Lysiloma microphylla (Feather Bush) is a large shrub or small tree that can reach heights of 5-10 ft tall or 10-20 ft tall depending on the setting. Native to the Rincon Mountains in Tucson, Arizona in the Sonoran desert, it is an excellent choice for hot, dry climates. A semi-evergreen shrub, it is drought and cold deciduous and will drop leaves briefly in the spring. The bark is rough and gray in color, and the leaves are pinnately compound. Flower heads are small and a pale cream or off-white color and attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.
In USDA Zone 9-11, the Lysiloma microphylla is a fairly easy plant to grow, preferring full sun and moderate water. The mature plant is cold hardy to at least 30 degrees Fahrenheit for a short time, and should be planted in an area that offers protection from the wind. Pruning is necessary to form the desired shape, and the shrub will grow quite rapidly with sufficient moisture.
In colder climates, the Lysiloma microphylla can be grown in a pot as long as it is kept above freezing. During winter months, the pot should be placed in a sheltered area under a tree canopy, or if grown outside, the plant should be heavily mulched to help the root system keep warm. Pruning should also be limited to the summer months after flowering season. The shrub should be watered regularly throughout the summer. Careful attention should be paid to the soil moisture and water requirements as this can affect the overall health and vigor of the plant.