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The Feather bush grows into a large shrub to small deciduous tree with a low branching structure and soft foliage character. As a large shrub, plants grow 12-15 ft. tall and as wide; trees can reach up to 25 ft. tall. Medium to deep green leaves are bipinnately divided into many tiny leaflets and produce moderate to heavy shade. White flower balls occur in spring and create a soft accent character.

Feather bush is native to arid climate zones and foothill and wash habitats in Arizona where it grows in well-drained soils. Plants occurring near seasonal washes grow to larger sizes and retain foliage for longer periods of time. Plants can be damaged by temperatures below 25°F and care should be taken to select the tree for warm winter microclimates in the Inland Empire.

Feather bush is an attractive foliage plant that can be pruned into a small canopy tree to provide a green and lush appearance in both residential and commercial landscapes. It is another one of the emerging tree choices that fit southwestern garden plantings along with palo verdes, mesquite, and desert willows.

Water Needs

Feather bush performs best in gardens and landscapes when planted in well-drained soils and when it receives normal winter rainfall along with low amounts of irrigation during the summer. The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months marked by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Tree
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous, Drought deciduous
Habit: Upright, Spreading, Mounding, Low-branching, Graceful
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 12 ft. - 15 ft.
Width: 12 ft. - 15 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: White
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Specimen, Shade Tree, Screening, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Parks and open space, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Commercial spaces, Background plant, Small spaces


Plant on some minor early structural pruning to establish desired long-term form as either a multi or single trunked tree or a large shrub. Pruning is best done in winter (D). Inner branches can be thinned (selectively removed) to accentuate the growth habit of the tree (7)



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