May and June
3 to 6 ft.
4 to 6 ft.
southwestern United States
USDA zones 3-8
hardy to 10,000 ft.
Waxflower is a native shrub that naturally grows in partially-shaded canyons along the eastern slope of the Rockies.
In late spring, it grows clusters of tiny, white, waxy flowers, which are very fragrant. It has thick, highly-textured, medium green leaves. The heart-shaped leaves turn to brilliant shades of orange and pink in the fall.
This shrub grows best in rocky soils with excellent drainage. It is a fantastic choice for foothills landscapes with partial shade.
There are three waxflower shrubs growing at the Xeriscape Garden. They are shaded for part of the day by a building. Although alive and healthy, they did not grow much the first few years after being transplanted.
During two very rainy growing seasons, they grew rapidly. Like many other native plants, they seem to be a shrub that can survive dry periods but will take advantage of wet conditions.
This shrub is a good choice for planting under a tree that creates dappled shade, but plan on watering it regularly to get it to thrive. The flowers and leaves are very attractive in the wild.
Remove dead or damaged branches as needed.