Drought-Tolerant Plant Selections for Oklahoma

February 2017

See Extension Circular E-1037 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.

  Height XLightSeason of 
Common NameScientific NameWidth (in)RequirementInterestComments
Summer Angelonia12-24’’x 12-24’’SunSUMContinuous flowers through the season, won’t
Snapdragon angustifoliaflower if over fertilized. Various flower colors
Asparagus FernAsparagus spp.18-36’’x 18-36’’SunSUMVery 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 SUMUseful in shade and sun. Light
partial shaderequirements vary, depending on the
selection. Blooms with minimal care.
Ornamental Capsicum spp.18”x12’’SunSUMWorks well as a garden border or in
Peppers containers. Attractive fruit add color and
texture to the plant. Various colors available.
Indian PaintbrushCastilleja indivisa12”x12’’SunSPRSelf-sows freely; deadhead to prevent
volunteer seedlings next season.
Commercially available from seed.
PeriwinkleCatharanthus 8”x12’’Full sun toSUMDoes not perform well in cold, wet soils.
roseuspartial shadeVarious flower colors available.
CockscombCelosia spp.12”x12’’SunSUMGood 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 SUMTaller varieties good for back of the
partial shadeborder plantings. Flowers fully open in
morning and evening.
CosmosCosmos spp.18”x24’’SunSUMOver fertilization and overwatering lead to fewer
flowers. Various flower colors and heights
Silver Falls Dichondra2-4’’x variesFull sun toSUMAccent for hanging baskets and
Dichondra argentea partial shadecontainers. Round, silver foliage provides
‘Silver Falls’nice contrast for mixed containers.
Diamond Frost Euphorbia graminea18”x24’’SunSUMWorks well in containers, may have
Euphorbia®‘Inneuphdia’problems in chronically wet soils.
Snow-on-Euphorbia36”x24’’SunSUMAttracts butterflies and can reseed aggressively.
the-Mountain marginata
Blue DazeEvolvulus pilosus12”x24’’Full sun toSUMUse in a garden border, container, or as
‘Blue Daze’partial shadegroundcover. True blue flowers until first frost.
Globe Amaranth Gomphrena globosa12”x18’’SunSUMDrought and heat tolerant. Flower heads are
produced from Summer until first frost. Flowers
are easy to dry for “everlasting” arrangements.
FirebushHamelia patens30”x36’’SunSUMAttracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
Leaves turn red during fall.
HeleniumHelenium amarum 12”x24’’SunFALLWorks well in beds, containers, rock gardens,
‘Dakota Gold’and as an accent. Dakota Gold is an improved
selection of an Oklahoma native.
Sunflower Helianthus annuus2-6’x6-12’SunSUMMay repel certain insects. Taller varieties
should be planted in an area that will be
sheltered from strong winds.
Strawflower Helichrysum24”x12’’SunFALLHigh humidity, rainy conditions, and too much
bracteatumwatering can harm the plant. Popular in dried
Sweet Potato Vine Ipomoea batatas18”x40”SunSUMThis plant works well as an annual ground
cover and in containers. Grows well in heat and
humidity. Foliage available in several colors.
LantanaLantana camara24”x40”SunSUMExcellent performance under hot conditions;
attracts butterflies. Various flower colors available.
Texas Bluebonnet Lupinus texensis6-12”x 12-15”SunFALLTexas state flower. Most readily available by seed.
PentasPentas lanceolata24”x 36”SunSUMCan take cuttings at the end of the Summer
and will continue to bloom in a warm, south-facing
window. Does well in containers. Attracts
Mexican Bush Salvia leucantha36”x 48”SunSUMProduces purple and white flower spikes that
Sageattract hummingbirds and butterflies.
May overwinter.
Fan FlowerScaevola aemula12”x 12”SunSUMVery low growing. Works well in hanging baskets.
Plant has glossy leaves and continuous flowers.
Also available in pink and white.
Dusty MillerSenecio cineraria24”x 24’’SunALLUseful as an edging or in containers, may
overwinter. Silver foliage useful for unique
flower bed designs.
MarigoldTagetes spp.24”x 36”SunSUMPopular choice for companion planting in vegetable
gardens. Available in dwarf and tall selections.
