water conservation arizona landscape plants
Low-Water Annuals (Wildflowers and More)

Wildflowers announce the arrival of spring in Arizona's deserts, and many show off their bright colors at other times of year as well. They are "icing on the cake" in the landscape and are ideal for filling in before permanent plants become established.

Click the photo or [plant info sheet] links to get detailed information about each plant as well as photos of the plants. For a guide to understanding plant names, click here.

View planting and selection information for Wildflowers and Annuals in the Sonoran Desert.

Common Name: Southwestern Cosmos
Botanical Name: Cosmos bippinnatus


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 3' h x 3' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: White, pink, or purple
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: summer to fall
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: butterflies growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Attracts butterflies.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Golden Dyssodia
Botanical Name: Dyssodia pentachaeta


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1/2' h x 1/2' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Yellow daisylike
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: late spring to fall
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: butterflies growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Attracts butterflies.
May be sold as Thymophylla pentachaeta
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Spreading Fleabane
Botanical Name: Erigeron divergens


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1-1/2' h x 2' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: White to pink daisylike
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: butterflies growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Attracts butterflies.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Mexican Gold Poppy
Botanical Name: Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1' h x 1' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Yellow to gold
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: late winter to spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Reseeds readily.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Blanket Flower
Botanical Name: Gaillardia pulchella


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1-1/2' h x 1 1/2' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Yellow and maroon-red
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: late spring to fall
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Summer bloomer.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Maximilian Sunflower
Botanical Name: Helianthus maximiliani


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 10' h x 2' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Yellow daisylike
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: fall
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color: bright green
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: birds growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Birds love to eat the seeds.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Arizona Poppy
Botanical Name: Kallstroemia grandiflora


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1' h x 3' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Orange with dark orange center
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: summer rainy season
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color: dark green
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture: fine
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Summer bloomer.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Red Flax
Botanical Name: Linum grandiflora 'Rubrum'


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 2' h x 2' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Bright red
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Sow seeds annually.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Blue Flax
Botanical Name: Linum lewisii


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 2' h x 2' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Bright blue
Sun: partial sun plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Reseeds readily. Needs partial shade.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Arroyo Lupine
Botanical Name: Lupinus succulentus


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 3' h x 3' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Violet-blue spikes
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Native to:
Also try L arizonicus.
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Five Spot
Botanical Name: Nemophila maculata


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: <1' h x <1' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: White petals with purple spot
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Unusual flowers.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Owl's Clover
Botanical Name: Orthocarpus purpurascens


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1/2' h x 1/2' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Rose-pink to purple spikes
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: early spring to late spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Charming wildflower.
May be sold as Castilleja exserta
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Shirley Poppy
Botanical Name: Papaver rhoeas


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 2' h x 1' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Red, pink, or white cup-shaped
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Vibrant flower colors.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Desert Bluebell
Botanical Name: Phacelia campanularia


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1' h x 1' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Brilliant blue bell-shaped
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: yes, may irritate skin growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Leaves can irritate skin.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Moss Rose
Botanical Name: Portulaca grandiflora


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1/2' h x 1 1/2' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Rose, red, yellow or white
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: summer to fall
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Good summer bloomer.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Cherry Red Sage
Botanical Name: Salvia coccinea


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1-1/2' h x 1 1/2' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Deep scarlet spikes
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: spring to summer
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: birds, hummingbirds growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Attracts hummingbirds.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Chia
Botanical Name: Salvia columbariae


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1' h x 1' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Blue clusters
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Fragrant foliage.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Mexican Sunflower
Botanical Name: Tithonia rotundifolia


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 4' h x 3' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Yellow or orange
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: midsummer to fall
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: butterflies growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Attracts butterflies.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Goodding's Verbena
Botanical Name: Verbena gooddingii


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1' h x 3' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Lavender to pink clusters
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: spring
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: butterflies growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Attracts butterflies.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]


Common Name: Zinnia 'Profusion' Series
Botanical Name: Zinnia elegans x angustifolia


[Plant Info Sheet]

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Mature Size: 1 1/2' h x 2' w plant photos and information for the desert southwest Flower Color: Red, orange, or white
Sun: plant size and pictures for the desert southwest Flower Season: summer
Water: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Color:
Growth Rate: plant flower color for the desert southwest Foliage Texture:
Form: low litter plants for the desert southwest Evergreen?
Hardiness: yard plants for the desert southwest Litter:
Allergenic: growing plants in the desert southwest Thorns:
Attracts Wildlife: butterflies growing plants in the desert southwest
Other Features: Attracts butterflies.
Native to:
Plant Type: annual
[Plant Info Sheet]