For 20 years the dwarf flowering almond (prunus glandulosa) has been a harbinger of spring in my garden. The double pink flowers open early and have excellent staying power. Since I'm awful at remembering plant names, the flowering almond simply became known as the pink fuzzball tree around our house. I think you can see why.
I'm not sure where or why I originally purchased this shrub. I probably saw it in a big box store during it's spring flush of pink fluffiness and snatched it up in a moment of impulse. I'm glad I did because it's turned out to be one of my best purchases.
Various web sites describe the flowering almond as needing full sun and moist, well-drained soil. These days I rarely plant anything requiring "moist" soils, but I have to say this plant is very drought tolerant once established. It lived quite happily between a lantana and an ornamental pomegranate until it was relocated last May.
The mature height of the flowering almond is supposed to be 4-5 feet. Mine stands about 3 feet tall. Perhaps it is smaller due to lack of water and care. I never pampered it. I don't even remember ever fertilizing the poor thing, but every spring the tight little pink buds form and then burst into flower.
This is a plant I can truly count on to get my spring off to a good start!