Mojave desert plants scientific and common names matched with pictures
Ferocactus cylindraceus (barrel cactus)
Family: Cactaceae (cactus)
-Flowers maroon outside and bright yellow inside
-Fleshy, hollow, yellow fruits
Peritoma arborea (bladderpod)
-a dicot, is a shrub that is native to California and is endemic (limited) to California alone. -Coastal Sage Scrub, Creosote Bush Scrub, Joshua Tree Woodland
Encelia farinosa (brittle bush)
-dried sap was burned by early Spanish Missions in the New World as incense
-fragrant leaves 3–8 cm long, ovate to deltoid, and silvery tomentose
-The capitula are 3–3.5 cm in diameter, with orange-yellow ray florets and yellow or purple
-brown disc florets. They are arranged in loose panicles above the leafy stems fruit 3–6 mm and there is no pappus.
-Glue: The resin collected from the base of the plant, yellowish to brown in color, can be heated and used as a glue. The O'odham and Seri use it for hafting, to hold points on arrows and harpoons.-Sealer: A different sort of resin is collected from the upper stems, is more gummy and generally a clear yellow. The Seri use this to seal pottery vessels.-Incense: Early Spanish friars learned that the resin made a highly fragrant incense, akin to frankincense in odor.-Gum: The Sells area Tohono O'odham children use upper stem resin as a passable chewing gum.
-Toothbrush: Oldtime cowboys used brittlebush stem as a fine toothbrush. Simply select a largish branch and peel off the bitter bark, no need for toothpaste.
-Medicinal: Seri use brittlebush to treat toothache. For toothache the bark is removed, the branch heated in ashes, and then placed in the mouth to "harden" a loose tooth
Chorizanthe brevicornu (brittle spineflower)
Family: Polygonaceae (buckwheat)
-The plant extends an erect, naked, highly branching stem which is greenish in color. -Most of the leaves grow from the base of the plant, but a few small ones may appear up on the stem.
Eriogonum sp (wild buckwheat)
Abronia villosa S. Watson var. villosa (desert sand verbena)
Senegalia (or Acacia) greggii (catclaw acacia)
-northernmost naturally occurring Acacia species anywhere in the world
-numerous hooked prickles with the shape and size of a cat's claw, that tend to hook onto passers-by
-It is a large shrub or small tree growing to 10 m (33 ft) tall with a trunk up to 20–30 cm (7.9–12 in) diameter.
-The grey-green leaves are deciduous, and bipinnate, divided into 1-3 pairs of pinnae, each pinna 2–3 cm (0.79–1.2 in) long with 10-18 leaflets
that are 3–6 mm (0.12–0.24 in). Pinnae are most frequently in two
pairs, with the proximal pair perpendicular to the petiolule and the
distal pair forming a V at the tip.
-The flowers are produced in dense cylindrical spikes, each flower with five yellow 3 mm (0.12 in) petals and numerous yellow 6 mm (0.24 in) stamens.
-The fruit is a flat, twisted legume (pod) 6–15 cm (2.4–5.9 in) long, containing several hard, dark brown seeds. The seed pod is constricted between seeds (a loment), and seed dispersal occurs both through dehiscence and breaks at these constrictions.
-Its seeds require physical scarification in order to germinate. This effectively prevents germination unless a flash flood
disturbs the area and deposits enough water to increase the likelihood
that seedlings will be able to establish deep enough roots to survive
the dry season.
Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus var. hirtellus (rayless goldenhead)
-This shrub or subshrub produces an upright, branching stem with shreddy whitish or gray bark.
-It approaches one meter in maximum height but generally grows to 20 to 40 centimeters. -The gray-green leaves are linear or lance-shaped and are arranged alternately, sometimes growing in small clusters.
-They are hairless or have small, rough hairs. -The inflorescence is a solitary flower head or a small cluster of heads. The head is hemispherical or spherical in shape. It has yellow disc florets and no ray florets. The fruit is an achene tipped with thick scales and bristles.
Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus var. sphaerocephalus (rayless goldenhead)
- Blooms Mar-Jun
-It grows in desert washes and on plains, mesas, and ridges.
-Flowerheads are yellow, turning white, discoid, and arranged in a cyme. The inflorescence is a solitary flower head or a small cluster of heads. The head is hemispherical or spherical in shape. It has yellow disc florets and no ray florets.
Stipa coronata (giant ricegrass)
-a perennial grass forming loose bunches up to about 2 metres (6.6 ft) in maximum height, but usually shorter.
-The clumps expand by short rhizomes
-generous inflorescence up to 60 centimeters long with large spikelets up to 2 centimeters long each, not including an awn of up to 4.5 centimeters. The awn has two distinct kinks.
Achyronychia cooperi (onyxflower)
Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink or carnation)
-The thick pale green leaves are paddle-shaped and under 2 centimeters long.
-In the leaf axils grow dense bunches of tiny flowers. There are no
petals, but each flower has five thin shiny white sepals that look like tiny fingernail
Acmispon americanus (American birdsfoot trefoil or Spanish clover)
-upright hairy annual, growing to 25 cm.
-The flowers (to 6mm) are pale pink to cream.
Acmispon glaber (western birdsfoot trefoil)
-stems are green, erect, somewhat branched, with small, deciduous, pinnate leaves consisting of three to six leaflets.
-has flowers that are bilateral, small (7-11 mm), yellow, and clustered together in an inflorescence consisting of 2 – 7 flowers in the upper leaf axils. The flowers become reddish with age.
-The fruit consists of a curved pod with two seeds.
-food consumed by numerous wildlife, providing intake for hummingbirds, bees, butterfly larvae, and deer
Agave deserti (desert agave)
-Its tall yellow flower stalks dot dry rocky slopes and washes throughout the spring.
-Plants usually with numerous rosettes; perianth tube 3–5 mm. Southern California only.