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Drought-Tolerant Plant Selections for Oklahoma

See Extension Circular E-1051 for plant photographs and more information. The plants listed are targeted for Oklahoma City specifically with many also suitable for the entire state of Oklahoma. All selections were chosen for their heat and drought tolerance as well as commercial availability. 

 

This list is separated by annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, vines, groundcover, shrubs, trees, and turfgrasses. Each plant is listed alphabetically by its scientific name within each category. The mature height and width are listed, which should be kept in mind when planning a landscape. Each plant has the season(s) of interest shown and light requirements. Many plants listed are considerably more drought resistant when properly mulched. Consumers should note that some listed plant materials can be toxic to pets and humans when ingested. Some plants may cause dermal reactions. People with young children or pets that may ingest landscape plants should check with their garden center or nursery professional
if potential toxicity is a concern.

 

The following plant list is not comprehensive and many other plants not listed in this guide may be appropriate for the landscape.

 


 

Annuals

Common Name Scientific Name Height X Width (in) Light Requirement Season of Interest Comments
Summer Snapdragon Angelonia angustifolia 12-24’’x 12-24’’  Sun  SUM Continuous flowers through the season, won’t flower if over fertilized. Various flower colors available.
Asparagus Fern Asparagus spp. 18-36’’x 18-36’’  Sun SUM  Very tough, drought tolerant plant. Many varieties available. Plant may be brought indoors by fall to serve as a houseplant.
Wax Begonia Begonia spp. 8’’x12’’ Full sun to partial shade  SUM Useful in shade and sun. Light requirements vary, depending on the selection. Blooms with minimal care.
Ornamental Peppers  Capsicum spp. 18”x12’’ Sun SUM Works well as a garden border or in containers. Attractive fruit add color and texture to the plant. Various colors available.
Indian Paintbrush Castilleja indivisa 12”x12’’ Sun SPR Self-sows freely; deadhead to prevent volunteer seedlings next season. Commercially available from seed.
Periwinkle Catharanthus roseus 8”x12’’ Full sun to partial shade SUM Does not perform well in cold, wet soils. Various flower colors available.
Cockscomb Celosia spp. 12”x12’’ Sun SUM Good for sunny, dry borders. Plumes provide a very soft texture and brilliant color throughout the summer. Various flower colors available. 
Spider Flower  Cleome spp. 24”x36’’ Full sun to partial shade SUM Taller varieties good for back of the border plantings. Flowers fully open in morning and evening.
Cosmos Cosmos spp. 18”x24’’ Sun SUM Over fertilization and overwatering lead to fewer flowers. Various flower colors and heights available.
Silver Falls Dichondra  Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’ 2-4’’x varies Full sun to partial shade SUM Accent for hanging baskets and containers. Round, silver foliage provides nice contrast for mixed containers. 
