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15 Wildflowers That Grow in Arizona (Identification Guide With Pictures)

desert marigold flowers

Arizona is home to a variety of wildflowers, from small and delicate blooms to showy statement pieces. With its diverse landscape, the state is host to a wide range of flowers, each with its own unique beauty.

To help make identifying these gorgeous plants easier, we’ve compiled this guide featuring 15 wildflowers that grow in Arizona. From the popular Mexican gold poppy to the delicate desert marigold, you’ll find a broad selection of blooms here with detailed descriptions and photos to help you identify them. So, take a look, and see how many wildflowers you can recognize!

garden flower divider

The 15 Wildflowers That Grow in Arizona

1. Brittlebush

Brittlebush Flowers
Brittlebush Flowers (Image Credit: Dcrjsr, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 4.0)
Scientific Name Encelia farinosa
Height Up to 3 feet
Bloom Date March–April

Brittlebush is a well-known flowering shrub of the Sonoran Desert, and it can be found in various parts of Arizona. It has bright yellow daisy-like flowers that are arranged on top of dense, fuzzy leaves.

The brittlebush flowers typically bloom in the springtime and give off a pleasant aroma. The shrub is drought-tolerant, making it an ideal choice for any desert garden.

2. Mexican Gold Poppy

mexican gold poppy flowers
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Scientific Name Eschscholzia mexicana
Height Up to 1 foot
Bloom Date February–April

The Mexican gold poppy is easily recognizable due to its bright yellow and orange petals. It’s native to the southwestern United States, including Arizona, where it can be found along roadsides and in fields.

These flowers tend to bloom during late winter or early spring, and they make for a stunning display of color. The Mexican gold poppy is also very easy to care for, and it’s a great addition to any garden.

3. Desert Marigold

Baileya Multiradiata
Baileya Multiradiata (Image Credit: Stan Shebs, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Scientific Name Baileya multiradiata
Height Up to 2 feet
Bloom Date February–April

The desert marigold is a small shrub with yellow and orange daisy-like flowers. It’s native to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, where it can be found in various parts of the state. Its cheerful blooms appear during the spring months, making it a welcome sight after winter has passed.

Desert marigolds are also drought-tolerant and easy to care for, so they’re a really good choice for beginner gardeners who need something low-maintenance to get started.

4. Coulter’s Lupine

coulters lupine flowers
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Scientific Name Lupinus sparsiflorus
Height 6–12 inches
Bloom Date March–May

Coulter’s lupine is a low-growing perennial wildflower found in Arizona. It has beautiful blue to purple flowers and compound leaves that are light green in color. This plant typically blooms from March through June, making it an excellent choice for a spring garden.

When in bloom, Coulter’s lupine can reach heights of 6 to 12 inches. It prefers moist soils and is found in washes, seeps, and along streambanks throughout Arizona. It is a great addition to any garden as it is drought-tolerant and attracts birds and pollinators.

5. Scorpion Weed

scorpion weed
Image Credit: Walter Frehner, Pixabay
Scientific Name Phacelia distans
Height Up to 2 feet
Bloom Date February–April

Scorpion weed is a tall, slender wildflower native to Arizona. It has long stems with bright purple-blue flowers and yellow centers. The blooms appear during the late winter or early spring months, and they add a splash of color to any garden.

While scorpion weed is another low-maintenance plant, it’s also drought-tolerant. These attributes ensure that it’s a good fit for desert gardens or rockeries.

6. Arizona Lupine

arizona lupine
Image Credit: Martina Genis, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Lupinus arizonicus
Height Up to 2 feet
Bloom Date April–June

Arizona lupine is a wildflower that grows in the desert regions of Arizona and can reach up to 2 feet tall. It has delicate, light purple blossoms with yellow markings at the base of each petal, and its leaves are green and divided into leaflets.

This flower blooms from April to June and attracts many native pollinators. It prefers dry, well-drained soil and can be found growing in open, sandy areas.

7. Desert Chia

Scientific Name Salvia columbariae
Height 2–3 feet
Bloom Date March–June

Desert chia is an annual wildflower found in Arizona. It has small, blue to purple flowers that are borne on long stalks above the foliage. The leaves of this plant are highly fragrant, and the seeds can be harvested and used as a food source.

Fully grown desert chia can reach heights of 2 to 3 feet and can be found blooming from March through June. Dry, well-drained soils are best for this plant, and they can be found in open areas, such as deserts and grasslands.

8. Desert Primrose

desert primrose
Image Credit: PIXNIO
Scientific Name Oenothera primiveris
Height 6–9 inches
Bloom Date March–May

This wildflower has creamy white and yellow blossoms that look like small cups. It is often used as an ornamental flower in gardens, but it’s just as beautiful growing wild in the desert of Arizona.

The desert primrose enjoys well-drained soils in dry areas. It is both heat- and drought-tolerant, making it a great choice for xeriscaping. What’s more, the desert primrose is also pollinator-friendly, attracting bees and butterflies to its flowers. Not only is this wildflower beautiful, but it’s also easy to grow.

9. Marsh Aster

Michaelmas Daisy (Marsh Aster - Aster pauciflorous)
Image Credit: PosiNote, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Aster pauciflorous
Height 1–2 feet
Bloom Date May–September

The marsh aster is a wonderful wildflower that grows in wet areas. It has tiny, daisy-like flowers that start out white and turn to lavender as they age. Its leaves have a furry texture, making it stand out from other plants around it. The marsh aster is a great choice for wildflower beds and can also be used as a ground cover.

