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Tree Of The Month: Arizona Rosewood

Tree of the Month: #ArizonaRosewood

Scientific: Vauquelinia californica

Common: Arizona Rosewood

Family: Rosaceae

Origin: Upper Sonoran Desert scrub above 2,500 feet elevation in south Arizona and central Baja California, often found coexisting in the Arizona uplands with with Dodonaea viscosa.

Landscape Use: Xeriscape, background, screen, informal hedge, highway plantings, floral accent, landscape standard as a small street side tree.

Form & Character: Evergreen shrub, informally formal, slightly stiff and brittle.

Seasonal Color: White flowers over a relatively short period of time, late April to May.

Size/Growth Habit: Slow to moderate rate of growth to 10 to 25 feet, though easily kept at 6 to 8 feet with proper water and pruning management. Some report that Arizona rosewood in Phoenix has a vigorous habit. They are mistaken, though certainly it’s growth rate and ultimate size is enhanced by supplemental irrigation.

Foliage/Texture: Lanceolate and leathery, medium to dark dull green leaves with serrate margins and prominent central mid-vein, 4 inches in length and 1/2 inch in width, petioles reddish, stems gray; medium texture.

Flowers/Fruit: Small white flowers in umbels followed by ugly brown small brown fruit, persistent.

Comments: Valued as a nonpoisonous replacement for oleander, although it’s early summer flowering is not as spectacular and occurs over only a couple of weeks. Young Arizona rosewood plants are slow to establish in the the landscape and are prone to heat stress. In general, Arizona rosewood performs better in Tucson than Phoenix because the former is at higher elevation and is slightly cooler overall. Arizona rosewood is also highly sensitive (severe foliar chlorosis) to ground applied pre-emergent herbicides like PrincepTM.

Outdoor Living Tree of the Month | #ArizonaRosewood

For more info view the full plant specifications from ASU’s Virtual Library of Phoenix Landscape Plants: Arizona Rosewood


PODCAST‘s Justin Rohner talks about a great alternative to oleanders. The Tree Of The Month the Arizona Rosewood. Planting for shade with deciduous trees for summer shade and warmth for winter. How to store seeds and a simple method to test them before planting. Plus we bet you never heard about trampoline gardening, but you will here!

Podcast Archive With Expanded Content and Resources


It’s a shrub? It’s a tree? It’s both!! Certified Arborists Scott Calabrese and Matthew Noriega talk about a good alternative to oleanders, the Arizona Rosewood. Plus, tasks to consider before transitioning to rye grass winter lawns including the two types of ryegrass. Fall fertilizing citrus, tree planting the right way and more!

Podcast Archive With Expanded Content and Resources

John Eisenhower talks about the Tree Of The Month, the Arizona Rosewood. Plus he takes listener calls about removing old oleander bushes, a neighbor’s sissoo tree roots growing into their yard, shade tree suggestions, treating a lemon tree missing branches and more.


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