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Evergreen Shrubs for Colorado

desert landscape image by pearlguy from

Many evergreen shrubs will grow well in Colorado. However, by selecting a plant native to Colorado, you may have an easier time with care and maintenance. Because of its semi-arid and alpine climates, Colorado is home to a number of native evergreen shrubs.

Curly Leaf Mountain Mahogany

Curly leaf mountain mahogany is one of the few broadleaf evergreens in the west. Colorado State University notes that the curly leaf mountain mahogany as a shrub that grows well in Colorado. It grows best between 4,500 and 9,000 feet in elevation. Its low water requirements make it ideal for low-water landscaping and gardening. The leaves of this evergreen bush curl during dry spells. Although it prefers coarse, rocky hills and slopes, this bush is very tolerant of a variety of soil conditions, as long as it drains well. It is cold-tolerant in hardiness zones 3 through 8. Curly leaf mountain mahogany can grow to between 8 and 15 feet.

Big Sagebrush

Big sagebrush grows between in altitudes of around 4,500 feet and 9,000 feet. This bush is a silver-needled evergreen with a gray bark that looks as if it is peeling. It's an aromatic plant that does best with little watering. In fact, according to Colorado State University, it will not tolerate excess water. Big sagebrush can grow to between a foot and 16 feet. Big sagebrush is good winter forage for sheep and wildlife. However, it is not good forage for cattle.


Cliffrose grows in elevations between 4,000 feet and 7,500 feet. It can grow to heights between 3 and 12 feet tall. This evergreen bush features small, lobed green leaves. The leaves have between three and nine lobes, but most often five. It produces fragrant, cream colored flowers between April and June. The cliffrose is shade- and drought-tolerant. It grows best in rocky soils that have high limestone content. Cliffrose is a wildlife forage and can be used for short periods as a domestic livestock forage.

Silver Sagebrush

Silver sagebrush grows in elevations from 5,000 to 10,000 feet. Silver sagebrush does not require much water, making it a good plant for xeriscaping (gardening without supplemental irrigation) or low-water cultivation. This fragrant evergreen bush has aromatic silver/gray leaves. It has a tendency to produce gnarled branches. Silver sagebrush is a low-growing evergreen shrub.

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