Desert Flowers in Arizona

Arizona is best known for being located in a southwestern desert that has a surprisingly rich variety of plant life, particularly flowers. In the famous Sonoran Desert, there are more than 400 edible plant and flower varieties, with just as many, if not more, plants that are medicinally beneficial. There are a handful of popular bright flowers that are ideal for garden flowers that usually grow from other shrubs or trees.

Flowering Willow

This tree is in the magnolia family and is a smaller scale version of the weeping willow. A perennial desert landscaping plant, it produces yellow, purple and white flowers from spring to fall season. The flowering willow likes to sprout up in washes or areas where it can reach water, and when planted in a garden needs little maintenance after it is planted.


The bougainvillea is perhaps one of the most well-known desert/tropical shrubs in North America. Although it looks lush and like it needs lots of water, it actually thrives in very hot climates. Year-round, pink and purple flowers flourish on the shrub, particularly from April to November. The bougainvillea can range from small to large, as a shrub, tree or vine, and can take over a landscape quickly if not maintained and pruned a couple times a year.

Catclaw Acacia

This uniquely named tree can be a blessing or a curse on a landscape. With heights up to ten feet tall, the tree is named for its curved "claws" that cover the branches and snag on to seemingly everything. Creamy yellow to amber gold flowers flourish on the tree during the spring season. Catclaw trees provide important sanctuary for bird and wildlife habitats.

Mexican Gold Poppy

This plant in the poppy family is also known as desert gold poppy. It usually doesn't grow larger than a foot and a half tall, and the bright golden and orange large flowers bloom in spring months. It flourishes in sandy soils and on roadsides, particularly in construction sites for the disheveled and bare soil.

Keywords: Arizona plants, Arizona gardening, flowers in Arizona

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.