Onward through the fog! - More Drivel and Trivia :-)

Shawn Pollard pollards22@yahoo.com
Thu, 26 Dec 2013 07:33:22 PST

The boojum trees (Fouquieria/Idria columnaris) planted around Yuma must be made of tougher stuff than the Phoenician ones.  There's a couple at a local nursery that are pushing 8' tall (at least) and are definitely not being misted.  The babies in my yard do get summer water, but are not otherwise pampered.  Maybe they like the summer humidity we get with our 115F days instead of monsoons.  (Although, we got two major storms this August, which seemed to confuse and upset a number of my established garden plants, especially Oxalis drummondii for some reason.)

As for Sabino Canyon, I am not aware of any reports of Taxodium mucronatum in Arizona in recorded history.  "Sabino" in Spain refers to a species of juniper, in Mexico it does refer to the Montezuma and bald cypresses (also called "sabina"), but in Arizona and Texas it refers to the Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica), also called "táscate."  

The two stories I heard about Sabino Canyon while growing up in Tucson are (1) the Spanish found Arizona cypresses there in the 1700s at an unusually low altitude and (2) the canyon was named after San Sabino (Saint Sabinus), the patron of a local rancher.  

The nearby subdivision my family moved into when I was in high school is known (in Tucson's celebrated, fractured Spanish) as "Sabino Vista."  A Tucson newspaper gives an annual award for the best bad Spanish street name.  Past winners have included Calle Oreo, Calle del Pantera, and Camino Greenfields.

Shawn Pollard
Yuma, AZ

On Wed, 12/25/13, Leo A. Martin <leo@possi.org> wrote:
 I also know a friend who used standard drip irrigation
 microspray emitters on poles,
 just above the plants, to mist his Fouquieria columnaris
 (boojum) plants here in the
 lower Sonoran desert. This plant is from the small
 winter-rainfall area of northern Baja
 California and doesn't like our summer heat. It worked well
 with the emitters going off
 by timer, three times per day, every day of the year, for 15
 minutes each time. When
 your redwoods become happy you will need to keep extending
 the poles frequently.
 Another possibility would be to grow Taxodium mucronatum,
 the Montezuma cypress, whose
 foliage when small somewhat resembles a redwood's. It
 tolerates blazing desert heat if
 it be well-watered (in habitat it grows beside and in
 rivers.) Tucson's Sabino Canyon
 was named for this tree, which formerly grew there, until
 the US Army cut them all down
 to build Fort Lowell during the Apache wars.
 The trunk of Fouquieria columnaris looks like an upside-down
 white carrot so there is
 bulb content in this drivel. 

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