Yellow Bells Tecoma stans4’x 4’SunSUMAttracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
Tropical plant used as an annual in Oklahoma.
Mexican SunflowerTithonia rotundifolia48”x 36”SunSUMAttracts butterflies. Very heat tolerant and makes
an excellent background annual in the flower bed.
Purple HeartTradescantia 16”x 12”SunALLDrought-tolerant. Easily propagated by cuttings.
pallida ‘Purpurea’Cuttings can be overwintered. Container planters
can be brought indoors during winter.
Mexican ZinniaZinnia angustifolia12”x 12”SunSUMDeadhead for continuous bloom. Colors
available include white, yellow, pink, red or
orange flowers. Does well in containers or borders.
YarrowAchillea spp.12”x36”SunSUMWorks well as an edging or in mass
grouping. Various colors available.
HyssopAgastache rupestris24”x18”SunFALLAttracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
Aromatic foliage.
Parry’s Agave Agave parryi12”x9”SunALLPlant has spines or sharp edges; site
accordingly and use extreme caution when
handling. Marginally winter hardy in Oklahoma.
Arkansas Bluestar Amsonia hubrichtii36”x36”Full sun to FALLBlue flowers in early summer, foliage turns
partial shadeyellow/orange in the fall.
Eastern Red Aquilegia24-36”x 12”ShadeSPRA wonderful addition to native plant
Columbine canadensisgardens, woodland gardens, cottage
gardens, or naturalized areas.
Mugwort Artemisia spp.24”x36”SunFALLGrown for its fine textured silver foliage.
Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa48”x36”SunSUMAttracts butterflies to the garden. Flowers
followed by interesting seed pods.
Japanese Athyrium12”x18”ShadeSUMVery low maintenance, contrasts well with
Painted Fernnipponicummany shade-loving plants.
Blue False Indigo Baptisia australis36”x48”SunALLWorks well in the back of flower borders.
Showy flowers followed by persistent seed
pods for winter interest.
Atlantic CamasCamassia scilloides30’’x24’’Full sun to SPRLooks best in mass plantings.
partial shade
American Campanulastrum 4-6’x 18-24’’Full sun toSUMSelf-sows freely; deadhead to prevent
Bellfloweramericanumpartial shadevolunteer seedlings next season.
Snow-in-Summer Cerastium6”x12”SunSUMPrefers dry soil, root rot may occur on wet
tomentosum soils.
Hardy Plumago Ceratostigma 8”x15”Full sun toFALLA good plant for inter-planting with spring
plumbaginoidespartial shadebulbs. True blue flowers, bronze fall color.
Excellent ground cover.
Hairy LipfernCheilanthes lanosa6”x12”Full sun to ALLWorks well in a rock or wall garden.
partial shade
CoreopsisCoreopsis spp.18”x36”SunSUMEarly summer blooms provide brilliant
yellow color. Good for perennial borders
and prairie gardens.
Montbretia Crocosmia x 2-4’x1-2’’SunSUMProvides a tropical flare to the landscape.
curtonus ‘Lucifer’Mulch for enhanced winter hardiness.
Hardy Winter Cyclamen coum12”x12”Full sun toWINFast growing.
Cyclamen partial shade
Hardy Fall Cyclamen4-6”x 4-6”Full sun toFALLFall bloomer, fits in well for a rock garden.
Cyclamen hederifoliumpartial shade
Carolina Larkspur Delphinium 24-36”x 9-12”SunSPRThis cool season plant will go dormant
carolinianum ssp. during hot weather and regrow in the fall.
BundleflowerDesmanthus 2-4’x 1.5-2’SunALLSeeds are desirable for birds. Species is
illinoensisavailable by seed.
Purple Coneflower Echinacea 24”-18”SunSUMNative to the tall grass prairie. Blooms
purpureaattract birds and butterflies.
Myrtle EuphorbiaEuphorbia myrsinites6”-12”SunFALLExcellent for rock gardens and green roofs.
Blanket Flower Gaillardia spp.12”x24”SunSUMOklahoma state wildflower; attracts butterflies.
