Tag Archives: Prickly Pear

Xeriscaping Part III

Part three of our article series explores a fascinating concept:  edible xeriscape plants.  Yes, you read that correctly.

Xeriscape Plants That You Can Eat Part I: Cacti

Xeriscaping Can Be Beautiful | (928) 356-8167
Xeriscaping Can Be Beautiful | (928) 356-8167

As we said in an earlier article, most people think of a cactus when they think of xeriscaping plants.  They’re spiny and have pretty flowers, however, but can you eat them?  Absolutely. So, let’s start there. A lot of people know that the fruit of the prickly pear cactus is edible, and that it is made into a lot of different products including candies, jelly, and even wine. The pads are used to make nopalito, which is often eaten for breakfast.

What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that the fruit of the saguaro cactus is also edible.  The fruit are a bright red, ripen in June, and are harvested by many local tribes, including the Tohono O’odham.  A cactus garden can include a saguaro cactus, however, be prepared to pay a bit for one.  A saguaro cactus doesn’t grow arms until it is 50-75 years old. And even a small saguaro can be about $200.  Cacti, however, aren’t the only plants that pop up in xeriscaping.

Xeriscape Plants That You Can Eat Part II: Herbs, Fruits, and Veggies

Many herbs  thrive in hot and arid climates like Arizona, so they’re perfect for xeriscaping.   Marjoram, oregano, thyme, basil and rosemary are just some of the herbs that do well here.  Hmm.  Anyone want some nopalito parmesan?

There are a lot of veggies you can grow as part of your xeriscape landscape design including onions, garlic, radishes, broccoli, and cabbage.  Okra grows well here, as do canteloupes as well.  But what about the fruit?

Well for one thing, figs grow very well in Arizona.  So do Asian pears, loquat, and persimmons. The most surprising xeriscape fruit that grows here are blackberries.  So as you hopefully have seen, xeriscaping is so much more than just a cactus and a yucca.

This concludes our three part series on xeriscaping.  Be sure to read part one and part two as well.

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600 W. Ray Rd. Suite B2
Prescott AZ 85225
(928) 356-8167



You can have beautiful landscape even in the desert. The first, method of landscaping in the desert is to choose plants that are native to the area in which you are landscaping, in this case Arizona.  Second, the plants will not need expensive fertilizers to grow to their full potential. They are made to grow in the dry desert soil, these plants know how to survive with minimal amounts of water.  Listed below are excellent plant choices for desert landscapes.



Desert Willow 

The Desert Willow has pink and purple flowers usually attracting humming birds.  This tree does well in full sun and in dry soils. Surprisingly despite its name it’s not actually a willow tree.



Desert Museum Palo Verde

The Desert Museum Palo Verde is a thorn less tree with bright yellow flowers.  This tree flowers in the Spring and is best in full sun.


Chilean Mesquite

The Chilean Mesquite has greenish yellow flowers. The tree flowers in the Spring and Summer and is dormant in the Winter months.  


Golden Barrel

The Golden Barrel cactus has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling. This cactus blooms in mid-summer with a pale yellow flower. It is also Drought-tolerant and does well in full sun.



Yucca Pendula

The Yucca Pendula is a cactus that does great in full sun or partial shade. This Yucca can be identified by its blue-green leathery textures foliage. It also has whitish flowers and blooms in the late summer to mid-fall.



Prickly Pear

The Prickly Pear has flat rounded cladodes with yellow flowers. The cactus blooms in the Sprint to the early Summer and does great in full sun.  The colorful fruit that grows on the cacti attracts birds in the summer months.




Baja Fairy Duster

The Baja Fairy Duster does great in full sun and flowers year round. The flowers are Scarlet Red to Orange-Red attracting humming birds.



 Desert Ruellia

The Desert Ruellia is a plant native to Mexico. The Desert Ruellia does good in full sun and has  funnel-shaped purple or blue flowers. This plant blooms in mid-March to November.



Mexican Honeysuckle

The Mexican Honeysuckle does great in full sun and attracts humming birds. Clusters of bright orange, narrowly tubular flowers appear almost year round.