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Desert Gardening

Native Arizona Flowers To Brighten Your Garden


ome blooms are stunning and short-lived, while others are just as vibrant but can color your landscape for months. If you enjoy a yard full of life and color, then Arizona native flowers can help you create the garden of your dreams.  

We couldn't possibly cover every flowering plant out in the wilds of Arizona, so here's a selection of just a few of our favorites. The best thing about going native is that most of the selection below is easy care and drought tolerant. 

Arizona Sun Gaillardia

Featuring a striking display of deep reds and oranges, the Arizona Sun Gaillardia creates a neat, attractive, and compact ground cover that will bloom from the beginning of summer to the end of fall. They are drought and heat tolerant, and the long-lasting blooms create a colorful carpet that is irresistible to butterflies.  

Saguaro Cactus Blossom

The floral emblem of Arizona is a pure white waxy blossom with a yellow center that blooms on a cactus plant that can reach a height of 52 feet and live over 200 years. 

Mexican Prickly Poppy

The Mexican prickly poppy is an upright, prickly plant that grows to around 18 inches tall and spans 4 inches. Every part of the plant is toxic. The 2.5-inch flowers are yellow and poppy like and bloom during mid spring to early summer.

Snowball Sand Verbena

Pretty white flowers snowball in rounded clusters on the snowball sand verbena. Each cluster can have between 25 and 70 individual trumpet shape flowers that are pink at the base and fade into white or a pale pink shade.

Angels' Trumpets

The bugle shaped solitary flowers of the Angel's trumpet plant are a slender tube that can grow 6 to 7 inches long and end in a tubed lobe with up to 5 slightly protruding stamens.

Greene's Deerweed

Greene's deerweed is a ground cover plant which can grow close together to form a tightly woven mat. Flowers often form singly but can be found in clumps of up to four. If given room, the plant will form a short hemispherical shape. For much of the year, the small shrub will look like a pile of dead sticks, but come summer it will erupt into a colorful cloud of bright orange and yellow flowers resembling the shape of a deer's foot.


The brownfoot is a 2-4-inch plant that produces clumps of delicate pink flowers from January to June. Its native habitat includes an area spanning the southern end of Nevada to as far as west Texas.

Mearns' Deerweed

Mearns' deerweed, or Mearns' bird's-foot ranges between Central and North Arizona. The plant is a ground cover reaching up to just a few inches high. Blooming season produces soft yellow flowers between March to August.

Desert Holly

The desert holly is easily recognized by its holly-like leaves. Single bell-shaped flower heads, mostly white with streaks of purple, occupy the tips of the branches. Desert Holly is a native to Arizona, west Texas, and New Mexico and blooms from March to June.

Arizona Bugbane

The Arizona bugbane belongs to the buttercup family. It's a shade loving plant that natively survives in deep canyons where it can take advantage of moisture from streams and small rivulets. The plant produces pretty white flowers with hot pink edges and a yellow center. Bloom time is between May to October.

Fragrant Sand Verbena

The sand verbena is a rambling, herbaceous perennial sparsely populated by long stems ending in fragrant balls of tiny, white funnel-shaped flowers. Bloom time is between spring and fall and occasionally produces green, lavender, or pink flowers.

Red Baneberry

Red baneberry is a shade loving variety featuring bushy clumps of fine leaves. Fluffy white flowers sprout from bright red stems during late spring to early summer which soon transform into a collection of scarlet-colored berries.

Sunset Hyssop

The sunset hyssop will treat you to tube shaped light pink, fragrant flowers all summer. It's an easy-care sun loving plant perfect for borders and butterfly gardens. The plant is hardy and will happily grow in a range of soil conditions. 

Lady's Leek

Up to 30 tiny bell-shaped flowers hang, loosely gathered around a central stem like nature's chandelier. These small plants will grow up to 18 inches and enjoy full sun or part shade. Lady's leek blooms from late spring through to the middle of summer. Butterflies love it, but deer avoid it. Plant in groups for the best display.

Pearly Everlasting

Crowded clusters of small pearly white flowers with yellow center discs, the pearly everlasting is a favorite addition for dried flower arrangements. They grow to two to three feet and span two feet. Bloom time is between the middle of summer to fall. It prefers part shade or full sun and can handle dry conditions.

Yerba Mansa

The yerba mansa produces unique conical flower spikes on a base of large white bracts. Clumps of large, green upright leaves up to 3 ft high sprout from horizontal stems just below ground level. The green leaves are the source of distinctive musky odor. Bloom time is between late spring to most of the summer. It thrives in permanently moist soil in full shade, making it an excellent addition to pond and stream areas.

Rocky Mountain Columbine

The Rocky Mountain Columbine is another member of the buttercup family with pastel shades of white, blue, violet, and red. The Rocky Mountain variety features blue-violet petals and spurs with a central cup of white petals surrounding a yellow center. It thrives in full sun and medium moisture soils and is a favorite for hummingbirds.

Golden Columbine

The golden columbine is a herbaceous perennial native to the southwest, southern Utah, and Texas - all the way to northwestern Mexico. A long stem separates the golden yellow bell-shaped flowers from the clumps of green leaves below. It blooms from late spring until mid-summer and prefers sunny positions in well-drained soil.

Pine Needle Milkweed

Clusters of tiny, cream-colored flowers cluster amongst the tips of soft, needle like stems from winter to fall. The flowers provide an abundant source of nectar for butterflies and bees. The plant is drought and heat tolerant and the unusual flower clusters add variety to a desert landscape. Plant in full sun or part shade in well-drained soils.

Antelope Horns Milkweed

The antelope horns milkweed is a low maintenance plant producing an intricate display of unusually shaped clusters of flowers. The clusters reach 2 inches (5.08 cm) across. The flowers consist of 5 green petals that curve upward to gently cup 5 white hoods. The plants are a huge draw card for monarch butterflies. They thrive in full sun in well drained soils.

Chocolate Daisy

The chocolate daisy is a perennial flowering plant with long-lasting blooms you can enjoy from late spring all the way though fall, and even all-year round when the weather is warm enough. The daisy like flowers are two inches across with bright yellow petals and an intricate center of red and green. Prefers full sun and dry to medium well drained soils.

Firecracker Bush

Bright red clumps of firecracker shaped flowers create a colorful display on this small shrub. It's low maintenance, loves full sun or part shade in well-drained soils and is an excellent addition for attracting hummingbirds. Blooms can last for more than week as a cut flower.


The Arizona bluebell produces stunning cobalt blue bell-shaped flower clusters at the end of long thin rust-colored stems jutting from toothy green leaves. Lightly colored stamens protrude just beyond the edges of the flower petals. Bluebells love full sun, are drought tolerant, and are resistant to pests and diseases. Handle them with care as contact with skin may cause irritation.


Fireweed produces showy spikes of pinkish-purple-colored flowers supported by light pink stems. One plant can produce up to 80,000 seeds, so monitor your fireweed carefully if you don't want it to spread. Loves full sun and fertile, well-drained moist soils.

Showy Fleabane

Iridescent purple flowers created from hundreds of florets surrounding a light-yellow center with a reddish outline create a stunning display for your garden. Blooming lasts for months and will attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects. The fleabane loves organic rich, well-drained soils and is happiest in full sun to light shade.

See What Other Arizona Native Flowers You Can Find

When it comes to Arizona native flowers, it would take a reasonably large book to cover them all. The above selection cover just a few of the flowers we thought you would enjoy considering for your garden, but there are many more. Visit your favorite nursery and see what else you can find for adding color to your Arizona wildflower garden.