorescences with clusters of flowers with glandular flower stalks. Summer rains stimulate stem growth, with flowers that are well adapted for hummingbird pollination. One of the better browse plants in the desert. Often found growing in shade. Ethnobotany: Potential use of nectar as sweetener, but no documented use. Etymology: Anisacanthus is from Greek anisos -unequal-, while Thurberi is for Dr. George Thurber (1821-1890) a botanist on the Mexican Boundary Survey in 1850-1854. Synonyms: Drejera thurberi Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2015