The desert trumpet plant is also known as Native American pipeweed or bottlebush, the scientific name is Eriogonum inflatum and the plants are native to the arid climates of the western and southwestern United States. The desert trumpet plants have actually developed interesting adaptations that distinguish them from other plants and allowing them to survive in punishing environments. Just continue reading to learn more about desert trumpet plant, including the plants growing conditions.


 Eriogonum Inflatum Info

Each Eriogonum inflatum displays a few spindly, nearly leafless, grayish green stems (or sometimes a single stem). The upright stems of the plant rise above basal rosettes of crinkly, spoon-shaped leaves. Each of the plant stem has an odd-looking inflated area (thus the alternative name “bladder stem”). For many years, experts believed the inflated area, which measures about an inch (2.5 cm.) in diameter – is the result of an irritation caused by a larva that burrows in the stem. However, botanists now believe the swollen area holds carbon dioxide, which benefits the desert trumpet plant in the process of photosynthesis.   

Just above the inflated area the stems branch out. Following summer rainfall, the branches display clusters of small, yellow flowers at the nodes. The desert trumpet plant’s long taproot provides moisture for several seasons, but the stem eventually turns from green to reddish brown, then to pale yellow. At this moment, the dry plant stems remain upright for some years. The desert trumpet seeds provide forage for birds and small desert animals, and the dried plant stems offer shelter. The desert trumpet plant is pollinated by bees. 


 Eriogonum Inflatum Growing Conditions

The desert trumpet plants grow in low elevations in deserts, mainly on well-drained sandy, gravelly, or rocky slopes. The desert trumpet plant tolerates heavy, alkaline soil.


Can You Grow Eriogonum inflatum?

You can actually grow the desert trumpet plants if you live in USDA plant hardiness zones five through ten and if you can provide plenty of sunlight and well-drained, gritty soil. However, the desert trumpet seeds are difficult to find, but most nurseries that specialize in native plants may be able to provide information. If you live near wild plants, you can try to harvest a few seeds from existing plants, but make sure not to over harvest this important desert wildflower. Plant the desert trumpet seeds in sandy compost, if possible in a greenhouse or warm, protected environment. Transplant the desert trumpet seedlings into individual pots and then keep them in the warm environment for their first winter, and then plant them outdoors in spring or early summer, after all frost danger has passed. Make sure you handle the desert trumpet plants carefully because the long taproot does not like to be disturbed.


Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post