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Plants of the southwestern U.S. desert region

Featuring primarily species from Arizona, but including some other species from the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico

Click on the scientific name to view larger images of the species.  Scientific names listed are those accepted by the USDA plants database.  Common names include those listed in Plants of Arizona.

For additional images of northern Arizona plants, see Northern Arizona Flora

  scientific name common name synonyms family field guide pg.*
Acacia angustissima white ball acacia prairie acacia Fabaceae 103
Acacia constricta whitethorn acacia mescat acacia Fabaceae 103
Acacia greggii catclaw acacia tearblanket, devil's claw Fabaceae 104
Acacia neovernicosa viscid acacia   Fabaceae  
Agave palmeri Palmer's century plant   Agavaceae 27
Ambrosia deltoidea triangle bursage triangle burr ragweed, Fraseria deltoidea Asteraceae 256
Arbutus arizonica Arizona madrone Arizona madrono Ericaceae 181
Arctostaphylos pungens pointleaf manzanita   Ericaceae 181
Argemone pleiacantha prickly poppy southwestern prickly poppy, bluestem pricklepoppy, thistle poppy, chicalote, cowboy's fried egg Papaveraceae 74
Baccharis sarothroides desert broom broom baccharis, rosin brush, Mexican broom Asteraceae 260
Carnegiea gigantea saguaro giant saguaro, Cereus giganteus Cactaceae 157
Celtis pallida desert hackberry spiny hackberry Ulmaceae 47
Chamaebatiaria millefolium fernbush   Rosaceae  
Chilopsis linearis desert willow mimbre, jano, desert catalpa, flowering willow Bignoniaceae 238
Commelina dianthifolia western dayflower birdbill dayflower Commelinaceae 21
Dasylirion wheeleri sotol common sotol, spoonplant, desert spoon, cactus spoon Liliaceae 28
Echinocereus fendleri var. fasciculatus pinkflower hedgehog cactus   Cactaceae  
Echinocereus nicholii golden hedgehog cactus Nichol's hedgehog cactus Cactaceae  
Encelia farinosa brittlebush goldenhills Asteraceae  
Ephedra sp. ephedra Morman tea, jointfir Ephedraceae 18
Eschscholzia californica California poppy   Papaveraceae  
Ferocactus cylindraceus var. cylindraceus California fire barrel cactus Ferocactus acanthodes Cactaceae  
Ferocactus emoryi Emory's barrel cactus Ferocactus covillei, Coville's barrel cactus Cactaceae 161
Ferocactus wislizeni Arizona barrel cactus candy barrel cactus, fishhook barrel Cactaceae 161
Fouquieria splendens ocotillo candlewood, slimwood, coachwhip, Jacob's staff, vine cactus, flamingsword Fouquieriaceae 186
Juglans major Arizona walnut   Juglandaceae 41
Juniperus deppeana alligator juniper western juniper, checkered bark juniper Cupressaceae 17
Juniperus monosperma oneseed juniper cherrystone, red berry juniper Cupressaceae 17
Juniperus osteosperma Utah juniper shaggy bark juniper Cupressaceae 17
Kallstroemia grandiflora Arizona caltrop Arizona poppy, orange caltrop, summer poppy Zygophyllaceae 131
Larrea tridentata creosote bush hediondilla, little stinker, gobernadora Zygophyllaceae 131
Mahonia haematocarpa red barberry   Berberidaceae  
Nepeta cataria catnip   Lamiaceae  
Nolina microcarpa beargrass sacahuista, basketgrass, nolina Liliaceae 29
Olneya tesota desert ironwood palo de hierro, tesota, palo fierro, Arizona ironwood Fabaceae 118
Opuntia acanthocarpa buckhorn cholla yellow flowered cane cactus Cactaceae 162
Opuntia arbuscula pencil cholla Arizona pencil cholla Cactaceae 162
Opuntia bigelovii teddy bear cholla silver cholla, teddy bear cactus Cactaceae 163
Opuntia engelmannii Englemann's prickly pear cactus apple, tuna, nopal, purple fruit prickly pear, Opuntia phaeacantha var. discata Cactaceae 165
