Arizona Rosewoods (Vauquelinia californica) are large shrubs or small trees that can be found growing in upland desert, chaparral, and oak-juniper woodland areas here in southern Arizona. Molino Canyon Vista Overlook near Tucson has several Arizona Rosewoods on its short nature trail and there's even a helpful sign there to identify them.
These attractive, native shrubs make excellent, low-care hedges or small patio trees, and they are a good alternative to the non-native Oleander (Nerium oleander) which is so commonly grown around Tucson. Arizona Rosewoods are evergreen and bloom during May and June.
Arizona Rosewood is a member of the Rose Family (Rosaceae), but this Arizona plant is called "Rosewood" because its reddish, rose-colored wood can be used to make attractive, durable carvings. The Rosewood commonly used for fine furniture is from a different, tropical genus of larger trees and is not from our much smaller Arizona Rosewood.