Prince’s Plume in the Landscape


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    Prince’s Plume in the Landscape


    Heidi Kratsch, Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
    Graham Hunter, Research Associate, Center for Water Efficient Landscaping

    January 2009 | HG/NativePlants/2009-05

    Stanleya pinnata

    Prince's plume

    yellow Prince's plume flowersDescription: Extremely drought-tolerant perennial to 5 feet tall
    with a large mound of coarse foliage at the base and tall plumes of
    lemon yellow flowers in summer.

    This species occurs naturally throughout the interior West and plains states. Though small, the flowers are numerous and open progressively towards the tip of the stalk; the effect in the landscape is quite spectacular.



    Photo credit: Graham Hunter

    Cultural Requirements:

    Native habitat                                                    Valleys and foothills; talus slopes at elevations from
    3,000 to 9,000 feet
    Soil  Thrives in poor, dry, sandy soil;
    use gravel mulch
    Cold Tolerance Zones 4 - 8
    Drought Tolerance High
    Salt Tolerance Moderate
    Sun/Shade Preference Full sun
    Propagation  From seed and division
    Maintenance Requires good drainage, and lowfertility soils; water sparingly once
    Problems Toxic to livestock

    Landscape Value:

    Use in the Landscape                                                       Background, accent, rock gardens; try several plants progressing
    through strategically placed boulders in a xeric garden!
    Leaves Blue-gray, lanceolate (lanceshaped) leaves at base; finer and
    thinner up the stalks
    Flowers Showy, lemon yellow arranged in a raceme (flowers attached to a
    central stalk by a short stem)
    Color color chart showing seasonal bloom time
    Fruit (seedheads) Silique (2-chambered capsule)
    Form Erect flower stalks emerge from clumps of
    mostly basal leaves
    Texture Fine, feathery
    Ultimate Size 1-5 feet tall
    Rate of Growth Medium to fast
    Plant Community Mountain brush, pinyon-juniper, shrub steppe, cool desert shrub, salt desert shrub
    Availability Limited, but improving
    Cultivars None of ornamental value


    Cold-stratify seed for up to 90 days. Sow seed to a depth of ¼″ in a well drained, peat-based soil-less substrate. Transplant seedlings to individual pots as soon as roots are established and growing.

    Additional Photos

    prince's plume in a rocky landscapeprince's plume plants in a natural ecosystem setting









    Photo credits: Heidi Kratsch


    Digital Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Utah. 2008. URL:
    Department/utgeog/utvatlas/family/brass/stpi.html (outdated link) 

    Mee, W., J. Barnes, R. Kjelgren, R. Sutton, T. Cerny, and C. Johnson. 2003. Waterwise: Native Plants for
    Intermountain Landscapes. Utah State University Press, Logan, UT.

    USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2008. Plants database. URL:

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