FOR LOW AND INTERMEDIATE DESERTS
Angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis). Bears golden yellow daisy blooms on tufted plants about 8 inches tall. Sunset climate zones 1-3, 10-13.
Aster. A. x frikartii 'Mönch' is on everyone's top 10 list of lavender blue perennials; plants grow to 2 feet. Sunset climate zones 2b-3. New England aster (A. novae-angliae) has mostly blue flowers. 'Alma Potschke', an old favorite, bears salmon pink blooms. Grows to 3 feet tall. Zones 1-24. Flowers of Michaelmas daisy (A. novi-belgii) come mostly in shades of blue; 'Climax' has true blue flowers. Grows 4 to 6 feet tall. Zones 1-24.
Chrysanthemum. Florist's chrysanthemum (C. x morifolium) bears flowers in many colors, from rust and wine red to orange and golden yellow. Grows 1 to 6 feet, depending on variety. Zones 2-24. C. x rubellum flowers come in various colors; 'Clara Curtis' is bright, clear pink. Grows 2 feet tall. Zones 1-24.
Copper canyon daisy (Tagetes lemmonii). Golden orange flowers emerge at branch ends atop mounding 3- to 6-foot-tall plants. Foliage is strongly fragrant when brushed (a blend of marigold, mint, and lemon). Zones 10, 12-13.
Coreopsis. C. lanceolata bears yellow flowers on plants 1 to 2 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-13. C. verticillata has yellow, daisylike flowers; 'Moonbeam' bears pale yellow blooms. Grows 2 to 3 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-13.
Eupatorium greggii. This aster relative is native to Arizona and Texas. Clusters of small, fluffy lavender flowers emerge on weak stems of 1 1/2- to 2 1/2-foot-tall plants. 'Boothill', first found near Tombstone, Arizona, is a choice form. Zones 3, 10-13.
Gaillardia x grandiflora. Daisylike flowers come in golden yellows, reds, and bicolors. Grows 2 to 4 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-13.
Golden dyssodia (Thymophylla pentachaeta). This Southwest native bears yellow daisylike flowers on plants 4 to 6 inches high. Zones 10-13.
Helianthus maximilianii. This perennial sunflower, native to the Southwest, has yellow flowers on plants to 10 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-13.
Hummingbird mint (Agastache hybrids). Whorls of apricot, pink, blue, and lavender flowers (favored by hummingbirds) appear in spikelike clusters on plants 1 1/2 to 4 feet tall. Most grow in zones 10-13.
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Daisylike blooms are lavender pink, with bristly, mounding centers. 'Magnus' grows to 4 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-13.
Rudbeckia. R. fulgida 'Goldsturm' bears golden yellow blooms on 3-foot-tall plants. Gloriosa daisy (R. hirta) grows 3 to 4 feet tall. 'Indian Summer' has single to double golden yellow flowers. Zones 2-3, 10-13.
Salvia. Many kinds bloom in late summer and early fall. S. azurea grandiflora bears azure flowers, grows to 5 feet tall, and needs support. Zones 1-3, 10-13. S. greggii bears flowers in many shades of red, white, and rose on shrubby 1- to 4-foot plants. Zones 10-13. S. verticillata 'Purple Rain' has violet blooms on 2 1/2-foot plants. Zones 2-3, 10.
Sedum. S. spectabile and S. telephium 'Autumn Joy' bear flowers in shades of rust to pink on plants 1 to 2 feet tall. Zones 1-3, 10-13.
Wine cups (Callirhoe involucrata). A profusion of purplish red, mallow-type flowers grow on spreading plants to 6 inches tall. Zones 1-3, 10-13.
Yarrow (Achillea). Flowers come in various colors, including salmon and rusty red. A. filipendulina 'Coronation Gold' and A. 'Moonshine' have yellow blooms. Grows 4 inches to 5 feet tall, depending on species. Zones 1-2, 10-13.
Zexmenia hispida. This native of Texas and Mexico bears bright orange-yellow daisies on a rounded plant 2 to 3 feet tall. Zones 10-13. *