Gaura Gaura lindheimeri30”x36”SunSUMEasily propagated by seed. Narrow foliage
is quite showy.
Oxeye Sunflower Heliopsis4-5’x SunSUMWorks well in the back of perennial borders.
helianthoides2-4’Deadhead for continuous bloom. Various
cultivars available.
Lenten RoseHelleborus orientalis18”x18”Full sun to ALLEvergreen, blooms in winter.
partial shade
DaylilyHemerocallis spp.12”x36”SunSUMHundreds to choose from, deadhead for
rebloom. Foliage ranges from deciduous
to nearly evergreen.
Red Yucca Hesperaloe 36-48”x 24-36”SunALLHeat and drought tolerant, red yucca is
parviflorawonderful for rock gardens. Yellow
flowering selections also available.
Stonecrop Hylotelephium18”x 24”SunFALLPlant alone or in combinations in borders
spectabileor containers.
Red Texas Star Ipomopsis rubra3-5’x 3-6’SunSUMThis plant is attractive to bees, butterflies
and birds.
IrisIris spp.36”x12”SunSUMAvoid high nitrogen fertilizer. Various colors
and flower forms available.
Blue StarKalimeris incisa 12-18”x 12-18”Full sun toFALLPlants may self-seed in ideal growing conditions.
Kalimeris‘Blue Star’partial shadePerforms well in hot and humid summers.
Red Hot Poker Kniphofia triangularis24”x36”SunSUMGreat tolerance for drought and summer
heat. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils.
Prairie Blazing StarLiatris pycnostachya24-48”x 12-24”SunSUMGood tolerance for drought, summer heat, and
humidity. Intolerant of wet soils in winter. Multiple
species are native to Oklahoma.
Spotted Beebalm Monarda24-26”x 12-18”SunSUMDeadhead flowers to prolong summer
punctatabloom. Aromatic foliage.
Catmint Nepeta x fassenii24”x30”SunSUMThrives in heat and drought once
established. Aromatic foliage.
Evening Primrose Oenothera 9”x12”SunSUMCan work as a dense foliage groundcover in
macrocarpashade, but won’t bloom without adequate sunlight.
Prickly Pear Opuntia 6-12”x 6-12”SunALL2- to 3-inch spines and tufts of bristles can be
macrorhizaharmful to humans and pets. Spineless prickly
pear is commercially available.
Foxglove Penstemon36-48”x 18-24”SunSUMAvoid wet, poorly drained soils. Attracts
Beardtongue digitalishummingbirds.
Mexican Penstemon12-24”x 12-24”SunSUMGood tolerance for drought, summer heat,
Beardtongue mexicaliand humidity. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils.
Russian Sage Perovskia 30”x24”SunSUMUseful in the back of the border.
atriplicifoliaGrey-green foliage, very ornamental.
Christmas Fern Polystichum 12-24”x 12-24”ShadeSUMDoes not tolerate heavy clay soils or
acrostichoidesstanding water.
Mexican Hat Ratibida 24-36”x 12-30”SunSUMVery tough, drought tolerant plant. A good
columniferaselection for wildflower or prairie gardens.
Most readily available by seed in garden centers.
Rosemary Rosmarinus 6’x2-4’SunSPRWorks well in containers, may have
officinalisproblems in wet soils. Very fragrant foliage.
Giant Coneflower Rudbeckia maxima5’x3’SunSUMCan decline in above average summer
temperatures; attracts butterflies.
Blackeyed Susan Rudebeckia hirta18-36’’x 18-36’’SunSUMAttracts butterflies. Will self-seed in ideal growing
conditions. Flower stalks attract birds after
blooming season. Dramatic, ornamental leaves.
Autumn Sage Salvia greggii18”x18”SunSUMAttracts hummingbirds and butterflies
Lavender CottonSantolina 24”x24”SunSUMVery low growing, works well in hanging
Santolina Santolina virens18-24”x 18-24”SunSUMDrought and heat tolerant. Compact,
Lemon Fizz ‘Lemon Fizz’rounded growing habit.
Hens and ChicksSempervivum spp.4”x4”SunALLPerforms 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 laciniatum4-6’x30-24”SunFALLCompass plant has a large, woody taproot
that may reach down 15 ft.