Diamond Frost Euphorbia® Euphorbia graminea ‘Inneuphdia’ 18”x24’’ Sun SUM Works well in containers, may have problems in chronically wet soils.
Snow-on-the-Mountain  Euphorbia marginata 36”x24’’ Sun SUM Attracts butterflies and can reseed aggressively.
Blue Daze Evolvulus pilosus ‘Blue Daze’ 12”x24’’ Full sun to partial shade SUM Use in a garden border, container, or as groundcover. True blue flowers until first frost.
Globe Amaranth  Gomphrena globosa 12”x18’’ Sun SUM Drought and heat tolerant. Flower heads are produced from Summer until first frost. Flowers are easy to dry for “everlasting” arrangements.
Firebush Hamelia patens 30”x36’’ Sun SUM Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Leaves turn red during fall.
Helenium Helenium amarum ‘Dakota Gold’ 12”x24’’ Sun FALL Works well in beds, containers, rock gardens, and as an accent. Dakota Gold is an improved selection of an Oklahoma native.
Sunflower  Helianthus annuus 2-6’x6-12’ Sun SUM May repel certain insects. Taller varieties should be planted in an area that will be sheltered from strong winds.
Strawflower  Helichrysum bracteatum 24”x12’’ Sun FALL High humidity, rainy conditions, and too much watering can harm the plant. Popular in dried arrangements.
Sweet Potato Vine  Ipomoea batatas 18”x40” Sun SUM This plant works well as an annual groundcover and in containers. Grows well in heat and humidity. Foliage available in several colors. 
Lantana Lantana camara 24”x40” Sun SUM Excellent performance under hot conditions; attracts butterflies. Various flower colors available. 
Texas Bluebonnet  Lupinus texensis 6-12”x 12-15” Sun FALL Texas state flower. Most readily available by seed.
Pentas Pentas lanceolata 24”x 36” Sun SUM Can take cuttings at the end of the Summer and will continue to bloom in a warm, south-facing window. Does well in containers. Attracts butterflies.
Mexican Bush Sage Salvia leucantha 36”x 48” Sun SUM Produces purple and white flower spikes that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. May overwinter.
Fan Flower Scaevola aemula 12”x 12” Sun SUM Very low growing. Works well in hanging baskets. Plant has glossy leaves and continuous flowers.Also available in pink and white.
Dusty Miller Senecio cineraria 24”x 24’’ Sun ALL Useful as an edging or in containers, may overwinter. Silver foliage useful for unique flower bed designs.
Marigold Tagetes spp. 24”x 36” Sun SUM Popular choice for companion planting in vegetable gardens. Available in dwarf and tall selections.
Yellow Bells  Tecoma stans 4’x 4’ Sun SUM Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Tropical plant used as an annual in Oklahoma. 
Mexican Sunflower Tithonia rotundifolia 48”x 36” Sun SUM Attracts butterflies. Very heat tolerant and makes an excellent background annual in the flower bed.
Purple Heart Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ 16”x 12” Sun ALL Drought-tolerant. Easily propagated by cuttings. Cuttings can be overwintered. Container planters can be brought indoors during winter. 
Mexican Zinnia Zinnia angustifolia 12”x 12” Sun SUM Deadhead for continuous bloom. Colors available include white, yellow, pink, red or orange flowers. Does well in containers or borders.

