Top Low-Water Use Shrubs: For Desert Gardens Zones 7-9

This is not an exhaustive list of desert shrubs, but it is fairly extensive.

 

Included in the description are the common name for the plant, the scientific genus and species, average height and width and whether it is deciduous or evergreen.

Also, some of these species can be grown in colder temperatures and higher altitudes. Check with your local nursery, county cooperative extension service, or master gardeners’ association before you plant.

  • Whitehorn Acacia, Acacia constricta, 12 feet high and 10 feet wide. Deciduous.
  • Blackbrush Acacia, Acacia rigidula, 18 feet high by 10 feet wide, deciduous.
  • Desert Honeysuckle, Anisacanthus thurberi, five feet by 4 feet. Deciduous.
  • Manzanita, Arctostaphylos pungens, five feet high by 10 feet wide. Evergreen.
  • White beebrush, Aloysia gratissima, eight feet by five feet. Deciduous.
  • Flame acanthus, Anisacanthus quadrifidus, five feet by four feet. Deciduous.
  • Sand Sagebrush, Artemesia filifolia, six feet by five feet. Evergreen.
  • Four-wing saltbush, Atriplex canescens, six feet by eight feet. Semi-evergreen.
  • Desert broom, Baccharis sarothroides, 10 feet by eight feet. Evergreen.
  • Quail bush, Atriplex lentiformis, 12 feet by 15 feet. Semi-Evergreen.
  • Red barberry, Berberis haematocarpa, five by five. Evergreen.
  • Mentor barberry, Berberis mentorensis, seven by seven. Deciduous.
  • Red-leaf Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii ‘atropurperea’, two feet by two feet. Deciduous.
  • Wooly butterfly bush, Buddleia marrubiifolia, four feet by four feet. Semi-evergreen.
  • Desert bird of paradise, Caesalpinia gilliesii, 8 X 6. Deciduous.
  • Mexican bird of paradise, Caesalpinia mexicana, 10 X 6. Deciduous.
  • Fairy duster, Calliandra eriophylla, 4 X 3. Deciduous.
  • Desert Hackberry, Celtis pallida, 8 X 10.Deciduous.
  • Winterfat, Ceratoides lanata, 3 X 2. Evergreen.
  • Fernbush, Chamaebatiaria millefolium, 6 X 4. Evergreen.
  • Cliffrose, Cowania mexicana, 12 X 8. Evergreen.
  • Turpentine bush, Ericamia laricifolia, 3 X 2. Evergreen.
  • Rubber Rabbitbush, Ericameria nauseous, 6 X 6. Semi-evergreen.
  • Flattop buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum, 1.5 X 2. Evergreen.
  • Apache Plume, Fallugia paradoxa, 6 X 5. Evergreen.
  • New Mexico Privet, Foresteria neomexicana, 15 X 10, Deciduous.
  • Bush lantana, Lantana camara, 4 X 6. Perennial.
  • Creosote bush, Larrea tridentate, 5 X 5. Evergreen.
  • Cimarron sage, Leucophyllum langmaniae, 5 X 5. Evergreen.
  • Fragrant rain sage, Leucophyllum pruinosum, 5 X 5. Evergreen.
  • Pale Wolfberry, Lycium palladium, 4 X 5. Deciduous.
  • Russian sage, Perovskia atriplicfolia, 6 X 6. Deciduous.
  • Desert rosemary mint, Poliomintha incana, 3 X 4. Semi-evergreen.
  • Shrub oak, Quercus turbinella, 15 X 10. Evergreen.
  • Littleleaf sumac, Rhus microphylla, 8 X 10. Deciduous.
  • Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, 3 X 4. Evergreen.
  • Texas mountain laurel, Soflora secundiflora, 15 X 10. Evergreen.
  • Spanish broom, Spartium junceum, 8 X 5. Evergreen.
  • Mexican blue sage, Salvia chamaedryoides, 2 X 3. Semi-evergreen.
  • Chaparrel sage, Salvia clevelandii, 4 X 5. Evergreen.
  • Yellow bells, Tecoma stans, 6 X 4. Deciduous.
  • Mexican buckeye, Ungnadia speciosa, 15 X 10. Deciduous.

Arizona rosewood, Vauquelina californica, 15 X 10. Evergreen.