Dwarf Goldenrod Solidago sphacelata12-18”x 12-18”SunFALLGood for erosion control, attracts
‘Golden Fleece’butterflies. Pollen is normally not an allergen.
Lamb’s Ear Stachys byzantina6-12”x 12-15”SunALLVery tough, drought tolerant plant. Small hairs
on the foliage provide a soft texture giving reason
for its common name.
Bluejacket Tradescantia 24-36”x 9-12”Full sun toSUMWhen touched in the heat of the day, the
ohiensispartial shadeflowers shrivel.
Verbena-on-a-Stick Verbena36”x24”SunSUMBlender plant to fill in gaps in the flower border.
bonariensisProfusely reseeds so plant accordingly.
Verbena Verbena canadensis4”x12”SunSUMOverwatering or poor air circulation will
harm the plant. Various colors available.
Bird’s Foot Viola Viola pedata3-6”x 3-6”Full sun to SPRThis plant is attractive to bees, butterflies,
partial shadeand birds.
YuccaYucca filamentosa48”x36”SunALLAdds unique vertical element to design.
Evergreen foliage and seed pods offer
winter interest.
Big BluestemAndropogon geradii36”x48”SunALLWorks as a tall background or a screen, cut back
in the spring before new growth starts.
Purple Three AwnAristida purpurea12-24”x 12-24”SunFALLGood for erosion control; seeds attract song birds,
good habitat for wildlife.
Sideoats GramaBouteloua18-30”x 18-30”SunSUMOften found growing with Little Bluestem
curtipendula(Schizachyrium scoparium). Does not compete
well with very tall grasses.
Blue GramaBouteloua gracilis8-24”x 30-24”SunSUMAn important component of the Great Plains short
grass prairie.
Northern Sea Oats Chasmanthium latifolium24”x36”SunALLOne of the more shade tolerant ornamental
grasses, may self-seed.
Love Grass Eragrostis elliottii24-36”x 24-36”SunALLExcellent erosion control. Very fine-textured
foliage and airy seed heads give this plant
excellent movement from even light wind.
Blue Fescue Festuca glauca6-10”x 6-10”Full sun to ALLGood accent plant. May go dormant in hot
partial shadesummers.
Blue Oat Grass Helictotrichon 24-36”x 24-36”SunALLBest blue color in dry soils. Tolerates light shade
sempervirensbut performs best in full sun.
Corkscrew Rush Juncus effusus24”x30”SunALLNot a true grass, this species requires little
maintenance other than watering.
Blue Lyme Grass Leymus arenarius24”x36”SunSUMSpreading grass best used in containers or large
Maiden Grass Miscanthus sinensis48”x36”SunALLGreat as specimen or in groupings. Can spread
quickly and become a nuisance if not maintained.
Mexican Nassella tenuissima18”x12”SunALLRemove the top third of the plant in the spring.
Feather Grass Will reseed each growing season and can spread
vigorously if not maintained.
Switchgrass Panicum virgatum36”x36”SunSUMUseful as a screen, very vigorous plant. Many
selections available.
Little Bluestem Schizachyrium24”x36”SunALLWorks well as a background plant or in mass
Indiangrass Sorgastrum nutans26”x36”SunFALLCut back in late winter or early spring. Many
cultivars available.
Prairie Dropseed Sporobolus 24-48”x 24-48”SunALLFoliage maintains a golden-bronze color through
heterolepsiswinter. Flowers are noted for unique fragrance in
late summer-fall.
CrossvineBignonia capreolata50’x50’SunSPREvergreen, blooms in spring, grows very quickly
and may need to be pruned.
Trumpet VineCampsis radicans35’x35’SunSUMExtremely vigorous, should be pruned frequently,
can become weedy; attracts hummingbirds.
Carolina Gelsemium20’x20’SunSPRAttracts butterflies. Early-blooming vine provides
Jessamine sempervirensbright yellow flowers in early spring.
Trumpet Lonicera10-20’x 10-20’SunSPRFlowers are not fragrant. Tolerates some shade
Honeysuckle sempervirensbut blooms more prolifically in full sun.
Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus 30-50’x 30-50’SunFALLVigorous vine and easily grown. Red fall color
quinquefoliaand showy fruit.
Boston Ivy Parthenocissus 30-50’x 30-50’Full sun toFALLTurns scarlet in the fall. Will clasp onto structures
tricuspidatapartial shadesuch as brick and concrete walls.
Climbing Roses Rosa spp.20’x20’SunSPRNeeds good air circulation to prevent disease.
American WisteriaWisteria frutescens15’x15’SunSPRThe bean-like seed pods can be showy and very
Bugleweed Ajuga reptans6-8”x 6-12”SunSPRPlants may be mowed after blooming in order to
remove spent flower spikes and to tidy their
appearance. Plants have blue flowers.
Winecup Callirhoe involucrata6-12”x 12-36”SunSUMFits well into both formal garden areas as well
as wild/naturalized areas. White flowering form
Creeping Juniper Juniperus horizontalis8”x24”SunALLSome cultivars will turn purple in the winter.
LilyturfLiriope spp.6”x variesFull sun to SUMMow in the early spring to remove old
partial shadegrowth.
Creeping Phlox Phlox stolonifera6”x12”Full sun toSPRWorks well in rock gardens. White and
partial shadepink flowering varieties also available.
Rose Moss Portulaca grandiflora6”x12”SunSUMNot hardy but may self-seed the following
year. Various colors available. Some varieties
have flowers that remain open all day.
Wingpod Purslane Portulaca 6”x9-12”SunSUMThis plant is attractive to bees, butterflies, and
umbraticolabirds. Good selection for trailing container plant
or hanging basket. Various colors available.
Sedum Sedum spp.4-6”x variesFull sun FALLApproximately 400 species. Growing
to partial shaderequirements differ between species in
terms of cold hardiness and heat
tolerance. Works for green roofs.
Creeping Thyme Thymus serpyllum1”x12”SunALLVery low growing, flowers in late spring
and early summer. Aromatic foliage.
Dwarf Periwinkle Vinca minor4-6”x12”Full sun toALLMowing the patch low after blooming every
partial shadecouple of years will help to keep it thick
and weed resistant. Semi-evergreen foliage.
Compact Coral Berberis x 36”x48”SunSUMLow-growing, compact plant. Good choice
Barberrystenophyllafor a low hedge or used as an accent in
‘Corallina Compacta’larger planting beds.
American Callicarpa4-6’x4-6’Full sun toWINFruits provide fall to early winter beauty.
Beautyberry americanapartial shade
Blue Mist Spirea Caryopteris x 24”x36”SunSUMAttracts bees and hummingbirds. True
clandonensisblue flowers all summer long.
Roughleaf Cornus drummodii5-18’x25’ShadeSPRThis is a very adaptable plant and is found
Dogwoodin nature in a variety of wet to dry
situations, but best in wet soils
Redtwig DogwoodCornus sericea3-6’x3-6’Full sun to ALLBright red stems in the winter are
partial shadeparticularly showy.
Smoke Tree Cotinus coggygria10’x10’SunSUMTiny flowers in large fuzzy clusters give
the plant a smoky appearance. Plants are
available in various summer leaf colors.
Bearberry Cotoneaster24”x48”SunFALLSlow growing evergreen. Effective in rock
Cotoneaster dammerigardens or as groundcover. Fall foliage
has a purple tone that is complimented
by small red berries.
Rose of SharonHibiscus syracus12’x8’SunSUMWorks well as a border or screen, yearly
pruning in early spring will improve
flowering. Sterile selections are available
to prevent re-seeding.
Deciduous HollyIlex decidua8’x6’SunWINRed berries on female plants in late
summer. Plants also available with orange
or yellow fruits.
Yaupon HollyIlex vomitoriaVaries x VariesSunWINVery 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 JasmineJasminum nudiflorum6’x8’SunWINGreat 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 VariesSunALLVery hardy, many different cultivars
available ranging in size, shape and color.
Japanese Kerria Kerria japonica4’x5’Full sun toALLSpecies blooms well and is more drought
partial shaderesistant in partial shade. Single flowered
varieties also available.
