Justicia californica (Benth.) D. Gibson
Beloperone, Hummingbird bush, Chuparosa
Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family)
Synonym(s): Beloperone californica
USDA Symbol: JUCA8
Hummingbird-bush or chuparosa is a deciduous sub-shrub to 4 ft., with green, spreading/arching, often leafless branches. Succulent oval leaves are gray-green. Showy, tubular flowers occur in short, axillary racemes and are either red, orange or yellow.
Very few species of the huge tropical genus Justicia extend north into the United States. The common name Chuparosa is Spanish for hummingbird; these birds frequently visit the nectar-rich plants, pollinating flower after flower as they feed. Linnets and sparrows bite off the flowers and eat the nectar-filled bases. Sometimes known locally as Honeysuckle, Chuparosa is said to have been eaten by the Papago people of the Southwest.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA
Native Distribution: S. AZ, s.e. CA & n.w. Mex.
Native Habitat: Rocky, desert washes; 1000 to 4000 ft.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Does not take total desert drought, as it is native to desert washes. Will freeze to the ground but will usually grow back. American water-willow is a great addition to water gardens. It blooms throughout the summer and colonizes by underground stems. It will grow in moist soil or submerged in a few feet of water. Larval food plant for the Texan Crescentspot butterfly.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Fruit is a capsule.
Seed Treatment: Seeds germinate without pretreatment.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
BibliographyBibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
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Recommended Species Lists
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Justicia californica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Justicia californica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Justicia californica
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-12-31
Research By: TWC Staff