 

Perennials

Common Name Scientific Name Height X Width (in) Light Requirement Season of Interest Comments
Yarrow Achillea spp. 12”x36” Sun SUM Works well as an edging or in mass grouping. Various colors available.
Hyssop Agastache rupestris 24”x18” Sun FALL Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Aromatic foliage.
Parry’s Agave  Agave parryi 12”x9” Sun ALL Plant has spines or sharp edges; site accordingly and use extreme caution when handling. Marginally winter hardy in Oklahoma. 
Arkansas Bluestar  Amsonia hubrichtii 36”x36” Full sun to partial shade FALL Blue flowers in early summer, foliage turns yellow/orange in the fall.
Eastern Red Columbine  Aquilegia canadensis 24-36”x 12” Shade SPR A wonderful addition to native plant gardens, woodland gardens, cottage gardens, or naturalized areas.
Mugwort  Artemisia spp. 24”x36” Sun FALL Grown for its fine textured silver foliage. 
Butterfly Weed  Asclepias tuberosa 48”x36” Sun SUM Attracts butterflies to the garden. Flowers followed by interesting seed pods.
Japanese Painted Fern Athyrium nipponicum 12”x18” Shade SUM Very low maintenance, contrasts well with many shade-loving plants.
Blue False Indigo  Baptisia australis 36”x48” Sun ALL Works well in the back of flower borders. Showy flowers followed by persistent seed pods for winter interest.
Atlantic Camas Camassia scilloides 30’’x24’’ Full sun to partial shade SPR Looks best in mass plantings.
American Bellflower Campanulastrum americanum 4-6’x 18-24’’ Full sun to partial shade SUM Self-sows freely; deadhead to prevent volunteer seedlings next season.
Snow-in-Summer  Cerastium tomentosum  6”x12” Sun SUM Prefers dry soil, root rot may occur on wet soils.
Hardy Plumbago  Ceratostigma plumbaginoides 8”x15” Full sun to partial shade FALL A good plant for inter-planting with spring bulbs. True blue flowers, bronze fall color. Excellent ground cover. 
Hairy Lipfern Cheilanthes lanosa 6”x12” Full sun to partial shade ALL Works well in a rock or wall garden.
Coreopsis Coreopsis spp. 18”x36” Sun SUM Early summer blooms provide brilliant yellow color. Good for perennial borders and prairie gardens.
Montbretia  Crocosmia x curtonus ‘Lucifer’ 2-4’x1-2’’ Sun SUM Provides a tropical flare to the landscape. Mulch for enhanced winter hardiness.
Hardy Winter Cyclamen  Cyclamen coum 12”x12” Full sun to partial shade WIN Fast growing.
Hardy Fall Cyclamen  Cyclamen hederifolium 4-6”x   4-6” Full sun to partial shade FALL Fall bloomer, fits in well for a rock garden. 
Carolina Larkspur  Delphinium carolinianum ssp. virescens 24-36”x 9-12” Sun SPR This cool season plant will go dormant during hot weather and regrow in the fall.
Bundleflower Desmanthus illinoensis 2-4’x 1.5-2’ Sun ALL Seeds are desirable for birds. Species is available by seed.
Purple Coneflower  Echinacea purpurea 24”-18” Sun SUM Native to the tall grass prairie. Blooms attract birds and butterflies.
Myrtle Euphorbia Euphorbia myrsinites 6”-12” Sun FALL Excellent for rock gardens and green roofs.
Blanket Flower  Gaillardia spp. 12”x24” Sun SUM Oklahoma state wildflower; attracts butterflies.
Gaura  Gaura lindheimeri 30”x36” Sun SUM Easily propagated by seed. Narrow foliage is quite showy.
Oxeye Sunflower  Heliopsis helianthoides 4-5’x2-4’ Sun SUM Works well in the back of perennial borders. Deadhead for continuous bloom. Various cultivars available.
Lenten Rose Helleborus orientalis 18”x18” Full sun to partial shade ALL Evergreen, blooms in winter.
Daylily Hemerocallis spp. 12”x36” Sun SUM Hundreds to choose from, deadhead for rebloom.  Foliage ranges from deciduous to nearly evergreen. 
Red Yucca  Hesperaloe parviflora 36-48”x 24-36” Sun ALL Heat and drought tolerant, red yucca is wonderful for rock gardens. Yellow flowering selections also available.
Stonecrop  Hylotelephium spectabile 18”x 24” Sun FALL Plant alone or in combinations in borders or containers.
Standing Cypress  Ipomopsis rubra 3-5’x3-6’ Sun SUM This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.
