Gardens of Santiago – Madagascar Palm

Many guests ask about the unusual, spiky, multi-stemmed plant near the pool. No, it doesn’t bear fruit for mai tais. But it sure puts a smile on lots of faces. It’s called a Madagascar Palm, aka “The Devil’s Backscratcher.” This impressive specimen is drought-tolerant and combines features of palms and cactus. It’s related to the softer, gentler Plumeria plant and can grow as tall as 16 feet. Ours is still young but already stands over seven feet tall. And if you visit right now, you’ll see the stems covered in fragrant, white blooms.

Here are some of the local horticulture sites that will inspire your green thumb -

The Living Desert Zoo / Gardens has one of the most extensive and varied desert gardens in the Coachella Valley.

Established in 1938, the fascinating Moorten’s Botanical Garden showcases thousands of desert plants along an easy path.  This is a must see - only one mile from Santiago Resort.

For an unforgettable experience, visit Joshua Tree National Park.  A fascinating variety of plants and animals exist here where the Mohave and the Colorado deserts meet.

Want more information on desert plants?  Join the Coachella Valley’s Desert Horticultural Society and receive The Chuparosa, their monthly newsletter.