skip navigation


Replace invasive and non-native plants with native and drought-tolerant vegetation

Remove invasive plants. Some exotic, non-native plant species are actually harmful to our desert environment because they “crowd out” native species and can be more prone to fires since they are not adapted to our dry and hot climate. 

Buffelgrass and fountain grass are among the most dangerous invasive plants to our environment. These African grasses aggressively promote fire and burn at much higher temperatures than the natural desert environment. This, coupled with their ability to quickly spread throughout the desert landscape, makes buffelgrass and fountain grass dangerous threats to our community. If we are unable to stop the spread of these grasses and eradicate them from our community, we may face more frequent urban fires, loss of biodiversity, and a desert landscape filled with yellow grass instead of native saguaros and palo verdes. 

Visit the Buffelgrass Information Center for information about how to identify and remove buffelgrass.

DRAFT Environmental Assessment
 for buffelgrass control on "A" Mountain and Tumamoc Hill in Tucson.

Buffelgrass Video (10 min. Quicktime)
 put together by a multi-jurisdictional buffelgrass working group.

Buffelgrass/fountain grass brochure

UofA Desert Laboratory: Buffelgrass Eradication and Outreach

Visit the Sonoran Desert Museum’s Invaders Program to learn about other invasive species.

Arizona Native Plant Society’s Grow Native
 brochure (pdf) provides native alternatives to invasive species.

State of Arizona Prohibited, Regulated and Restricted Noxious Weeds

Arizona Invasive Species Management Plan

Use native and drought-tolerant plants for landscaping. Native plants are adapted to our climate and can survive in the heat with limited water. Using native plants also helps maintain our desert landscape. If you can’t use a native species, use other drought-tolerant species instead. You can have a beautiful yard and save water!

Arizona Department of Water Resources Low Water Use, Drought Tolerant Plant List(pdf)

References for Identifying and Selecting Landscape Plants for the Low Desert

City of Mesa Resources for Arizona Low Desert Gardening and Landscaping

Trees for Tucson

If you are a Tucson Electric Power (TEP) customer, you may also purchase 2 native trees for $6 each through the Trees for Tucson program.