CrapemyrtleLagerstroemia Varies x VariesSunALLAvailable in a wide range of heights and flower
indicacolor, severe pruning can stimulate basal
sprouting which may be a nuisance.
Nandina Nandina domesticaVaries x VariesSunALLLow maintenance shrub, prune once a year in
the winter to keep it from looking leggy. Many
different selections are commercially available.
Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius6’x5’Full sun to SPRExfoliating bark provides some winter interest.
partial shadeSeveral cultivars have striking reddish, purple
Mugo Pine Pinus mugo3-20’x 3-12’SunWINSlow growing. Can be yellowish-green in winter.
Dwarf varieties available.
Fragrant Sumac Rhus aromatica5’x4’SunALLMales and females are separate plants, fruit is
only produced if a male plant is available. Dwarf
selections available.
Cutleaf Staghorn Rhus typhina10’x12’SunFALLSpreads by root suckers, creating a colony.
SumacExceptional fall color.
Shrub RosesRosa spp.6’x6’SunSUMSeveral varieties and cultivars available ranging
in bloom color, size, and disease resistance. Very
few thornless options are available.
Koreanspice Viburnum carlesii4-6’x4-6’Full sun toSPRSlow-growing, symmetrically rounded shrub. Very
Viburnum partial shadefragrant flowers that give way to non-showy dark
blue berries in late summer.
Chaste Tree Vitex agnuscastus10’x15’SunSUMFlowers attract bees. Flowers appear on new
growth. Can be pruned to the ground in early
spring and maintained as a herbaceous perennial.
Red MapleAcer rubrum60’x40’Full sun FALL Its rapid growth and red fall color makes Red
to partial shadeMaple a popular shade tree.
Caddo Sugar Acer saccharum50-60’x 20-35’SunFALL Very drought tolerant, sensitive to over watering.
MapleCaddoAttractive fall color.
Shantung MapleAcer truncatum20’x25’SunALLExcellent small tree for urban areas. New leaves
emerge in red and purple hues throughout the
growing season.
Chittamwood Bumelia lanuginosa40-50’x 25-35’SunALLYoung plants often require training to create a
tree-like form.
Sugarberry Celtis laevigata50-70’x 50-60’SunALLSmall berries attract birds; bark is thin and easily
damaged by mechanical impact.
Common Celtis occidentalis40-80’x 40-50’SunSPRCan develop galls on leaves. Bark is very coarse
Hackberry in texture and resembles small warts or ridges
of cork-like layers.
Oklahoma Redbud Cercis canadensis 20-30’x 25-35’SunSUMA cultivar of Oklahoma’s state tree. Best known
var texensis for its pink to purple blooms that occur in early
Desert Willow Chilopsis linearis20-30’x 15-25’SunALLWorks well as a wide screen. Does not tolerate
over watering.
Arizona CypressCupressus arizonica40’x30’SunSUMPyramidal in form resembling a Juniper. Foliage
is bluish-gray. Works very well as a screen or
windbreak. Attractive cones and showy bark.
Winterberry Euonymus20-24’x 15-18’SunWINCan be grown as a tree or shrub, depending on
Euonymusbungeanuspruning. Good tolerance for urban conditions.
Green AshFraxinus pennsylvanica60’x40’SunFALL Deep-green summer foliage turns yellow in fall.
Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba30-50’x 30-50’SunALLSelect male trees, female fruit may be messy.
Rich yellow fall color.
Thornless Gleditsia30-50’x 30-50’SunSUMTolerant of small planting pits in concrete, making
Honeylocust triacanthos it a good choice for urban environments or as a
var inermisstreet tree.
Kentucky Gymnocladus60-75’x 40-50’SunALLGrows slowly, female trees produce pods. Male
Coffee Treedioica(seedless) selections are commercially available.
Golden-Rain TreeKoelreuteria 25-40’x 25-40’SunALLProduces small yellow flowers. Flowers give way
paniculatato yellowish-brown seed pods that resemble small
Osage Orange Maclura pomifera40-60’x 40-60’SunALLProduces 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’SunALLHundreds of cultivars available with various
colored fruit and growth habits. Look for disease
resistant cultivars.
