Indigenous/Desert Appropriate Plants for ESL


Indigenous Plant List (PDF)

This list was compiled by the City of Scottsdale to be used in conjunction with the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Overlay (ESL) regulations in the Zoning Ordinance. These plants may be used for revegetation in Natural Area Open Space (NAOS) areas and in right-of-way as well, as any landscape areas.

The location and height of plants that are not on this list are regulated by ESL (Section 6.1070.G.1.ilinks to external site in the Zoning Ordinance). The plants on this list are indigenous to Scottsdale but may not be appropriate for all locations. Plants listed below are generally found within the following elevation ranges: 1,500 - 2,500 feet are designated by an equal sign (=); 2,500 - 3,000 feet designated by a percent sign (%) and 3,000 plus feet designated by a number sign (#). The choice of plants for a specific site should be based upon whether the plants occur naturally within the area where the property is located.

The Zoning Administrator may add plants to this list based upon recommendations from city staff. Private consultants may suggest to staff that plants be added or deleted from the list. 

Plants that are protected by the Native Plant Ordinance, Chapter 46 of the City Codelinks to external site and Section 6.1070.links to external site of the Zoning Ordinance, are designated with an asterisk ( * ).

Plants designated with a plus ( + ) are restricted according to Water Resources Ordinance No. 3161 and must receive prior approval from the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the City of Scottsdale Water Resources Department before they may be lawfully planted. The indigenous plants on this list are also, in general, low water users according to the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

Please check with staff as to where a variety of a specific plant species may be indigenous. (Updated 11-2-2009.)



Desert Appropriate Plant List (PDF)

These plants can be used in landscaped areas that are not enclosed, but are separated from Natural Area Open Space (NAOS) by low walls, paved walkways, headers, or similar physical barriers. If landscaped areas are not physically separated from Natural Area Open Space (NAOS) areas, the plants that may be used shall come from the Indigenous Plant List above. Plants on this list may be used in areas that are enclosed by a three (3) foot high, or greater, opaque wall. (Updated 11-02-09.)

Recommended Plants For Enclosed Areas

Recommended Plants For Enclosed Areas (PDF)

These plants may be used in areas enclosed by a three foot or higher opaque fence, such as back yards, and court yards. This plant list is not all inclusive, other non-indigenous plants may be used, but if a plant has the potential to reach a mature height greater than twenty (20) feet it is not allowed. (Updated 11-02-09.)