Iris Iris spp. 36”x12” Sun SUM Avoid high nitrogen fertilizer. Various colors and flower forms available. 
Blue StarKalimeris Kalimeris incisa ‘Blue Star’ 12-18”x 12-18” Full sun to partial shade FALL Plants may self-seed in ideal growing conditions. Performs well in hot and humid summers.
Red Hot Poker  Kniphofia triangularis 24”x36” Sun SUM Great tolerance for drought and summer heat. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils.
Prairie Blazing Star Liatris pycnostachya 24-48”x 12-24” Sun SUM Good tolerance for drought, summer heat, and humidity. Intolerant of wet soils in winter. Multiple species are native to Oklahoma.
Spotted Beebalm  Monarda punctata 24-26”x 12-18” Sun SUM Deadhead flowers to prolong summer bloom. Aromatic foliage.
Catmint  Nepeta x fassenii 24”x30” Sun SUM Thrives in heat and drought once established. Aromatic foliage.
Evening Primrose  Oenothera macrocarpa 9”x12” Sun SUM Can work as a dense foliage groundcover in shade, but won’t bloom without adequate sunlight.
Prickly Pear  Opuntia macrorhiza 6-12”x 6-12” Sun ALL 2- to 3-inch spines and tufts of bristles can be harmful to humans and pets. Spineless prickly pear is commercially available. 
Foxglove Beardtongue  Penstemon digitalis 36-48”x 18-24” Sun SUM Avoid wet, poorly drained soils. Attracts hummingbirds. 
Mexican Beardtongue  Penstemon mexicali 12-24”x 12-24” Sun SUM Good tolerance for drought, summer heat, and humidity. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils.
Russian Sage  Perovskia atriplicifolia 30”x24” Sun SUM Useful in the back of the border. Grey-green foliage, very ornamental.
Christmas Fern  Polystichum acrostichoides 12-24”x 12-24” Shade SUM Does not tolerate heavy clay soils or standing water. 
Mexican Hat  Ratibida columnifera 24-36”x 12-30” Sun SUM Very tough, drought tolerant plant. A good selection for wildflower or prairie gardens. Most readily available by seed in garden centers.
Rosemary  Rosmarinus officinalis 6’x2-4’ Sun SPR Works well in containers, may have problems in wet soils. Very fragrant foliage.
Giant Coneflower  Rudbeckia maxima 5’x3’ Sun SUM Can decline in above average summer temperatures; attracts butterflies.
Blackeyed Susan  Rudebeckia hirta 18-36’’x 18-36’’ Sun SUM Attracts butterflies. Will self-seed in ideal growing conditions. Flower stalks attract birds after blooming season. Dramatic, ornamental leaves.
Autumn Sage  Salvia greggii 18”x18” Sun SUM Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies
Lavender Cotton Santolina chamaecyparissus 24”x24” Sun SUM Very low growing, works well in hanging baskets.
Santolina Lemon Fizz  Santolina virens ‘Lemon Fizz’ 18-24”x 18-24” Sun SUM Drought and heat tolerant. Compact, rounded growing habit.
Hens and Chicks Sempervivum spp. 4”x4” Sun ALL Performs well in pots, on rock walls and foreground of perennial beds. Plant will slowly horizontally spread and thus good for filling in areas.
Compass Plant  Silphium laciniatum 4-6’x 30-24” Sun FALL Compass plant has a large, woody taproot that may reach down 15 ft.
Dwarf Goldenrod  Solidago sphacelata ‘Golden Fleece’ 12-18”x 12-18” Sun FALL Good for erosion control, attracts butterflies. Pollen is normally not an allergen.
Lamb’s Ear  Stachys byzantina 6-12”x 12-15” Sun ALL Very tough, drought tolerant plant. Small hairs on the foliage provide a soft texture giving reason for its common name.
Bluejacket  Tradescantia ohiensis 24-36”x 9-12” Full sun to partial shade SUM When touched in the heat of the day, the flowers shrivel.
Verbena-on-a-Stick  Verbena bonariensis 36”x24” Sun SUM Blender plant to fill in gaps in the flower border. Profusely reseeds so plant accordingly.
Verbena  Verbena canadensis 4”x12” Sun SUM Overwatering or poor air circulation will harm the plant. Various colors available.
Bird’s Foot Viola  Viola pedata 3-6”x    3-6” Full sun to partial shade SPR This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds.
Yucca Yucca filamentosa 48”x36” Sun ALL Adds unique vertical element to design.  Evergreen foliage and seed pods offer winter interest.

