Tucson is located in two of the hottest hardiness zones in the United States, zones 9 and 10. Flowering plants for Tucson are native to the area and used to the hot desert-like environment. Mix low-growing and tall shrubs with flowering trees and succulents for a garden native to Tucson.
Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) is also known as flowering willow, willow-leaved catalpa and trumpet flower. The tree grows from 15 to 40 feet tall and produces thin, light green leaves that grow from 4 to 12 inches long. The white, pink, purple or violet flowers are funnel-shaped, about 1 inch long and bloom from April through September. The flowers are replaced by 6-to-10-inch-long green or brown seedpods. Plant the desert willow in full sun and a soil that is dry to moist. The tree will attract birds, hummingbirds and butterflies.
Western White Clematis
Western white clematis (Clematis ligusticifolia) is also known as virgin's bower, pepper vine and hierba de chivo. The plant is a shrub or small tree that grows as tall as 20 feet or more. The plant produces deciduous palm-like leaves and abundant cream-white flowers that grow on the top portions of the plant. The flowers bloom from April through August and are followed by silky seed plumes. Plant western white clematis in full sun, partial shade or full shade in a soil that is rich, moist and well-drained. The plant will attract birds and hummingbirds and is a favorite food of deer.
Desert agave (Agave deserti) is also known as desert century plant and century plant. The plant is a succulent that produces sword-shaped, blue-green leaves that grow up to 2 feet tall and forms a base that is 6 feet wide. The plant will flower when it is from eight to 20 years old, producing 6-to-9-foot-tall stalks with large clusters of pale-yellow, tube-shaped flowers. The plant dies after the fruit is set, new seeds are dispersed and then the process starts all over again. Plant desert agave in full sun and in dry, rocky soil.
Rock hibiscus (Hibiscus denudatus) is a small shrub that grows up to 3 feet tall and produces small, fuzzy leaves that will fall off if the plant goes through a drought period. This plant has bowl-shaped white or pinkish-lavender flowers that bloom from May through November. Plant rock hibiscus in partial shade and in soil that is dry and sandy.