Low Water Use Landscaping – SMALL SHRUBS

Brittlebush (Encelia Farinosa)

Small low-water-use shrubs can be a great accent to your Tucson Real Estate.  Under trees, along walk ways and beside boulders are all good places to grow small shrubs.  My criteria for small shrubs is a shrub under three feet tall and here are some choices:

  • Triangleleaf Bursage (Ambrosia Deltoidea) is a VERY low water use moderate to fast growing evergreen plant native to the Sonoran Desert.  It can tolerate full reflected sunlight, is hardy to 22 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Triangleleaf Bursage mounds to about one foot tall by two feet across.
  • Flame Honeysuckle (Anisacanthus Quadrifidus v. Wrightii) is a low water use moderate growing deciduous plant native to the Chihuahuan Desert.  It can tolerate full sunlight, is hardy to 5 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Flame Honeysucle sprawls to about three feet tall by four feet across and has orange-red blossoms in summer to late fall which attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • Pink Fairy Duster (Calliandra Eriophylla) is a VERY low water use moderate growing semi-evergreen plant native to the southwestern US deserts.  It can tolerate full sunlight, is hardy to 5 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Pink Fairy Duster grows upright & airy to about three feet tall by four feet across and has pink powder puffs from spring to fall which attract hummingbirds.
  • Black Dalea (Dalea Frutescens) is a low water use moderate to fast growing semi-evergreen plant native to the Chihuahuan Desert.  It can tolerate full sunlight, is hardy to 15 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Black Dalea grows rounded to about three feet tall by four feet across and has rose-purple flower clusters, from fall to early winter.
  • Weeping Dalea (Dalea Vericolor v. Sessilis) is a low water use moderate growing evergreen plant native to the Sonoran Desert.  It can tolerate full sunlight to partial shade, is hardy to 20 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Weeping Dalea grows spreading and open to about three feet tall by four feet across and has purple clusters of flowers from fall to spring.
  • Brittlebush (Encelia Farinosa) is a VERY low water use fast growing evergreen plant native to the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts.  It can tolerate full reflected sunlight, is hardy to 25 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Brittlebush grows mounding to about three feet tall by four feet across and has yellow daisy-like flowers from winter to spring.  The seeds attract birds.
  • Desert Tea (Ephedra Nevadensis) is a low water use slow-growing evergreen plant native to the southwest US and Mexico.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to zero degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Desert Tea grows upright & open to about three feet tall by three feet across.
  • Turpentine Bush (Ericameria Laricifolia) is a VERY low water use moderate growing evergreen plant native to the southwest US and Mexico.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to 5 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Turpentine Bush grows mounding to about two feet tall by three feet across and has yellow flower clusters from late summer to fall.  The foliage is fragrant and seeds attract birds.  This plant may also be sold as Haplopappus Laricifolius.
  • Flattop Buckwheat (Eriogonum Fasciculatum v. Polifolium) is a VERY low water use fast growing evergreen plant native to the southwestern US deserts.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to 15 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Flattop Buckwheat grows rounded to about one foot tall by two feet across and has pale pink to white blooms in the spring.  The seeds attract birds.
  • San Marcos Hibiscus (Gossypium Hasrknessii) is a low water use moderate growing evergreen plant native to the Sonoran Desert.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to 25 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  San Marcos Hibiscus grows rounded to about three feet tall by four feet across and has yellow flowers with red centers from summer to fall.  The flowers are showy and leaves are glossy heart-shaped.
  • Red Justicia (Justicia Candicans) is a moderate water use moderate growing evergreen plant native to Arizona and Mexico.  It can tolerate partial shade, is hardy to 25 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Red Justicia grows sprawling to about three feet tall by three feet across and has bright red flowers from in fall and spring which attract hummingbirds.  This plant does well in containers and may be sold as Justicia Ovata.
  • Violet Silverleaf (Leucophyllum Candidum) is a VERY low water use moderate growing evergreen plant native to the Chihuahuan Desert.  It can tolerate full reflected sunlight, is hardy to 10 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Violet Silverleaf grows mounding to about three feet tall by three feet across and has deep violet blooms from summer to fall.
  • Mangle Dulce (Myrtus Communis) is a low water use slow-growing evergreen plant native to the southern US and Mexico.  It can tolerate full sunlight to partial shade, is hardy to 20 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Mangle Dulce grows mounding to about three feet tall by four feet across.
  • White Plumbago (Plumbago Scandens) is a moderate water use fast-growing evergreen plant native to Arizona, Mexico and Tropical America.  It can tolerate partial to full shade, is hardy to 20 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  White Plumbago grows sprawling to about three feet tall by three feet across and has white flower clusters from summer to fall.  Foliage turns to an attractive maroon color in winter.
  • Baja Ruellia (Ruellia Peninsularis) is a low water use moderate growing evergreen plant native to southern Baja California and Sonora.  It can tolerate full sunlight, is hardy to 28 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Baja Ruellia grows rounded to about three feet tall by four feet across and has purple bell-shaped blooms from spring to fall which attracts hummingbirds.
  • Golden Eye (Viguiera Deltoidea) is a VERY low water use fast growing evergreen plant native to the Sonoran Desert.  It can tolerate full reflected sunlight, is hardy to 25 degrees, has low litter and no thorns.  Golden Eye grows rounded to about three feet tall by three feet across and has yellow daisy-like flowers in spring.

These plants can be a great choice to accent your Tucson Real Estate’s low water use landscape. Add your favorite small shrubs in the comments and be sure to let me know if you see anything that you would describe differently.

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