Desert Plants

Cactus - Grasses - Shrubs - Trees - Wildflowers

What's Blooming - Wildflower Reports

Quick Links by Type of Plant

Wildflowers | Cactus & Succulents | Trees, Shrubs

Desert Landscape

How Do Plants Survive the Desert? -- Desert flora have adapted to the extremes of heat and aridity by using both physical and behavioral mechanisms, much like desert animals. The ingenuity and variety of these many adaptations are explored in Desert Plant Survival and the Desert Food Chain. Below are links to the flora found in the deserts, with photos and information about each plant.

What Plants Live in the Desert? -- Plants that live in the desert include cactus such as cholla and saguaro, wildflowers like desert paintbrush and phacelia, trees and shrubs like ocotillo Joshua trees, and palo verde trees, and yucca and agave. See the list below for more!

What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports


Desert Flora:
Wildflowers | Cactus & Succulents | Trees, Shrubs & Grasses
Gardening & Related Articles



Alkali Mariposa Lily

Alkali Phacelia

Antelope Bush

Apache Plume

Arizona Poppy

Asian Mustard

Aven Nelson's Phacelia

Beautiful Centaury (Canchalagua)

Big Sagebrush

Bigelow's Monkeyflower

Bitter Root

Blacktack Phacelia


Blazing Star

Blue Phacelia

Blue Eyed Grass

Blue Flax

Booth's Sun Cup

Bristly Langloisia


Broad-Leaf Aliciella

Broad-Leaf Gilia

Brown-Eyed Evening Primrose

Burrobush, Burro Weed

Button Brittlebush

Button Encelia

California Buckeye

California Fuschia

California Milkweed

California Poppy

Caltha-leafed Phacelia

Canaigre Dock

Canterbury Bells

Caterpillar Phacelia

Cave Primrose

Chaparral Mallow

Charlotte's Phacelia

Charming Centaury (Canchalagua)

Checker Fiddleneck

Cheesebush, Burrobrush



Chinese Parsley

Chocolate Drops



Clustered Broom-Rape

Cold-desert Phlox

Common Muilla

Common Yellow Monkeyflower

Cooper's Dogweed

Coulter's Jewelflower

Coyote Melon

Cream Cups

Crimson Columbine

Crowned Muilla

Daisy Desertstar


Death Valley Monkeyflower

Desert Bitterbrush

Desert Bluebells

Desert Broom Rape

Desert Candle

Desert Chicory

Desert Christmas Tree

Desert Dandelion

Desert Five-Spot

Desert Globemallow

Desert Holly

Desert Indian Paintbrush

Desert Indian Tobacco

Desert Larkspur

Desert Lily

Desert Lupine


Desert Marigold

Desert Mariposa Lily

Desert Milkweed

Desert Paintbrush

Desert Peach

Desert Penstemon

Desert Pincushion

Desert Poppy

Desert Primrose

Desert Purple Mat

Desert Sage

Desert Spring Parsley

Desert Star

Desert Star-Vine

Desert Sunflower

Desert Willow

Devil's Lettuce


Downy Dalea

Devil’s Claw

Dune Evening Primrose

Dunes Sunflower

Eaton Firecracker, Eaton Penstemon

Fairy Duster


Flaxleaf Monardella

Freckled Milkvetch

Fremont's Monkeyflower

Fremont's Phacelia

Filaree Storksbill

Fringed Amaranth

Fringed Onion

Ghost Flower

Golden Desert Snapdragon

Gooding's Verbena

Gray Ball Sage

Gravel Ghost

Great Basin Woollystar

Ground Cherry

Hairy Wild Cabbage

Heartleaf Sun Cup

Hooker's Evening Primrose

Hop Sage

Hummingbird Trumpet

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Tobacco


Jimson Weed (POISONOUS)

Kelso Creek Monkeyflower

Lacy Phacelia

Layne Locoweed

Lobeleaf Groundsel

Loco Weed

Mariposa Lily

Martin's Paintbrush

Mexican Whorled Milkweed

Miner's Lettuce

Mojave Aster

Mojave Beardtongue

Mojave Hole-in-the-Sand Plant

Mojave Indian Paintbrush

Mojave Indigo Bush

Mojave Monkeyflower

Mojave Prickly Poppy

Mojave Sun Cup

Narrow Leaf Milkweed

Nevada Onion

Notch-leaved Phacelia

Owl's Clover (Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta)


Palmer's Penstemon

Panamint Daisy

Panamint Mariposa Lily

Paperbag Bush

Parish's Monkeyflower

Parry's Nolina (Parry's Beargrass)

