Beer, Bell and Oil Bushes

Hopseed fruits
     As the blossoms on the bush morning glories fade away in the increasing heat, several other bushes and plants in my yard are now flowering.  In my backyard I have several Hop bushes or Hopseed bushes as they are also callled.  I had never heard of these bushes before I moved to the desert.  I looked them up and learned they are native to Australia and New Zealand.  Mine are bright green, but there is a purple leaf variety also.  They are evergreen, drought tolerant and can grow to 12 feet.  They produce papery-winged fruits, and  I  learned that the seeds have been used as a substitute for hops in brewing beer, hence the name.

Hopseed bush

     Another bush that graces my yard in several locations is the commonly called Yellow Bells or trumpet bush.  I had never heard of these bushes either.  They bloom spring till frost with tubular yellow blossoms and can grow 8 to 12 feet.There is also a variety callled Orange Bells with orange blossoms.  Evidently they grow in Texas, New Mexico and Florida too.  They are frost deciduous, and all of them lost all their leaves in the freezes we had last winter.  They all grew new green leaves and are flowering.

Yellow Bells bush
Yellow Bells blossom

Finally, a bush I have heard of.  I have two Jojoba bushes in my side yard.  You have probably heard of Jojoba oil, the liquid wax obtained from the seeds of this shrub.  I had never actually seen a Jojoba bush till I moved here.  The leaves are thick, leathery and blue-green.  They are evergreen, can grow to 15 feet and live for 200 years.  They grow in California, northern Mexico, Israel and Australia.  The female flowers are small, greenish-yellow, and form hard, acorn-like seeds from which the oil is obtained.

Jojoba bush

Jojoba flower

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