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We recommend the following shrubs for Tucson, AZ and low desert regions of Southern Arizona. Shrubs are a versatile group of plants that give form and substance to a landscape. They can divide large areas into small ones, hide unsightly views, and most will provide colorful blooms. The following desert-adapted shrubs are ideal for water-efficient landscaping.

Photo Name Description
Click on photos or the name of the shrub for more information
Woolly Butterfly Bush Woolly Butterfly Bush Buddleia marrubiifolia From March to August the Woolly Butterfly Bush blooms small, bright orange colored flowers that attract butterflies. It grows to 5 feet tall with an equal or greater spread.
Yellow Bird of Paradise Yellow Bird of Paradise Caesalpinia gilliesii Yellow Bird of Paradise is well-suited to our low desert climate. A multi-trunked shrub with compound leaves and beautiful yellow flowers that look like birds about to take flight.
Red Bird of Paradise Red Bird of Paradise Caesalpinia pulcherrima Red Bird of Paradise has long been a favorite summer blooming shrub here in Tucson, AZ. This tropical-looking plant produces a dazzling display of orange-red flowers in the summer.
Mexican Bird of Paradise Mexican Bird of Paradise Caesalpinia mexicana The Mexican Bird of Paradise has lush green, ferny foliage and bright yellow flowers. It will tolerate more heat than most. A large shrub that grows fairly rapidly to 15 feet tall.
Green Feathery Cassia Green Feathery Cassia Cassia nemophila A very tough and drought tolerant shrub, the Green Feathery Cassia will survive under desert conditions or near coastal regions. Its bright yellow flowers are quite showy.
Baja Fairy Duster Baja Fairy Duster Calliandra californica Baja Fairy Duster has ferny green foliage and an open, irregular form that blends well in desert-themed landscapes. Scarlet red, tufted flowers provide year-round color.
Hop Bush Hop Bush Dodonaea viscosa The Hop Bush is drought tolerant with an upright, branching form that reaches a height of 12 feet with a 10 foot spread. Willow-like leaves turn a reddish shade in the winter.
Emu Bush Emu Bush Eremophila maculata Emu Bush is a medium-sized shrub with small, round green leaves and rosy red, tubular flowers that bloom from winter to spring. It is tolerant of heat, alkaline soils and drought.
Chuparosa Chuparosa Justicia californica Chuparosa is a sprawling shrub that grows to 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide. Its succulent green branches bloom red, tubular flowers from late winter to spring. It attracts hummingbirds.
Mexican Honeysuckle Mexican Honeysuckle Justicia spicigera Mexican Honeysuckle is a small to medium-sized shrub with clusters of bright orange, tubular flowers. It is fairly drought tolerant, but needs a little extra water in the summer.
Texas Sage Texas Sage Leucophyllum frutescens Texas Sage thrives during the hot, muggy monsoon season. Plant this shrub in full sun and reflected heat locations. Purple-pink flowers. The hotter it gets, the better it likes it!
Green Cloud Green Cloud Leucophyllum frutescens variety 'Green Cloud' Green Cloud has dark green leaves and blooms beautiful, rose-purple flowers in the summer. This variety of Leucophyllum is larger than its relatives, growing to 8 feet tall.
Chaparral Sage Chaparral Sage Salvia clevelandii The soft gray-green foliage of the Chaparral Sage shrub is extremely aromatic. The flower spikes are this plant's most striking feature, with clusters of blue-violet flowers.
Autumn Sage Autumn Sage Salvia greggii In the spring and fall this small 3-foot shrub blooms profusely with brightly colored flowers, attracting hummingbirds. Autumn sage comes in a wide variety of flower colors.
Orange Jubilee Orange Jubilee Tecoma X Hybrid 'Orange Jubilee' A hybrid shrub with orange flowers and few seed pods. It grows 8-10 feet tall and wide. Orange Jubilee flowers are trumpet-shaped and appear during the warm season.
Mountain Marigold Mount Lemmon Marigold Tagetes lemmonii Mt. Lemmon Marigold has medium green leaves and is quite fragrant. Daisy-like flowers bloom from early November till hard frost. This shrub grows to 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide.
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