The Cliff Rose is an Arizona native, found in elevations from 3000 to 8000 feet in elevation on rocky slopes. This is probably not a good choice for low desert areas, but if you live in the Tucson area above 3000 feet, or are a resident in communities near Tubac or Rio Rico, this is a shrub worth considering.
The Cliff Rose is a slow growing shrub, reach about 6 feet tall and wide. Slow growing translates to a long life. The branches are twisted, giving this evergreen shrub a unique form. There are cream colored flowers appearing in the spring through the summer, which are followed by feathery plumes of seed heads.
Plant the Cliff Rose in full sun and in soils that drain quickly. Do not worry about amending the soil for natives, in fact, it’s not recommended amendments be added to any landscape plants.
Other cold tolerant plant choices include the Velvet Mesquite, Texas Ranger and the tough Turpentine Bush.
Reference: Mountain States Wholesale Nursery and Gregg Starr Nursery Plant Info Sheet, 1999.