Arizona experiences a wide range of climates and growing conditions. While much of the state has a semi-arid to arid climate, the mountain regions offers cooler temperatures and a lot of snow. If you live in Arizona, select flowers according to general culture, intended use, mature size, bloom time and flower color. Many flowering plants perform well in Arizona landscapes.
The Arizona poppy (Kallstroemia grandiflora), also called the orange caltrop and the desert poppy, prefers sandy soils that receive plenty of sun. This annual wildflower in the creosote-bush family (Zygophyllaceae) ranges from 2 to 3 feet in height. Flowers bloom from July through September, featuring orange petals that surround deep red centers. Arizona poppies also bear hairy branches and feathery green leaves. Gardeners often plant this poppy in desert gardens and on sandy mesas.
The toothleaf goldeneye (Viguiera dentate), sometimes called the sunflower goldeneye or the plateau goldeneye, reaches up to 6 feet in height when planted in partly shady locations. This daisy family member (Asteraceae) features narrow, green leaves and thin, leafless stalks. Yellow flowers bloom in October and November and attract numerous butterflies. This drought-tolerant perennial performs well in dry, acidic soils. Arizona gardeners often plant the toothleaf goldeneye in wildflower meadows, woodland gardens, borders and perennial flowerbeds.
Moss campion plants (Silene acaulis), also known as cushion-pink plants, form mossy mats of glossy, green leaves that work well as ground covers. This Caryophyllaceae plant family member features showy, pink to purple flowers that bloom throughout the summer. This perennial prefers rich soils in partly to fully sunny locations. Arizona gardeners frequently use the moss campion plant to add color to rock gardens.
The ajo lily (Hesperocallis undulate), also called the desert lily, naturally occurs in Arizona deserts. This Liliaceae plant family member bears rosettes of long, thin, bluish-green leaves and flower stalks that range from 12 to 36 inches in height. These stalks bear big, white flowers that bloom in March and April. This perennial plant prefers dry soils in fully sunny locations. The ajo lily performs well when planted on sunny Arizona slopes and sandy flats.
Desert Mariposa Lily
Desert mariposa lilies (Calochortus kennedyi), also called flame marisopas and red mariposa lilies, belong to the Liliaceae plant family and thrive in desert landscapes. This perennial bears waxy, green leaves and twisty stems that reach up to 8 inches in height. The desert mariposa lily also features bell-shaped, yellowish-orange to dark orange flowers that appear from March through May. This Arizona native plant prefers dry, rocky soils that receive plenty of sun. Moles and gophers like to feed on the flower bulbs. Desert mariposa lilies typically thrive in desert gardens and sunny rock gardens.
The desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata), also called the desert baileya and the paper daisy, belongs in the Asteraceae plant family. This showy perennial forms mounds that reach up to 18 inches in height. The long-lived, yellow blossoms add color to Arizona landscapes from March through November. The desert marigold also bears gray, fuzzy foliage and leafless flower stalks. This drought-tolerant plant prefers dry soils in partially shady positions. The desert marigold grows well in desert gardens and along sandy roadsides.