in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

       Back to Plant List

Hyptis emoryi: Desert Lavender

social icons Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram

Form: Multi-stemmed shrub.
Leaf retention: Evergreen but frost-deciduous. Dies to ground in severe cold but usually grows back in spring.
Growth rate: Rapid.
Mature Size: 4-10' high and wide, depending on frost.
Flowers: Tiny, clustered, blue to purple.
Bloom: Fall, winter and spring.
Fruit: Inconspicuous seed.
Leaves: Oval, hairy, green, rounded-toothed margins, become smaller and grayer without water, edible, strong lavender fragrance. Fragrance is released by touching plant. Can be used to flavor tea.
Stems: No thorns.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies and bees.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: California, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8-10.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun.
Water once established: Monthly. Supplemental water speeds growth but can make plant leggy. Stop watering six weeks before first frost in fall or winter to avoid spurring new growth that will be killed by frost.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low organic content, pH 6.1-7.5 (slightly acidic to neutral).
Prune: In late winter, prune to maintain shape. Cut to ground if hard freeze has arrived.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ornamental. Herbal.

A member of the mint family. The butterfly is an Ilavia Hairstreak (Satyrium ilavia).

Do you have additional information or a different experience for this plant that you would like to share?
Email All contributions are welcome and appreciated.

copyright ©

Hyptis emoryi: Desert Lavender - flowers

Hyptis emoryi: Desert Lavender - with butterfly

Hyptis emoryi: Desert Lavender - leaves