Recommended Plants for Homes of Allergic People in Maricopa and Pima Counties

The plants listed below have been selected for their low production of airborne pollen, as well as utility in landscaping and availability in plant nurseries.  This is only a partial list of suitable plants.  Many species closely related to those on the list are also available from local nurseries and could be used.  The plants listed are low water use or drought tolerant, selected from the list published by the Arizona Department of Water Resources.  Pictures of most of the plants can be found in "Plants for Dry Climates" by Mary Rose Duffield and Warren Jones, H.P. Books, Fisher Publishing, Tucson, September 2001.   Photos of many of these plants can also be seen on the USDA Plants site,  the Phoenix Tropical Gardens site.

Not shown on the list are high water use, low allergy plants such as deciduous fruit trees, most roses and many other brightly colored flowers, none of which produce large amounts of airborne pollen.  Identification of female trees may be impossible unless purchased as large specimens during their flowering season.   




Ground Cover

Carpobrotus edulisIce Plant (Ice Plant)

Convolvulus cneorum (Bush Morning Glory)

Toxic if eaten

Convolvulus mauritanicus (Ground Morning Glory)

Toxic if eaten

Dalea greggii (Trailing Indigo Bush)

Small gray-green leaves, purple flowers

Gazania rigens (Treasure Flower, Gazania)

Yellow daisy-like flowers

Gazania rigens 'Copper King' (Copper King Gazania)

Gazania rigens leucolaena (Trailing Gazania)

Lantana montevidensis (Trailing Lantana)

Lavender flowers

Oenothera berlandieri (speciosa childsii) (Mexican Evening Primrose)

Osteospermum fruticosum (Trailing African Daisy)

Rosa banksiae (Lady Banks Rose, Tombstone Rose)

Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus' (Dwarf or Trailing Rosemary)

Teucrium chamaedrys (Germander, Prostrate Germander)

Annual Flowers

Eschscholtzia californica (California Poppy)

Eschscholtzia mexicana (Mexican Gold Poppy)

Lupinus arizonicus (Lupine)

Blue flowers

Lupinus sparsiflorus (Desert Lupine)

Lupinus succulentus (Arroyo Lupine)

Salvia columbariae (Chia)

Perennial Flowers

Penstemon barbatus (Beardtongue Penstemon)

Red flowers

Penstemon eatoni (Eaton's Penstemon)

Many other species of Penstemon OK

Penstemon parryi (Parry Penstemon)

Penstemon pseudospectabilis (Canyon Penstemon, Mohave Beardtongue)

Penstemon superbus (Superb Penstemon)

Salvia columbariae (Chia)

Many other species of Salvia OK

Sphaeralcea spp. (Globe-Mallow)

Verbena gooddingii (Goodding Verbena)


Verbena peruviana (Peruvian Verbena)

Pink flowers - ground cover

Acknowledgements:  List prepared in consultation with Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski PhD

Content Owner:  Michael J. Schumacher, MB, FRACP  
                            University of Arizona  
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Back                                                                                      Updated 8/2010