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Anisacanthus thurberi (Thurber's desert honeysuckle)
Sturla, Gene

Anisacanthus thurberi

Anisacanthus thurberi (Torr.) A. Gray

Thurber's Desert Honeysuckle, Chuparosa, Desert Honeysuckle

Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family)

Synonym(s): Drejera thurberi

USDA Symbol: anth2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Thurberís desert-honeysuckle or chuparosa is a 5-8 ft. shrub with stout branches with white, exfoliating bark. Tubular red flowers, sometimes yellow or orange, are followed by a several-seeded pod.

The lovely red flowers superficially resemble those of honeysuckles (family Caprifoliaceae), but this plant is in the acanthus family (Acanthaceae). Members of this family are characterized by their seeds, which are borne on hooked projections.


From the Image Gallery

41 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: Rarely flowers again in the fall.


Native Distribution: S.w. NM, AZ & n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Rocky banks; floodplains; 2500 to 5500 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Bloom period is primarily in spring, but flowers will appear throughout the year, depending on available moisture.


Use Wildlife: Flowers attract hummingbirds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX

Web Reference

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

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-13
Research By: TWC Staff

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