Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Fendlera rupicola (Cliff fendlerbush)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Fendlera rupicola

Fendlera rupicola A. Gray

Cliff Fendlerbush, False Mock-orange

Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangea Family)

Synonym(s): Fendlera rupicola var. falcata


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Cliff Fendlerbush or False Mock Orange is a deciduous to semi-evergreen, multi-branched shrub usually to 6-1/2 ft. Showy white or pink-tinged flowers blanket the entire blooming plant. New bark is a lustrous reddish-tan, becoming gray and shreddy with age. Leaves are narrow and thick with rolled margins.

Cliff Fendlerbush is a member of the hydrangea family (Hydrangeaceae) which includes mainly small trees or shrubs, sometimes herbs, with flowers often in roundish or flattish clusters, sometimes in heads. This species provides excellent browse for goats, sheep, and deer.


From the Image Gallery

12 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Sometimes blooms in the fall.


USA: AZ , CO , NM , NV , TX , UT
Native Distribution: W. CO, s. to w. TX, AZ & n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky mt. slopes; deserts; mesas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Igneous or limestone soils.
Conditions Comments: May become lanky; improved by pruning. Drought-tolerant.


Use Wildlife: Excellent browse for goats, sheep & deer.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Looking for seeds or plant of Fendlera wrightii
January 01, 2009
How I can get a plant or a seed of Fendlera Wrightii, Texas native bush.
view the full question and answer

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Webref 1 - Texas Native Shrubs (2002) Texas A&M University Agriculture Program and Leslie Finical, Dallas Arboretum

Additional resources

USDA: Find Fendlera rupicola in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Fendlera rupicola in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Fendlera rupicola


Record Modified: 2023-04-05
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back