Persian Parrotia Parrotia persica20-40’x 20-35’SunALLYellow, red, or orange fall color. Exfoliating bark
adds interesting color and texture. Partial shade
may also be desirable.
JapanesePinus densiflora20-30’x 20-25’SunALLFairly open growth, often has a crooked trunk.
Red PineShowy orange to red bark/limbs.
Shortleaf PinePinus echinata50’x30’Full sun ALLThis is the hardiest and most adaptable of the
to partial shadesouthern pines.
Pinyon Pine Pinus edulis20-30’x 20-30’SunALLDoes 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 ponderosa70-80’x 70-80’SunALLVery tall and broad, may not be suitable for
residential areas.
Loblolly Pine Pinus taeda60-100’x 30-50’SunALLExcellent pine that tolerates Oklahoma’s adverse
conditions, including poorly drained soils and
Chinese PistachePistacia chinensis25-35’x 25-35’SunFALL Bright red, yellow or orange fall color. Female
trees have red to blue berry-like fruits that appear
in fall.
Mexican Plum Prunus mexicana20’x15’SunALLThis plant attracts bees, butterflies, and birds and
is drought-tolerant. Has white blooms and edible
Sawtooth Oak Quercus acutissima35-45’x 35-50’SunFALL Foliage has a serrated edge, giving reason for
its descriptive common name.
Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa60-80’x 70-80’SunALLVery slow growing. Foliage remains on the tree
late into the fall after leaves have turned.
Chinkapin Oak Quercus muehlenburgii40-60’x 50-60’SunSPRAcorns very desirable to wildlife. Underutilized
shade tree.
Shumard OakQuercus shumardii40-60’x 40-60’SunSUMRequires less maintenance than some other oak
trees. More resistant to yellow foliage (chlorosis)
than Pin Oak.
SassafrasSassafras albidum45’x30’SunSUMIf 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 Sapindus saponaria40-50’x 30-40’SunSUMHas a yellow fruit that matures in mid-fall. Showy
Soapberry var. drummondiibark and yellow fall color.
Japanese Syringa reticulata15-25’x 15-25’SunSUMProduces large white flowers, has showy bark.
Tree Lilac
Bald CypressTaxodium distichum50-75’x 50-75’SunALLNot an evergreen, needles fall off in the fall. Grows
very well in wet soils or near water. Dwarf
selection available.
Cedar Elm Ulmus crassifolia50-70’x 30-40’SunSUMWithstands heavy, poorly drained soils. Dark
foliage and “winged” branches add to ornamental
Lacebark Elm Ulmus parvifolia50-70’x 50-60’SunALLExfoliating bark is a noteworthy feature of this
tree. Tree has small, refined leaves.
MowingLightSeason of
Common NameScientific NameheightRequirementInterestComments
Buffalograss Bouteloua dactyloides3’’SunSUMWarm-season grass, drought resistant. May be
hard to establish in areas formerly bermudagrass.
See CR-6609.
Common Bermuda Cynodon dactylon1-2’’SunSUMWarm-season grass, drought resistant, common
cultivars- ‘Yukon’ and ‘Riviera’ For more
information see HLA-6419.
Hybrid BermudaCynodon dactylon x 1-2’’SunSUMWarm-season grass, drought resistant, cultivars-
C. transvaalensisLatitude 36’, ‘Northbridge’, and ‘Patriot’. See
Tall Fescue Festuca erundinacea3’’ShadeFALLCool-season grass, best suited for shaded areas
where bermudagrass or buffalograss won’t grow.
See HLA-6419
Zoysiagrass Zoysia spp.1-2’’Full sun toSUMWarm-season, similar maintenance to
partial shadebermudagrass, but is slower growing and requires
more water. See HLA-6419


Courtney Keck
Canadian County Extension Educator,
Horticulture/4-H Youth Development

Samantha Snyder
Horticultural Consultant

Malarie Gotcher
Extension Associate

John Schroeder
Former Extension Associate

Mike Schnelle
Professor and Extension Floriculture Specialist

Justin Moss
Assistant Professor, Turfgrass

DASNR Extension Research CASNR
OCES  Contact
139 Agricultural Hall
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078