|Water-wise Oriental Poppies make a striking backdrop for other plants (Papaver orientale). Photo credit: F.D. Richards Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0|
Water-wise Daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) come in a variety of colors and sizes. Photo credit: normanack Flickr CC BY 2.0
A water-wise perennial is a plant which, once established, requires infrequent watering (usually less than two times per month) while retaining its aesthetic value. Keep in mind that a perennial considered water-wise in the Northeastern US may not be water-wise in the Southwestern part of the country.
Water-wise perennials are becoming more popular and are available in many commercial venues from large chain store suppliers to independent plant retailers allowing for a wide range of choices appropriate for the local climate.
Many water-wise perennial plants have high ornamental value, flower displays that appear year after year, and are adapted to a wide range of growing conditions.
Select water-wise perennials for the appropriate USDA Plant Hardiness Zone, amount of sun or shade the particular location receives, and mature plant size. A carefully planned perennial bed can provide years of satisfaction, long lasting color, and reduced water use.
The following publications include plant lists of plant characteristics you might want for your landscape:
Colorado - Xeriscaping: Perennials and Annual Flowers
Oregon - Plant in Spring for Summer and Fall Color with Water-wise Flowering Perennials
Utah - Water-wise Plants for Utah Landscape
Washington - Local Extension Programs