Martha, You might want to double check, but I think the Chinese jujube
(Zizyphus Jujuba) might work. This member of the buckthorn family
bears fruits apx the size of large olives that are sweet and taste
vaguely of apples. They are also known as Chinese Dates and aare what
you get when you buy a box of "red dates" in a chinatown.
They are droubt toerant and deciduous, growing back leaves in about
March. Such a tree MIGHT need a little watering to get it established
in the beginning, but should do ok once its roots have taken hold. I
recall reading that they are used as a commercial crop in someplace
like Kazakhistan. (or maybe that's Uzbekhistan)
If you choose a named variety, such as Li or Lang, you should get
pretty good fruit.
They also spread from the roots, so when you come back you might have
a small orchard. :-)
Martha Niemann <martikay at u.washington.edu> writes:
>I have a piece of property in arid Eastern Washington that I would like
>to plant something on. It is now vacant, sagebrush and wildflower land,
>but we have hopes of building on it one day. Until then, however, I would
>like to have just one or two shrubs/bushes on it that I planted as a
>symbolic jesture, but I don't know what would survive. There is no water
>source, and I live in Seattle, therefore I have no way to nurture it. No
>one here even believes that plants do grow in E WA, but I know something
>must. I considered cactus, but there is none natively around. Would it
>survive/thrive? Is it appropriate?