Flowering shrubs are some of our most invaluable xeric garden citizens providing us with longevity, size and spectacular displays of pollinator-attracting flowers.
In the case of Cytisus, these shrubs also have attractive evergreen stems that give the plants excellent winter interest. Two of my current favorites are two hybrid varieties, Cytisus x praecox x Paulette and Cytisus kewensis. 'Paulette'has large, super showy scarlet flowers held on substantial, bright green stems. This is a larger-growing variety and can have hundreds of flowers that cover the plant in late spring.
Cytisus kewensis grows to only about 18” in height; this vigorous hybrid variety grows horizontally making it an excellent choice for covering slopes and other harsh areas in the landscape. The pale yellow flowers are profuse and cover the plant’s fine textured stems in late spring. Both Cytisus varieties are fantastic for providing nectar for honeybees.
Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) attract both butterflies and hummingbirds with their summer long display of nectar rich flowers. There has been a great deal of effort to breed improved varieties with a wider range of flower colors and mature sizes.
The best of the dwarf butterfly bushes are the Flutterby Petites. My two favorites are Flutterby Petite ‘Pink’ and ‘Blue’ which mature to a small size; only 30” in height and width making them useful in the smallest gardens in the ground or in pots. And best of all, these two varieties are sterile and will not reseed in areas of the country where Buddleia can escape cultivation.
Apache Plume is one of our showiest native western shrubs. Beginning in late spring and continuing through summer the plant blooms with single white flowers that set fluffy pink seed heads. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
First Choice is a newer selection with particularly deep blue flowers and a more compact mature size than other Blue Mist spirea. Blooming late summer it is an invaluable nectar source for bees and butterflies. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
Chamaebatiaria millefolium (also known as Desert Sweet or Fernbush) is a beautiful native shrub that brightens the garden in mid-summer with big clusters of bright white flowers. It also has attractive dried seed heads and olive-green foliage. Drought resistant perennial plant (xeric).
Three leaf sumac is a tough colorful native shrub with chartreuse spring flowers, red summer ripening fruit and colorful fall foliage in shades of yellow, orange and red. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).