Justicia californica – Beloperone

Justicia californica - Beloperone, Chuparosa, Hummingbird Bush

Justicia californica - Beloperone, Chuparosa, Hummingbird Bush

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Justicia californica

Synonym: Beloperone californica

Common Names: Beloperone, Chuparosa, Hummingbird Bush

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Deciduous

Growth Habit: Shrub

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert (low elevation). This frost-sensitive plant grows in sandy desert washes and on rocky slopes.

Flower Color: Scarlet, Red-orange, Yellow (rare)

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall. It blooms heavily in the springtime and then again lightly and sporadically throughout much of the year if conditions are right.

Height: From 3 to 6 feet (0.9 to 1.8 m) tall

Description: The flowers are tubular, 1 2/3 inches (4 cm) long, and have a 2-lobed upper lip and a narrow, 3-lobed lower lip. The leaves are green, fuzzy, opposite, and rounded, triangular, or egg-shaped. The plants are cold and drought deciduous and are usually leafless. The stems are covered in dense, fine, grayish hairs.

The similar Arizona Water-willow (Justicia candicans) has upright flowers with a broader lower lip that has white markings at its base.

Special Characteristics

Edible – The flowers are edible either raw or cooked.

Hummingbird Flower – The nectar-filled flowers attract hummingbirds.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Acanthaceae – Acanthus family
Genus: Justicia L. – water-willow
Species: Justicia californica (Benth.) D. Gibson – beloperone

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map