With its low height and silvery, blue-green leaves, Gregg dalea is an attractive, low-maintenance groundcover for arid sites. This tree's long, trailing stems grow 6 to 12 inches high, beneficial for stabilizing slopes and rocky areas in poor soil. Gregg daleas do not like fertilizer and overwatering, especially in winter, although supplemental water can help keep foliage full in hot weather.
Although it grows mainly in limestone soils in the Southern Trans-Pecos and Mexico, it can also grow in other well-drained soils. During late winter or early spring, cut off the stems of last season's growth; it will produce new growth the following year—purple pea-like flowers on short spikes that are not noticeable from a distance but are very attractive close-up.
The species name "greggii" is in honor of Josiah Gregg, (1806-1850). Originally from Overton County, Tennessee, he lived in Glades for most of his life. In the summer of 1841 and again in the winter of 1841-42, he travelled through Texas, up the Red River valley, and from Galveston to Austin, via Nacogdoches, to Arkansas. He took note of Texas geology, trees, prevalent attitudes, and politics. Gregg was also compiling his travel notes into a manuscript. His “Commerce of the Prairies”, which came out in two volumes in 1844, was an immediate success. In 1848 he joined a botanical expedition to western Mexico and California, during which he corresponded with and sent specimens to the eminent botanist George Engelman in St. Louis. Subsequently, the American Botanical Society added the Latin name “greggii” in his honor to twenty-three species of plants. Gregg died on February 25, 1850, as a result of a fall from his horse.
Light: Sun, Part Shade
Zone: 7, 8