Pedicellate Phacelia

Pink Phlox

Plantago patagonica

Plummer's Mariposa Lily

Poodle Dog Bush

Popcorn Flower

Prickly Poppies

Prince's Rock Cress

Purple Mat, Purplemat

Purple Owl's Clover (Castilleja exserta ssp. venusta)

Purple Sand Food

Pygmy Poppy

Rattlesnake Weed


Red Maids

Rock Cress

Rock Daisy

Rose Heath

Round Leafed Phacelia, Roundleaf Phacelia

Rush Milkweed

San Bernardino Mountains Liveforever

Sand Blazing Star

Sand Pygmyweed

Sand Verbena

Sapphire Woollystar

Scale Bud

Scaly-stemmed Sand Plant

Scarlet Bugler


Sea Muilla

Shockley Evening Primrose

Showy Four O'Clock

Showy Milkweed

Silky Dalea

Skeleton Milkweed

Soft Prairie Clover

Spanish Needle

Spectacle Pod

Specter Phacelia

Suksdorf's Monkeyflower

Tree Poppy

Tree Tobacco

Turtleback, Velvet Turtleback

Twining Snapdragon

Washoe Phacelia

Western Desert Penstemon

Western Wallflower

Western Forget-Me-Not

White Bear Poppy

White Bursage

White Fiesta Flower

White Mallow

White Sage

White Wooly Daisy

Whitemargin Beardtongue, White-margined Beardtongue

Wild Heliotrope

Wild Rhubarb

Winding Mariposa Lily

Wishbone Bush

Woody Bottle Washer

Woolly Daisy

Woolly Marigold

Yellow Beeplant

Yellow Cups

Yellow Desert Evening Primrose

Yellow Nightshade

Yellow Pincushion

Yerba Mansa




Cholla Cactus

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Barrel Cactus

Beavertail Cactus

Century Plant

Chain Fruit Cholla

Cholla Cactus

Claret Cup Cactus

Desert Christmas Cactus

Datil Yucca

Fishhook Cactus

Golden Torch Cactus

Hedgehog Cactus

Kingcup Cactus

Mojave Mound Cactus

Mojave Yucca

Night-Blooming Cereus

Organ Pipe Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus

Saguaro Cactus

Senita Cactus

Soaptree Yucca

Mesquite Tree

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Bastard Toadflax

Crucifixion Thorn

California Fan Palm



Creosote Bush

Desert Lavender

Desert Willow

Elephant Tree


Indigo Bush

Joshua Tree


Mormon Tea


Mesquite Tree

Palo Verde Tree

Poison Ivy

Ponderosa Pine

Four-Wing Saltbush

Showy Milkweed

Smoke Tree

Stinging Nettles


Whitethorn Acacia


Praying Mantis

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Gardening the Desert in Southern New Mexico

How to Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies to Your Garden

My Brown Thumb: Attempts at Gardening in the Desert

Why is the Desert Turning Brown: Overseeding

Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden

The Arboretum at Flagstaff

Tucson Botanical Gardens

Arboretums & Botanical Gardens of Arizona

Arboretum at Arizona State University

Tohono Chul Park in Tucson

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

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Chihuahuan DesertGreat Basin Desert |  Mojave Desert | Sonoran Desert


Wildflower Articles

When Will the Wildflowers Bloom?

Favorite Desert Wildflowers

4 Drives into the Heart of the Desert

Wildflower Country

Wildflower Reports

Wildflower Field Guide

Curious Wildflower Names

Desert Seeds

The Desert in Bloom

Related Books - Store

Wildflower Reports


Other Related Articles

Desert Food Chain

Plant Classifications

Desert Landscapes

Indian Uses of Desert Plants

Indian Uses of Desert Plants (book)

Desert Medicinal Plants

Water Conservation Gardening

Desert Fan Palm Oases

The Saguaro

Desert Cacti

Three Desert Oases

On the Trail of the Creosote Bush

Desert Varnish

The Desert's Lichen Crust

Desert Date Delights

Prickly Pear Cactus Products

Chiles of the Southwest

Life on Desert Sand Dunes

Related Books - Store

General Information

Animal Classification:
Putting the Plants and Animals in Their Places.

Desert Animal Survival

Desert Food Chain

Desert Food Chain: An Introduction

Spring Rattles In: Rattlesnake Season

Insect Diversity

Discover the World of Insects

Debunking Myths About Rattlesnakes, Scorpions and Tartantulas.

Common Reptiles of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Hibernation: The Deep Sleep


Cetaceans: Marine Mammals in the Sea of Cortez

Hantavirus: Virus Carried by Deer Mice

Looking for Birds in the Southwest? Follow the Water


Videos of Desert Animals

Why K-12 Students Read


The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms


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