Good for dry times

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pretty yellow flowers on thryallis hold up in dry times.

When there is little rain, as there has been for the last two months, many plants begin to show their unhappiness by shedding leaves, allowing their leaves to sag, or putting on an unhappy demeanor. A few plants are able to soldier on, and one of them is thryallis, Galphimina gracilis. Its sun-yellow flowers are an indication of its disposition in dry times. Native to Mexico and Central America, this drought-resistant shrub once was a star in the Xeriscaping lineup, and then quietly slipped into a supporting cast. Well. Walking through the Garden this week, I happened on thryallis looking like a plant in its prime. The yellow flowers usually are present in the normal warm season but this year the season has extended into our “winter” and so she thrives. Five petals that are slightly clawed put it in the Malpighiaceae family, related to our native locustberry. Like locustberry, it is a sprawly shrub, about 3 to 5 feet tall, and leaner and longer in shade. Plant it in full sun for the best shape and most flowers.

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