Opuntia fulgida chain fruit cholla jumping cholla, chain cholla Cactaceae 164
Opuntia clavata club cholla   Cactaceae  
Opuntia leptocaulis desert Christmas cactus tesajo, Christmas cholla, pencil joint cholla, holycross cholla, diamond cactus, darning needle cactus Cactaceae 165
Opuntia santa-rita Santa Rita prickly pear   Cactaceae  
Opuntia spinosior cane cholla walkingstick cactus, walkingstick cholla, handlegrip cholla, cardenche Cactaceae 166
Parkinsonia aculeata** Mexican paloverde Jerusalem thorn, horse bean Fabaceae 119
Parkinsonia florida blue paloverde Cercidium floridum Fabaceae 107
Parkinsonia microphylla yellow paloverde Cercidium microphyllum, foothill paloverde, littleleaf paloverde Fabaceae 107
Peniocereus greggii desert night blooming cereus Cereus greggii, Arizona queen of the night Cactaceae 168
Phoradendron juniperinum juniper mistletoe   Viscaceae 50
Picea pungensPinaceae blue spruce
Pinus aristata bristlecone pine      
Pinus arizonica var. arizonica Arizona pine      
Pinus cembroides Mexican pinyon      
Pinus edulis pinyon pine two needle pinyon, nut pine, pinyon, Colorado pinyon pine, two leaf pinyon Pinaceae 13
Pinus engelmannii Apache pine Arizona longleaf pine, Englemann pine Pinaceae 13
Pinus flexilisPinaceae limber pine
Pinus leiophylla var. chihuahuana Chihuahuan pine      
Pinus ponderosa ponderosa pine western yellow pine, bull pine, blackjack pine Pinaceae 14
Pinus strobiformis southwestern white pine Pinus flexilis var. reflexa    
Platanus wrightii Arizona sycamore plane tree, button wood Platanaceae 90
Populus tremuloides quaking aspen golden aspen, trembling poplar Salicaceae 38
Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana western honey mesquite Prosopis glandulosa Fabaceae 121
Prosopis velutina velvet mesquite   Fabaceae 121
Purshia stansburiana cliff rose Stansbury cliff rose Rosaceae 95
Quercus gambelii Gambel oak Rocky Mountain white oak, Utah white oak Fagaceae 44
Quercus hypoleucoides silverleaf oak white leaf oak Fagaceae 44
Rhus trilobata skunk bush skunk bush sumac, squaw bush, lemonade sumac, limonita, lemonade berry, lemita, three leaf sumac Anacardiaceae 139
Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii western soapberry jaboncillo, cherioni Sapindaceae 143
Simmondsia chinensis jojoba coffee bush, gray box bush, goatnut, deernut, wild hazel, quinine plant, coffeeberry Simmondsiaceae 137
Stenocereus thurberi organ pipe cactus Cereus thurberi, Lemaireocereus thurberi, pitahaya dulce Cactaceae 158
Yucca brevifolia Joshua tree tree yucca, yucca palm Agavaceae 30
Yucca elata soaptree yucca   Agavaceae  
Yucca schottii Schott's yucca mountain yucca Agavaceae 31

 

Plants not native to Arizona.  May be seen as ornamental plantings.

  scientific name common name synonyms family
Agave ocahui century plant ocahui Agavaceae
Agave vilmoriniana Octopus agave   Agavaceae
Ferocactus herrerae twisted barrel   Cactaceae
Idria columnaris boojum   Fouquieriaceae
Opuntia engelmannii  var. linguiformis cow's tongue cactus   Cactaceae
Pilosocereus alensis Sonoran old man cactus Cephalocereus alensis Cactaceae
Stenocereus eruca creeping devil cactus chirinole, Cereus eruca, Machaerocereus eruca, Lemaireocereus eruca, Rathbunia eruca Cactaceae

* Page numbers refer to Epple, Anne O. 1995 Plants of Arizona. The Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT.

** Although not native to the U.S. this species is frequently planted in Arizona as an ornamental.

Images copyright 2002 Steve Baskauf - Terms of use