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Justicia californica (Beloperone)
Sturla, Gene

Justicia californica

Justicia californica (Benth.) D. Gibson

Beloperone, Hummingbird Bush, Chuparosa

Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family)

Synonym(s): Beloperone californica

USDA Symbol: JUCA8

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Hummingbird-bush or chuparosa is a deciduous sub-shrub to 6 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

19 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


Native Distribution: S. AZ, s.e. CA & n.w. Mex.
Native Habitat: Rocky, desert washes; 1000 to 4000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light 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.


Description: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Fruit is a capsule.
Seed Treatment: Seeds germinate without pretreatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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