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Chuparosa, Hummingbird-Bush

Justicia californica

Details & Attributes

Plant Type(s) Perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Pollinators Hummingbirds
Has Spines No
In relative feet, width by height
3' × 3-5'
Freeze Tolerant Yes
Flowering Season March-June
Flower Color Red (sometimes yellow-orange)
Minimum Temperature Range 20-25 °F
Leaf Description Opposite, shed during times of drought
Fruit Capsules which split when ripe
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Description Within Arizona Chuparosa grows from Yuma in the west to Tucson in the east, and north to the Phoenix area. This is a true Sonoran desert plant, fond of well draining sandy/rocky soils and frost free conditions. A choice plant for low desert pollinator gardens where the fiery red (sometimes yellow-orange) blooms attract hummingbirds. This plant has a lanky, lean look, often dropping its leaves in response to drought, and photosynthesizing through the branches. For this reason it is wise to mix chuparosa with other drought tolerant shrubs/wildflowers such as desert cotton (Gossypium thurberi), Parry's penstemon (Penstemon parryi), pelatozo (Abutilon incanum), and sacred datura (Datura wrightii). Chuparosa can be planted at slightly higher elevations than its natural range if planted in a warm area with reflected heat.