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Desert Diary
Plants/Plant Search


The computer age has changed many things, from the way we meet mates to the way we wage war. Both the boon and bane of the computer is the World Wide Web search engine. With a few well-chosen words, the world of information—and misinformation—is available at our fingertips. On the boon side, almost anything you could wish for is available over the web. Looking for plants for your garden? Chances are, a search will bring up companies ready to sell you seeds or the plant itself.

But as always, web or not, caution is advised. Web sites often features gorgeous flowers growing in profusion, perfectly suitable for the East or Midwest, but perhaps unclear that they are not for our dry air and alkaline soils. Many a desert dweller of past years was lured by mail-order catalogues into buying plants doomed to die. The advice for the present-day buyer is the same as for those of yesteryear. Research before buying! Today's advantage, though, is that, thanks to the web, gathering information has never been so easy.
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Listen to the Audio (mp3 format) as recorded by KTEP, Public Radio for the Southwest.


Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.