Desert Honeysuckle


Scientific Name: Anisacanthus thurberi

Common Name:Desert Honeysuckle
Family: Acanthaceae, Acanthus Family
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 6 feet or more.
Growth Form: Shrub, erect, stems woody, spindly, rangy handsome shrub with slender horizontal branches.
Leaves: Green; opposite; entire, lanceolate; petiolate, fascicled, about 1 inch long, often deciduous during bloom.
Flower Color: Orange, reddish-orange or orange-yellow, showy; tubular two lipped or bilabiate corolla, curled, stamens exerted, fruits are a flattened capsule from which the seeds are ejected.
Flowering Season: Spring but may bloom throughout the year with sufficient rain.

Comments: Although a rare plant in the United States, Thurber’s Desert Honeysuckle is common in Arizona in its preferred habitat, primarily along washes and the lower sides of canyon walls. This species is often used in desert landscaping and in natural areas or as a wildlife plant for its tropical beauty and attraction to birds and butterflies. The tubular flowers are a good source of nectar for hummingbirds. Often found growing in shade.