It’s easy to grow, requiring moist soil and partial shade. This beautiful wildflower attracts plenty of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It’s sure to add color and life to any garden in Arizona.

10. Desert Star Daisy

Tiny blossoms of Monoptilon Bellidiforme
Image Credit: Jared Quentin, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Monoptilon bellidiforme
Height Around 3 inches
Bloom Date March–June

The desert star daisy is easily identified by its bright white petals, yellow pistil, and narrow, dark green leaves. It grows abundantly in dry washes throughout the state and is a great addition to any desert garden. This flower thrives in full sun or partial shade and can tolerate cold temperatures.

It makes an outstanding color accent or miniature ground cover when planted in groups. Its beautiful daisy-like flowers are very attractive and will bloom from March until June throughout most of the state. The desert star daisy’s blooms are a welcome sight to any Arizona garden.

11. Chuparosa

Scientific Name Justicia californica
Height Up to 6 feet
Bloom Date April–November

The chuparosa is an upright shrub that produces clusters of bright red and orange bell-shaped flowers. It’s native to Arizona and can be found in the desert, scrubland, and riparian habitats throughout the state. The chuparosa grows in full sun and needs very little water to survive. It can be drought-tolerant once established, so it’s a great choice for xeriscaping.

The flowers provide nectar for birds, bees, and other pollinators. In addition, the plant often attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, so it’s a great addition to any wildlife-friendly garden. The flowers can also be used in flower arrangements or dried for use in crafts.

12. California Poppy

California poppy
Image Credit: Magdus, Pixabay
Scientific Name Eschscholzia californica
Height 6–12 inches
Bloom Date March–May, October–November

The California poppy is an easy-to-grow annual wildflower native to the deserts of Arizona. Its cheery orange and yellow blooms have four petals that open in the morning and close again at night. Plant them in a sunny, well-drained spot, and they’ll reward you with weeks of brilliant color each spring and fall.

California poppies are drought tolerant once established and make great additions to cottage gardens or naturalized areas. They self-seed readily, so while they won’t last more than one season, these cheerful flowers will reappear year after year.

13. Gravel Ghost

Gravel Ghost wildflower
Image Credit: clayton harrison, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Atrichoseris platyphylla
Height 2.5 feet
Bloom Date March–May

Gravel ghost is a low-growing plant that produces white, purplish, or pinkish flowers. The flowers are typically no more than an inch across and are surrounded by two rows of spiny lobes. It is found in dry sandy soils, washes, and rocky slopes.

This wildflower is native to Arizona, and it does well in both hot and cold climates. It’s a great choice for rock gardens and pathways or wherever some extra color is desired. Its foliage is green with yellowish-green tints, making it a standout among other native plants in the area.

14. Fairy Duster

fairy duster flowers
Image Credit: Gabriela Motta, Pixabay
Scientific Name Calliandra eriophylla
Height 2–4 feet
Bloom Date April–August

Fairy duster is a small, deciduous shrub that is native to Arizona’s desert regions and grows nearly anywhere there is access to sunlight. The plant has showy red or pink, fluffy flowers that bloom in the late spring and summer months.

It makes a great addition to any Arizona garden as it grows quickly and can tolerate extreme heat, cold, and drought. The fairy duster is a great plant for attracting hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to the garden.

15. Purple Owl’s Clover

purple owls clover
Image Credit: Jumpstory
Scientific Name Castilleja exserta
Height 18 inches
Bloom Date March–May

Purple owl’s clover is an annual wildflower that grows in Arizona and many other parts of the Southwest United States. It has purple, white, yellow, and pink flowers which are clustered together on an angular stem.

The leaves are small and oval-shaped, often with a purplish hue. This wildflower is an important nectar source for hummingbirds and butterflies, attracting them to gardens in the late spring and early summer months. It prefers dry soils but will grow well in moist areas if given enough sun.

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Important Tips for Arizona Wildflower Care

When it comes to caring for wildflowers in Arizona, there are a few basic tips that you should follow. These include watering your flowers regularly, providing plenty of sunshine, and following the appropriate pest control methods to ensure the health of your plants.


garden hose
Image Credit: gornostay, Shutterstock

Wildflowers typically require little water and can even survive on rainwater alone. However, if you are in an area that experiences frequent droughts or periods of low rainfall, it’s important to make sure your wildflowers receive adequate water. Watering should be done deeply and infrequently, about once every 10 days for most species.


Most Arizona wildflowers need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. If you are planting in a shaded area, consider providing extra light with grow lights or moving the plants to an area that receives more sunlight.

Pest Control

Arizona is home to several pests and diseases that can cause damage to wildflowers. To protect your plants from these hazards, practice regular pest control methods such as removing weeds, cleaning up debris around the flower bed, and spraying plants with insecticidal soap. Additionally, keeping your wildflowers free of dead leaves and other debris will help prevent mold and mildew growth.

By following these tips for Arizona wildflower care, you can ensure that your flowers remain healthy and beautiful for many years to come. With proper care, you can enjoy the beauty of Arizona wildflowers in your garden or landscape all year long.

garden flower divider


The wildflower varieties found in Arizona offer an exciting array of colors and shapes. Depending on your location, climate, and other factors, you may find one or more of these wildflowers thriving in your area. Keep an eye out for them while spending time outdoors and appreciate the beauty they bring to our environment.

Featured Image Credit: Dominic Gentilcore PhD, Shutterstock


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