 

Ornamental Grasses and Related Species

Common Name Scientific Name Height X Width (in) Light Requirement Season of Interest Comments
Big Bluestem Andropogon geradii 36”x48” Sun ALL Works as a tall background or a screen, cut back in the spring before new growth starts.
Purple Three Awn Aristida purpurea 12-24”x 12-24” Sun FALL Good for erosion control; seeds attract song birds,  good habitat for wildlife.
Sideoats Grama Bouteloua curtipendula 18-30”x 18-30” Sun SUM Often found growing with Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). Does not compete well with very tall grasses.
Blue Grama Bouteloua gracilis 8-24”x 30-24” Sun SUM An important component of the Great Plains shortgrass prairie.
Northern Sea Oats  Chasmanthium latifolium 24”x36” Sun ALL One of the more shade tolerant ornamental grasses, may self-seed.
Love Grass  Eragrostis elliottii 24-36”x 24-36” Sun ALL Excellent erosion control. Very fine-textured foliage and airy seed heads give this plant excellent movement from even light wind.
Blue Fescue  Festuca glauca 6-10”x 6-10” Full sun to partial shade ALL Good accent plant. May go dormant in hot summers.
Blue Oat Grass  Helictotrichon sempervirens 24-36”x 24-36” Sun ALL Best blue color in dry soils. Tolerates light shade but performs best in full sun.
Corkscrew Rush  Juncus effusus 24”x30” Sun ALL Not a true grass, this species requires little maintenance other than watering.
Blue Lyme Grass  Leymus arenarius 24”x36” Sun SUM Spreading grass best used in containers or large masses.
Maiden Grass  Miscanthus sinensis 48”x36” Sun ALL Great as specimen or in groupings. Can spread quickly and become a nuisance if not maintained.
Mexican Feather Grass  Nassella tenuissima 18”x12” Sun ALL Remove the top third of the plant in the spring.  Will reseed each growing season and can spread  vigorously if not maintained.
Switchgrass  Panicum virgatum 36”x36” Sun SUM Useful as a screen, very vigorous plant. Many selections available. 
Little Bluestem  Schizachyriumscoparium 24”x36” Sun ALL Works well as a background plant or in mass planting.
Indiangrass  Sorgastrum nutans 26”x36” Sun FALL Cut back in late winter or early spring. Many cultivars available. 
Prairie Dropseed  Sporobolus heterolepsis 24-48”x 24-48” Sun ALL Foliage maintains a golden-bronze color through winter. Flowers are noted for unique fragrance in late summer-fall.

 

Vines

Common Name Scientific Name Height X Width (in) Light Requirement Season of Interest Comments
Crossvine Bignonia capreolata 50’x50’ Sun SPR Evergreen, blooms in spring, grows very quickly and may need to be pruned.
Trumpet Vine Campsis radicans 35’x35’ Sun SUM Extremely vigorous, should be pruned frequently, can become weedy; attracts hummingbirds.
Carolina Jessamine  Gelsemium sempervirens 20’x20’ Sun SPR Attracts butterflies. Early-blooming vine provides bright yellow flowers in early spring. 
Trumpet Honeysuckle  Lonicera sempervirens 10-20’x 10-20’ Sun SPR Flowers are not fragrant. Tolerates some shade but blooms more prolifically in full sun.
Virginia Creeper  Parthenocissus quinquefolia 30-50’x 30-50’ Sun FALL Vigorous vine and easily grown. Red fall color and showy fruit. 
Boston Ivy  Parthenocissus tricuspidata 30-50’x 30-50’ Full sun to partial shade FALL Turns scarlet in the fall. Will clasp onto structures such as brick and concrete walls.
Climbing Roses  Rosa spp. 20’x20’ Sun SPR Needs good air circulation to prevent disease.
American Wisteria Wisteria frutescens 15’x15’ Sun SPR The bean-like seed pods can be showy and very numerous.

 

Ground Cover

Common Name Scientific Name Height X Width (in) Light Requirement Season of Interest Comments
Bugleweed  Ajuga reptans 6-8”x 6-12” Sun SPR Plants may be mowed after blooming in order to remove spent flower spikes and to tidy their appearance. Plants have blue flowers.
Winecup  Callirhoe involucrata 6-12”x 12-36” Sun SUM Fits well into both formal garden areas as well as wild/naturalized areas. White flowering form  available.
Creeping Juniper  Juniperus horizontalis 8”x24” Sun ALL Some cultivars will turn purple in the winter.
Lilyturf Liriope spp. 6”x varies Full sun to partial shade SUM Mow in the early spring to remove old growth.
Creeping Phlox  Phlox stolonifera 6”x12” Full sun to partial shade SPR Works well in rock gardens. White and pink flowering varieties also available.
Rose Moss  Portulaca grandiflora 6”x12” Sun SUM Not hardy but may self-seed the following year. Various colors available. Some varieties have flowers that remain open all day. 
Wingpod Purslane  Portulaca umbraticola 6”x9-12” Sun SUM This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds. Good selection for trailing container plant or hanging basket. Various colors available.
Sedum  Sedum spp. 4-6”x varies Full sun to partial shade FALL Approximately 400 species. Growing requirements differ between species in terms of cold hardiness and heat tolerance. Works for green roofs.
Creeping Thyme  Thymus serpyllum 1”x12” Sun ALL Very low growing, flowers in late spring and early summer. Aromatic foliage.
Dwarf Periwinkle  Vinca minor 4-6”x12” Full sun to partial shade ALL Mowing the patch low after blooming every couple of years will help to keep it thick and weed resistant. Semi-evergreen foliage.

