Justicia californica

Accession Count: 36
Common Name: Chuparosa
    • Select which
      accessions to find:



































Family Name: Acanthaceae
Botanical Name: Justicia californica
Synonyms:
Botanical Synonyms: Beloperone californica
Sub Species:
Variety:
Forma:
Cultivar:
Characteristics: J. californica is a shrub that can reach between 6 to 10 feet in height; typically found having a sprawling appearance, rather than an upright appearance. It is drought deciduous but maintains most leaves throughout the year. The flowers are clusters of long, red tubular corollas with lots of nectar that attract hummingbirds. The leaves are small deltoid gray to green in color and moderately pubescent (1).
Compound: Jus cal
Geographic Origin: Arizona, Baja California, Sonora
Ecozone Origin: Nearctic
Biome Origin: SW
Natural History: J. californica is native to Southwestern U.S. and typically found on rocky hillsides. They are most commonly used in commercial landscapes to maintain native surroundings (2). Also, the chuparosa is used in many home landscapes in the southwest.
Cultivation Notes: J. californica is a perfect xeriscape accent shrub. It requires little water and fits in well with other native landscapes as well as attracts hummingbirds with the bright red flowers (1). Little pruning is necessary to keep the species' shape but can be trimmed to maintain size. Full sun is necessary to keep this plant healthy and lush. An interesting part of this plant is that it can be propagated from seeds and cuttings (2).
Ethnobotany: J. californica has historically has been used as an ornamental in xeriscaping, and its flowers eaten as treats by local Indians and Spanish. Recent studies have also shown its potential for medicinal uses; exhibiting a presence of alkaloids, amino acids and various other potentially useful organic substances (3). The flowers are often used in salads.

Height: 0 - 5 feet
Width: 0 - 5 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate Growing
Grow Season: ForeSummer
Flower Season: Spring
Color: Red
Function: Accent
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Hardy
Water Use: Low water Use

Citations:
  1. Arizona State University Virtual Library of Phoenix Landscape Plants. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  2. University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  3. Wright State University Core Scholar Campus Online Repository. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  4. Mielke, Judy. Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes. University of Texas Press, 1993.
Alert

Justicia californica