Justicia californica

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Justicia californica
Justicia californica

Species Name: Justicia californica
Common Name: Chuparosa or Beloperone

Great shrub for desert gardens. Beautiful, multi-stemmed shrub with numerous red flowers. Plant is usually leafless while in bloom. Hummingbirds love it.

Plant Family: Acanthaceae
Plant Type: Shrub
Height by Width: 6' H x 6' W
Growth Habit: Mounding
Deciduous/Evergreen: Semi-deciduous
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Preference: Well-draining, rocky
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to infrequent
Cold Hardy to: Frost tender
Flower Season: Spring/Summer
Flower Color: Red
Endangered?: Not listed
Distribution: Western Peninsular Range (San Diego River east of Wildcat Canyon), Sonoran Desert
Natural Habitat: Dry sandy or rocky soils, especially washes below 2,400'

Hummingbird iconA.jpg

Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "An interesting shrub from the northern and western edges of the Colorado Desert. Of sprawling habit 2 to 4 feet high; leaves small, ovate or oval, dropping early leaving a mass of interlacing dull gray green branches. The flowers are red, tubular-shaped appearing abundantly in late winter and spring, when the bushes are a blaze of color. Responds well to cultivation. Gallon cans, 60c."
Other Names
  • Beloperone californica
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.