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Sparky blossoms spread Sun Devil spirit

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

October 12, 2012

ASU’s spunky mascot Sparky is spreading Sun Devil spirit beyond t-shirts, license plates and mugs. Fans can now border their lawns and liven their patios with the maroon-throated, yellow-petaled, green-leafed “Sparky” plant.

Developed by horticulturist George Hull, faculty associate in The Design School’s landscape architecture program in the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, “Sparky” is a desert hardy, resilient shrub that Hull developed after several years of breeding. The plants average 5 to 6-feet in height and 3-feet in width. The “Sparky” shrubs are available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, SummerWinds and most retail nurseries in Arizona. The signature maroon and gold plants are the fifth in the line of new Tecoma hybrids bred by Hull. He’s working on “Sparklette,” a more diminutive version of “Sparky.”

The plant is low maintenance, likes sun and after it is established requires little watering. It can experience frost damage if temperatures fall to the low 20s, but it recovers quickly and can be trimmed back to 12 inches when new growth starts in the spring.

Hull developed the plants at V&P Nurseries as a partner in its New Plant Introductions, and has designated that a portion of proceeds from “Sparky” sales go to The Design School’s landscape architecture program.

Public Contact: 
Susan Felt
Coordinator of Communications and Marketing

Media Contact:
Susan Felt
Coordinator Communications and Marketing