 

Shrubs

Common Name Scientific Name Height X Width (in) Light Requirement Season of Interest Comments
Compact Coral Barberry Berberis x  stenophylla ‘Corallina Compacta’ 36”x48” Sun SUM Low-growing, compact plant. Good choice for a low hedge or used as an accent in larger planting beds.
American Beautyberry  Callicarpa americana 4-6’x4-6’ Full sun to partial shade WIN Fruits provide fall to early winter beauty.
Blue Mist Spirea  Caryopteris x  clandonensis 24”x36” Sun SUM Attracts bees and hummingbirds. True blue flowers all summer long.
Roughleaf Dogwood Cornus drummodii 5-18’x25’ Shade SPR This is a very adaptable plant and is found in nature in a variety of wet to dry situations, but best in wet soils.
Redtwig Dogwood Cornus sericea 3-6’x3-6’ Full sun to partial shade ALL Bright red stems in the winter are particularly showy.
Smoke Tree  Cotinus coggygria 10’x10’ Sun SUM Tiny flowers in large fuzzy clusters give the plant a smoky appearance. Plants are available in various summer leaf colors.
Bearberry Cotoneaster  Cotoneaster dammeri 24”x48” Sun FALL Slow growing evergreen.  Effective in rock gardens or as groundcover. Fall foliage has a purple tone that is complimented by small red berries. 
Rose of Sharon Hibiscus syracus 12’x8’ Sun SUM Works well as a border or screen, yearly pruning in early spring will improve flowering. Sterile selections are available to prevent re-seeding.
Deciduous Holly Ilex decidua 8’x6’ Sun WIN Red berries on female plants in late summer. Plants also available with orange or yellow fruits. 
Yaupon Holly Ilex vomitoria Varies x Varies Sun WIN Very durable and adaptable, needs to be pruned two or three times a year to maintain a neat appearance. Available in dwarf and weeping varieties.
Winter Jasmine Jasminum nudiflorum 6’x8’ Sun WIN Great covering for steep slopes, spilling over a wall or planted in groups. Starts blooming during cold weather before the new year.
Juniper  Juniperus spp. Varies x Varies Sun ALL Very hardy, many different cultivars available ranging in size, shape and color.
Japanese Kerria  Kerria japonica 4’x5’ Full sun to partial shade ALL Species blooms well and is more drought resistant in partial shade. Single flowered  varieties also available.
Crapemyrtle Lagerstroemia indica Varies x Varies Sun ALL Available in a wide range of heights and flower color, severe pruning can stimulate basal sprouting which may be a nuisance.
Nandina  Nandina domestica Varies x Varies Sun ALL Low maintenance shrub, prune once a year in the winter to keep it from looking leggy. Many different selections are commercially available.  
Ninebark  Physocarpus opulifolius 6’x5’ Full sun to partial shade SPR Exfoliating bark provides some winter interest. Several cultivars have striking reddish, purple foliage. 
Mugo Pine  Pinus mugo 3-20’x 3-12’ Sun WIN Slow growing. Can be yellowish-green in winter.  Dwarf varieties available.
Fragrant Sumac  Rhus aromatica 5’x4’ Sun ALL Males and females are separate plants, fruit is only produced if a male plant is available. Dwarf selections available. 
Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac Rhus typhina 10’x12’ Sun FALL Spreads by root suckers, creating a colony. Exceptional fall color.
Shrub Roses Rosa spp. 6’x6’ Sun SUM Several varieties and cultivars available ranging in bloom color, size, and disease resistance. Very  few thornless options are available.
Koreanspice Viburnum  Viburnum carlesii 4-6’x4-6’ Full sun to partial shade SPR Slow-growing, symmetrically rounded shrub. Very fragrant flowers that give way to non-showy dark blue berries in late summer.
Chaste Tree  Vitex agnuscastus 10’x15’ Sun SUM Flowers attract bees. Flowers appear on new growth. Can be pruned to the ground in early  spring and maintained as a herbaceous perennial.

