Hummingbird Plants of the Southwest; A Review
Hummingbird Lovers: Book Lovers: A book by Marcy Scott is out. It is an exhaustive compilation of hummingbird plants in the Southwest. Everyone loves hummingbirds. Their beauty, size, energy and performance antics inspire us. Marcy Scott has written a book about these endearing critters; their description, environment, migratory patterns, as well as a warning as to the fragility of the ecosystem that they live in.
In a few short chapters, Scott summarizes hummingbirds of the Southwest, particularly the migratory corridors that we are so fortunate to live in proximity to; Ramsey Canyon, Madera Canyon, and Cave Creek in the Chiracahuas.
Chapter 2 covers the 14 species found in the American Southwest, from the most common Anna’s and Costa’s to the rare Lucifer, violet-crowned and Rufous hummingbirds. To see and identify these less common hummingbirds is a thrill. One of the places you might see the more elusive species is Paton House, now Paton Center, in Patagonia, recently acquired by the Tucson Audubon Society. Stop by, lunch at the Velvet Elvis, and say “Hi” for us. (During Covid check with venue for open status.)
Chapter 3 and 4 talk about creating your hummingbird habitat and gardening native plants.
But this book is mostly about the 100 + hummingbird plants that you may find and grow in the Southwest. It is an exhaustive approach, citing over 20 species of Penstemon, each covering a page of description and a page of detailed photograph. They are sorted alphabetically by scientific name. You can find them by their more common name in the index, which is where I went to find the plant Chuparosa, its Spanish name meaning “hummingbird”, its scientific name, Justica Californica.
I learned several tidbits from this book which I had not known. One, which, upon reflection seems obvious, that most hummingbird attractor plants are red or orange in color. You will find a few purple or yellow blossoms, however; Delphinium, Yellowbells, and the Agave bloom.
In the rear of the book is an appendix about helping the hummingbird cause, a glossary, resources and bibliography if you wish to know more.
Marcy Scott’s “Hummingbird plants of the Southwest” is a great reference book as well as a guide to setting up your hummingbird habitat. Recommended if you wish to attract hummingbirds.
Hummingbird Plants of the Southwest