Botanical Harvest: Greasewood (Larrea tridentate)

Greasewood (Larrea tridentate) also known as chaparral, la gobenadora, creosote, or shegoi, is a love poem to survival.  Common to the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mojave deserts, greasewood thrives where little else can survive, shaping to a situation, becoming what is needed.

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Botanical Harvest: Cliffrose (Purshia mexicana)

Desert plants protect their beauty with thorny spines and bitter leather.  Fierce and unapproachable or sometimes just nondescript, these plants hold back until the spring’s warmth or monsoon rains break all restraint and carpet the desert in glory and flower, the air thick with perfume.  Cliffrose is no different.  Rather unnoticeable most of the year, in May, this leathery leaved desert shrub cloaks head to toe in beautifully fragrant blooms.

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Botanical Harvest: Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)

Honey Mesquite is one of our all-time favorite “noxious” plants.  (It is thought to compete with rangelands, much to the dismay of ranchers.)  Its pods taste like brown sugar and make delicious cookies, it puts nitrogen into the soil, can survive on very little water, has an awesomely long phreatophytic taproot that pumps groundwater to dry surface soils and bees love it. (If we could only be this cool… )

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Botanical Harvest: Evening Primrose (Oenothera caespitosa + Oenothera biennis)

We have been blessed with a very wet summer and the evening primroses are blooming like crazy. Fragrant Evening Primrose is a beautiful and useful flowering perennial of the Southwest.  Thought to have originated in Mexico and Central America, the roots and leaves of this plant have a long history of dermatological use.

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Botanical Harvest: Tamarisk Blossom (Tamarix ramosissima)

We are well in the midst of our summer Tamarisk blossom harvest.  Walking rivers and streams on private land, we gather these sweet pink flowers (before they set seed) for use in a botanical perfume for our Tamarisk Blossom Soap.  This well-hated invasive from Eurasia and Africa holds far more scandal and backstory than can be summed up in a short post.

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