 

Trees

Common Name Scientific Name Height X Width (in) Light Requirement Season of Interest Comments
Red Maple Acer rubrum 60’x40’ Full sun to partial shade FALL  Its rapid growth and red fall color makes Red Maple a popular shade tree.
Caddo Sugar Maple Acer saccharum Caddo 50-60’x 20-35’ Sun FALL  Very drought tolerant, sensitive to over watering. Attractive fall color.
Shantung Maple Acer truncatum 20’x25’ Sun ALL Excellent small tree for urban areas. New leaves emerge in red and purple hues throughout the  growing season.
Chittamwood  Bumelia lanuginosa 40-50’x 25-35’ Sun ALL Young plants often require training to create a tree-like form.
Sugarberry  Celtis laevigata 50-70’x 50-60’ Sun ALL Small berries attract birds; bark is thin and easily damaged by mechanical impact.
Common Hackberry  Celtis occidentalis 40-80’x 40-50’ Sun SPR Can develop galls on leaves. Bark is very coarse in texture and resembles small warts or ridges of cork-like layers.
Oklahoma Redbud  Cercis canadensis var texensis  ‘Oklahoma’ 20-30’x 25-35’ Sun SUM A cultivar of Oklahoma’s state tree. Best known for its pink to purple blooms that occur in early spring.
Desert Willow  Chilopsis linearis 20-30’x 15-25’ Sun ALL Works well as a wide screen. Does not tolerate over watering.
Arizona Cypress Hesperocyparis arizonica 40’x30’ Sun SUM Pyramidal in form resembling a Juniper. Foliage is bluish-gray. Works very well as a screen or  windbreak.  Attractive cones and showy bark.
Winterberry Euonymus Euonymus bungeanus 20-24’x 15-18’ Sun WIN Can be grown as a tree or shrub, depending on pruning. Good tolerance for urban conditions. 
Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica 60’x40’ Sun FALL  Deep-green summer foliage turns yellow in fall.
Ginkgo  Ginkgo biloba 30-50’x 30-50’ Sun ALL Select male trees, female fruit may be messy. Rich yellow fall color. 
Thornless Honeylocust  Gleditsia triacanthos var inermis 30-50’x 30-50’ Sun SUM Tolerant of small planting pits in concrete, making it a good choice for urban environments or as a street tree.
Kentucky Coffee Tree Gymnocladus dioica 60-75’x 40-50’ Sun ALL Grows slowly, female trees produce pods. Male (seedless) selections are commercially available.
Golden-Rain Tree Koelreuteria paniculata 25-40’x 25-40’ Sun ALL Produces small yellow flowers. Flowers give way to yellowish-brown seed pods that resemble small lanterns.
Osage Orange  Maclura pomifera 40-60’x 40-60’ Sun ALL Produces large, grapefruit-sized fruit which can be a problem in residential areas, but there are male thornless, fruitless cultivars.
Crabapple  Malus ‘Prairefire’ 15-25’x 20-25’ Sun ALL Hundreds of cultivars available with various  colored fruit and growth habits. Look for disease  resistant cultivars.
Persian Parrotia  Parrotia persica 20-40’x 20-35’ Sun ALL Yellow, red, or orange fall color. Exfoliating bark adds interesting color and texture. Partial shade may also be desirable.
Japanese Red Pine Pinus densiflora 20-30’x 20-25’ Sun ALL Fairly open growth, often has a crooked trunk. Showy orange to red bark/limbs.
Shortleaf Pine Pinus echinata 50’x30’ Full sun to partial shade ALL This is the hardiest and most adaptable of the southern pines.
