ALLERGY AND ASTHMA IN THE SOUTHWESTERN UNITED STATES 

Recommended Plants for Homes of Allergic People in Southern Arizona
(mainly Maricopa and Pima Counties):    SHRUBS

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: How to Select, Grow and Enjoy"
by Mary Rose Duffield, Warren D. Jones.  Fisher Books, September 2001
.   Photos of many of these plants can also be seen on the USDA Plants site,  the Phoenix Tropical Gardens site.

BOTANICAL NAME (COMMON NAME)

COMMENTS

Shrubs

Bougainvillea spp Striking color, freezes in winter

Caesalpinia (Poinciana) gilliesii (Yellow Bird of Paradise)

Yellow flowers, red stamens

Caesalpinia (Poinciana) pulcherrima (Red Bird of Paradise)

Orange-red and yellow flowers

Caesalpinia mexicana (Mexican Bird of Paradise [yellow])

Calliandra californica (Red Fairy Duster, Baja Fairy Duster)

Calliandra eriophylla (Fairy Duster, False Mesquite)

Deciduous

Calliandra peninsularis (Red Calliandra, Baja Fairy Duster)

Carissa grandiflora (Natal Plum) Frost sensitive, not low water use

Cassia (Senna) wislizenii (Cassia, Shrubby Senna)

Cold hardy, deciduous, yellow flowers

Cassia artemisioides (Wormwood Senna, Feathery Cassia)

Yellow spring flowers, feathery gray leaves

Convolvulus cneorum (Bush Morning Glory)

Toxic if eaten

Dodonaea viscosa  (Hop Bush)   female

Hardy, insignificant flowers

Justicia (Beloperone) californica (Chuparosa)

Red flowers attract birds

Justicia ghiesbreghtiana (Mexican Honeysuckle, Firecracker Bush)

Red-orange flowers attract birds

Lantana camara (Bush Lantana (many cultivers)

Berries toxic if eaten

Larrea tridentata (divaricata) (Creosote Bush, Greasewood)

Yellow flowers, small shiny leaves

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas Ranger, Texas Sage (many cultivars)

Lavendar flowers

Leucophyllum frutescens 'Compacta' (Compact Texas Ranger)

Myrtus communis (True Myrtle, Roman Myrtle)

Attractive shrub

Myrtus communis 'Boetica' (Twisted Myrtle)

Informal, grows to 15'

Myrtus communis 'Compacta' (Dwarf Myrtle)

Nandina domestica (Heavenly bamboo)

Not a true bamboo - attractive

Nerium oleander (Oleander (many cultivers)

Leaves toxic if eaten

Penstemon baccharifolius (Cutleaf Penstemon)

Pyracantha (red berried types) (Pyracantha (many cultivers)

White flowers, orange-red berries

Rosa banksiae (Lady Banks Rose, Tombstone Rose)

White or yellow flowers

Rosemarinus officinalis (Bush Rosemary)

Ruellia californica (Ruellia)

Violet flowers

Ruellia peninsularis (Ruellia)

Salvia chamaedryoides (Blue Sage)

Many species of Salvia - all suitable

Salvia columbariae (Chia)

Salvia farinacea (Mealy Blue Sage)

Violet blue flowers

Salvia greggii (Texas Red Salvia, Autumn Sage)

Red flowers

Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba)  female

Vertical oval leaves

Tecoma stans var. angustata (Trumpet Bush)

Yellow flowers

Tecomaria capensis (Cape Honeysuckle)

Vine-like, orange red flowers

Teucrium chamaedrys (Germander, Prostrate Germander)

Small purple flowers

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)

*rare cause of significant allergy

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

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