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Slender Janusia

Cottsia gracilis

Details & Attributes

Plant Type(s) Vines
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Pollinators Bees particularly Centris pallida (Pale digger bee)
Has Spines No
In relative feet, width by height
3-6 × 3-6
Flowering Season April-October
Flower Color Yellow
Minimum Temperature Range 20 °F
Leaf Description Narrow and linear, borne opposite one another on the stem.
Fruit A furry, 3-winged helicopter seeds
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Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 1000-5000 ft.
Description Slender Janusia is a small vine of the low-mid desert, often found in the foothills of mountain ranges, or along washes. Desert environments tend to produce few plants with a vining habit, so it is always striking to see twining stems climbing the spines of a saguaro (Carnegia gigantea) or ocotillo (Carnegia gigantea). The bright yellow flowers, and samaras (winged seedpods) add to the charm of this species. Leaves are linear and opposite, with the foliage sometimes green, and other times purple depending on exposure and temperature. This plant is part of a mostly tropical family called Malpighaceae, and like many other members of this family the flowers produce a floral oil which is a source of sustenance for the larvae of native bees in the genus Centris. All this makes slender janusia an excellent choice for hot, xeric, pollinator gardens around western, central, and southern AZ.