Tohono Chul flower book is garden-friendly

2012-06-03T00:00:00Z Tohono Chul flower book is garden-friendlyElena Acoba Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Author Sue Feyrer had gardeners in mind when she updated her book about flowers at Tohono Chul Park.

Feyrer, a park volunteer for 10 years, added planting and care information on 112 species listed in the recently released second edition of "The Flowering Plants of Tohono Chul Park."

Her intent for the 2009 original book was to create a guide to help park docents and visitors identify about 90 flowers on the grounds.

But that first edition also became popular with gardeners.

"It's turned out to be very useful as a landscaping guide," she says.

In the new version, Feyrer adds sun and watering requirements for each entry and notes special features, such as whether a plant is an Arizona native; susceptible to rabbit grazing; or attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies or bees.

The entries are divided by color. Each includes scientific and common names, characteristics, ethnobotanical uses and photographs that Feyrer took.

There's also a table showing when plants bloom.

Even after logging more than a year of work on the book, Feyrer didn't quite cover all of the plants at Tohono Chul. It doesn't list most succulents and trees, as well as several of the numerous penstemons.

She hopes to publish a book on the cacti and succulents someday.

Feyrer spends about 60 hours a month as a volunteer in the greenhouse. She donates book-sale proceeds to the park as her way to contribute financially.

"I am very much a fan of Tohono Chul Park," she says.

"I love all the time I spend there, and I wanted to do something for them."

Feyrer's favorites

Sue Feyrer lists three of her favorite plants from her book, "The Flowering Plants of Tohono Chul Park."

• Gold ball lead tree

(Leucana retusa) sports yellow flower balls. The small, treelike shrub "always reminds me of a Dr. Seuss story," she says.

• Mexican sunflower

(Tithonia fruticosa) is a recent addition to her garden. It grows up to 12 feet tall and sports orange florets in the center and yellow florets on the outer edge of the flower head.

• Queen's wreath vine

(Antigonon leptopus) hasn't made its way into Feyrer's garden yet, but she hopes to soon add the 20-foot vine that sports clusters of small, pink flowers.

"The Flowering Plants of Tohono Chul Park"

• Author: Sue Feyrer.

• Published: In February. Designed by Tohono Chul Park, printed by West Press.

• Details: Paperback, 56 pages, $10.95, $11.95 online.

• Available: Tohono Chul Park gift shops and online store at www.tohonochulpark.org/cart/books

Contact local freelance writer Elena Acoba at acoba@dakotacom.net

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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