Pinyon Pine  Pinus edulis 20-30’x 20-30’ Sun ALL Does not tolerate shade or over watering. Tolerant of poor soil conditions. Seeds are as pine nuts and edible. Performs best in Western OK.
Ponderosa Pine  Pinus ponderosa 70-80’x 70-80’ Sun ALL Very tall and broad, may not be suitable for  residential areas.
Loblolly Pine  Pinus taeda 60-100’x 30-50’ Sun ALL Excellent pine that tolerates Oklahoma’s adverse conditions, including poorly drained soils and drought. 
Chinese Pistache Pistacia chinensis 25-35’x 25-35’ Sun FALL  Bright red, yellow or orange fall color. Female trees have red to blue berry-like fruits that appear in fall.
Mexican Plum  Prunus mexicana 20’x15’ Sun ALL This plant attracts bees, butterflies, and birds and is drought-tolerant. Has white blooms and edible fruits.
Sawtooth Oak  Quercus acutissima 35-45’x 35-50’ Sun FALL  Foliage has a serrated edge, giving reason for its descriptive common name. 
Bur Oak  Quercus macrocarpa 60-80’x 70-80’ Sun ALL Very slow growing. Foliage remains on the tree late into the fall after leaves have turned. 
Chinkapin Oak  Quercus muehlenburgii 40-60’x 50-60’ Sun SPR Acorns very desirable to wildlife. Underutilized shade tree.
Shumard Oak Quercus shumardii 40-60’x 40-60’ Sun SUM Requires less maintenance than some other oak trees. More resistant to yellow foliage (chlorosis) than Pin Oak. 
Sassafras Sassafras albidum 45’x30’ Sun SUM If root suckers are not removed, tree will spread and look like a large shrub. Interesting leaf shapes and striking fall color. Best for Eastern OK.
Western Soapberry  Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii 40-50’x 30-40’ Sun SUM Has a yellow fruit that matures in mid-fall. Showy bark and yellow fall color.
Japanese Tree Lilac  Syringa reticulata 15-25’x 15-25’ Sun SUM Produces large white flowers, has showy bark.
Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum 50-75’x 50-75’ Sun ALL Not an evergreen, needles fall off in the fall. Grows very well in wet soils or near water.  Dwarf selection available.
Cedar Elm  Ulmus crassifolia 50-70’x 30-40’ Sun SUM Withstands heavy, poorly drained soils. Dark foliage and “winged” branches add to ornamental appeal.
Lacebark Elm  Ulmus parvifolia 50-70’x 50-60’ Sun ALL Exfoliating bark is a noteworthy feature of this tree. Tree has small, refined leaves.

 

Turfgrasses

Common Name Scientific Name Mowing Height Light Requirement Season of Interest  Comments
Buffalograss  Bouteloua dactyloides 3’’ Sun SUM Warm-season grass, drought resistant. May be hard to establish in areas formerly bermudagrass. See CR-6609.
Common Bermuda  Cynodon dactylon 1-2’’ Sun SUM Warm-season grass, drought resistant, common cultivars- ‘Yukon’ and ‘Riviera.’ For more information see HLA-6419.
Hybrid Bermuda Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis 1-2’’ Sun SUM Warm-season grass, drought resistant, cultivars- Latitude 36’, ‘Northbridge’, and ‘Patriot’. See HLA-6419.
Tall Fescue  Festuca arundinacea 3’’ Shade FALL Cool-season grass, best suited for shaded areas where bermudagrass or buffalograss won’t grow. See HLA-6419
Zoysiagrass  Zoysia spp. 1-2’’ Full sun to partial shade SUM Warm-season, similar maintenance to bermudagrass, but is slower growing and requires more water. See HLA-6419.
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