Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Chuparosa, Chuperosa, Hummingbird Bush
Justicia californica

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Justicia (jus-TEE-see-ah) (Info)
Species: californica (kal-ih-FOR-nik-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Beloperone californica

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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to view:

By Kelli
Thumbnail #1 of Justicia californica by Kelli

By Kelli
Thumbnail #2 of Justicia californica by Kelli

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #3 of Justicia californica by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #4 of Justicia californica by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #5 of Justicia californica by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #6 of Justicia californica by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #7 of Justicia californica by Xenomorf

There are a total of 12 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Jasperwood On Feb 1, 2015, Jasperwood from Tucson, AZ wrote:

My experience with the chuparosa came about due to a desire in finding a plant which attracted hummingbirds and that would survive in an area of the property that needed some interest. It thrived in the poorest soil and complimented the cactus landscape. Since relocating recently I have been introducing in with the unprotected desert plants around the perimeter of our present home. However there appears to be a critter that eats the unprotected leaves and stems down to 2 inches above the ground. I don't know if it is a javelina or rabbit. So I am placing chicken wire around what remains.

Positive sonoranpoet On May 9, 2012, sonoranpoet from Cave Creek, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Love this plant. I have had both Red and Yellow variety. Hummers love both. This can be hacked back hard if need be to keep it from getting gangly. Mine is in filtered sunlight in the sonoran desert.

Positive BajaBlue On Oct 7, 2009, BajaBlue from Rancho Santa Rita, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

(Justicia california) deciduous shrub to 4 ft., gray-green succulent plant with tubular red to yellow flowers, native to deserts of California, Ariz. and Mexico, will freeze to ground but will usually grow back, good for desert borders or dry coastal gardens. It will not take total desert drought as it grows in desert washes in the warmer areas with Desert Willow. Often in sandy plains. Mix with Desert Willow, California Poppy, Encelia farinosa and Salvia
clevelandii(X) or Salvia apiana.

Beloperone californica aka Chuparosa tolerates sand, is great for a bird and a butterfly garden. Irs foliage color is silver and type is deciduous.

The flower color is red. The Soanish name Chuparosa or chuparrosa literally translates to "rose sucker" and is also the
popular name for hummingbird as evidenced by the irrestibility
to hummingbirds for this plant.

Neutral Xenomorf On Nov 23, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've seen this growing in the wild on the 'El Camino Del Diablo Trail' (Devils' Highway) that runs between Ajo and Wellton in Arizona through the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

Positive southmojave On Nov 12, 2005, southmojave from Ontario, CA wrote:

My chuparosa has been continuously blooming (at least two flowers) every day for over 6 years!

Positive melody On Jan 31, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Attractive to wildlife and birds...especially Hummingbirds. The common name Chuparosa is Spanish for hummingbird, in fact.

This shrub has a range from northwestern Mexico into southern AZ and southern CA. It is seen along desert watercourses, mostly below 2500' elevation. This is one of the fewspecies of the genus Justicia to even extend into the United States.

Blooms from Feb to June. Sometimes known locally as Honeysuckle, it is said to have been eaten by the Native Americans of the Southwest.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ajo, Arizona
Cave Creek, Arizona
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)
Ontario, California
Mission, Texas

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