Choisya arizonica 'Bluestone'

Common Name: Mexican orange 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Rutaceae
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant, Evergreen
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Best grown in evenly moist to dry, well-draining soils in full sun to part shade. Intolerant of overly moist, waterlogged soils, especially in winter. Tolerant of drought once established. Prune as needed after flowering. Hardy in USDA Zones 7-10

Noteworthy Characteristics

Choisya arizonica, commonly called Arizona orange, is an evergreen shrub endemic to dry, rocky slopes and scrublands of southern Arizona. Mature plants can reach 3-9' tall with a similar spread. The palmate, oppositely arranged leaves are made up of 3-5 (rarely 7) linear leaflets. The leaflets are typically 1-2" long and have prominent glands along their margins. The fragrant, 0.75-1" wide, solitary, white flowers bloom from the leaf axils. The main bloom period is from late spring to mid summer. The stems and leaves of this plant are densely glandular and highly aromatic.

Genus name honors Jacques Denis Choisy (1799-1859), Swiss botanist and professor of philosophy at Geneva.

The specific epithet Arizonica means "of Arizona", in reference to the native range of this species.

The common name of orange associated with this genus is in reference to the fragrant flowers which have a citrus aroma and its placement in the Rutaceae family, which includes the genus Citrus.

'Bluestone' is a compact Arizona orange selection that features blue-green foliage and 0.75" wide, fragrant blooms with a citrus aroma. The main bloom period is from late spring to mid summer. Mature plants will reach around 4' tall with an equal spread.


Root rot is problematic in overly moist, waterlogged soils. Watch for slugs and snails. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Mixed borders, desert gardens, rock gardens, xeriscaping.