Answer: Native shrubs are always the best performers and require the least maintenance so here are a few to consider:
Allenrelfia occidentalis (Quinine bush); Native shrub (2-3 feet) related to saltbrush that frequents very saline soils. Prefers well drained soil, full sun and periodic flooding. Light green to pinkish turning yellow to brown in fall.
Anisacanthus thurberii (Desert honeysuckle); Upright bush, 3-5' x 2-3' with small deciduous green leaves. These scarlet tubular flowers bloom periodically all summer and attract hummingbirds. Thrives in sunny hot areas with monthly deep watering.
Artemisia tridentata (Big sage); Evergreen gray-green shrub two to four feet by one to two feet. Drought tolerant but needs supplemental water at our elevation, any soil, sun. Very aromatic.
Atriplex argentea (Silverscale saltbush); Low growing evergreen shrub, two by three feet, silvery rounding leaves. Any soil type, full sun, drought tolerant. Good erosion control plant.
Atriplex confertifolia (Shadscale); Spiny shrub one to three feet by two feet with round gray green leaves. Female bushes have green to pinkish seed heads in the fall. Grows in heavier alkaline soils, full sun, very drought tolerant.
Brickelia californica (Bricklebush); Deciduous bush one to three feet tall usually growing in dry stream beds or rock hillsides. Yellow clusters of flowers midsummer to frost, triangular green leaves. Quail like seeds. Full sun, well drained soil, drought tolerant.
Caryopteris clandonensis (Blue mist spirea); Deciduous shrub two by two feet, narrow gray-green leaves with attractive cool blue flowers from August to frost, if old heads cut off. Cut back in spring to keep shape. Full sun, well drained amended soil. Moderately drought tolerant.
Ephedra torreyiana (Mormon tea); Green jointed stems mark this dry land native. Grows about one to two feet by two to three feet, is very drought tolerant, good for erosion control will grow in any but the densest soil.
Gutierreza sarothrae (Snakeweed); This small shrub 12-24 inches tall makes evergreen mounds that dot the landscape with yellow in late summer. They are prefect in combination with purple asters. Drought tolerant any soil, full sun. Good erosion control and well self sow.
Hope one of these suggestions is just right for your garden.
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