Yesterday, doing several errands, I was driving through the parking lot of our local Walmart when I saw a sight that stopped me dead in my tracks.


Now, normally parking lots are prime examples of bad landscape practices with over-planted and excessively pruned shrubs.  But, what I saw was truly breathtaking.

Blue Hibiscus shrub Alyogyne heugllii
This fuss-free, shrub was awash with large, purple blossoms.   The color was so vibrant and it added a lot of needed color to the parking lot island.

So, do you know what type of shrub this is?


I’ll give you a few hints:

– It is native to Australia.

– It is drought tolerant and thrives in the low desert.

– It grows best in full sun and blooms in spring and occasionally throughout the summer.


This is a blue hibiscus shrub (Alyogyne huegelii). 

This shrub grows fairly large, growing 6 – 8 ft. tall and wide.


While I have only seen it in purple & dark purple, it is also found in pink and white.  
What really stood out to me about this shrub is not just its beauty, but the fact that it was thriving in an area where many plants struggle in the hot, reflected heat of a parking lot island.

**How about you?  Have you ever seen this shrub before or grown it in your landscape?  Please share your experience with this purple-flowering beauty.
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

8 replies
  1. HM
    HM says:

    Yes, it appeared in my neighborhood landscaping maybe 3 years ago. It’s a short bloom cycle, maybe a month. Very pretty then but the rest of the year it looks sparse, straggly and like a desert plant. The name hibiscus is a little misleading as it doesn’t seem to really have a lot in common with true hibiscus plants. (Oh, and my neighborhood is in North Scottsdale and only plants low water, desertscspe, so that tells you something.) It is glorious in bloom but blooming has been short, early spring and you won’t notice or think much of this plant rest of the year. Possibly a good layering plant…not a focal point.

    Reply
  2. Jan Senecal
    Jan Senecal says:

    I planted one in our front (full hot sun, hi desert) and it blooms for months and grows like crazy. I couldn’t remember the name, people are always stopping to ask what is it. Beautiful!!!

    Reply
      • Katy
        Katy says:

        I have two. They were huge and gorgeous and then they just up and died? Not sure if they will come back. They were established too! I had them for two years. Watering didn’t change. So confusing as to why they died. Any insight? On a side note,
        Noelle you planned my yard years ago and we still love all that you did!

        Reply
        • arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
          arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

          Hello Katy,

          I’m sorry to hear that they died. Plants that die in late summer may have been overwatered. The blue hibiscus likes well-drained soil. This time of year, plants can die due to the increased humidity, rainfall, and too frequent irrigation. If you replant them, add compost to the planting hole to improve drainage and once they are established (1 year after planting) water less frequently than before. I hope this helps!

          Reply

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