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Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources
Background: | plant terms | flowering plant life cycle | types of photosynthesis | Tucson Mt. plants | plant list | thumbnails by color |

TUCSON DESERT PLANT LIST
SORTED BY COMMON NAME

This is a list of the 165 plant species currently on this website. The table below is sorted by common name, but if you would like a table sorted by scientific name, family, or flower color (see note below), click on the appropriate column heading below.

Common Name Scientific Name Family Flower Color *
Acacia, Catclaw Acacia greggii Fabaceae yellowish
Acacia, Whitethorn Acacia constricta Fabaceae yellowish
Agave, Parry's Agave parryi Agavaceae yellowish
Amsinckia Amsinckia intermedia Boraginaceae yellowish
Anemone, Desert Anemone tuberosa Ranunculaceae whitish
Bahia Bahia absinthifolia Compositae yellowish
Barrel Cactus, Fishhook Ferocactus wislizeni Cactaceae various
Beargrass Nolina microcarpa Asparagaceae whitish
Bedstraw, Common Galium aparine Rubiaceae whitish
Bedstraw, Desert Galium stellatum Rubiaceae whitish
Bladderpod, Purple Lesquerella purpurea Cruciferae whitish
Bluedick Dichelostemma pulchellum Liliaceae bluish
Brickellia, Coulter's Brickellia coulteri Compositae yellowish
Brittlebush Encelia farinosa Compositae yellowish
Buckwheat Eriogonum spp Polygonaceae whitish
Burroweed Isocoma tenuisecta Compositae yellowish
Bursage, Triangleleaf Ambrosia deltoidea Compositae greenish
Carlowrightia Carlowrightia arizonica Acanthaceae whitish
Carrot, Wild Daucus pusillus Umbelliferae whitish
Catchfly, Sleepy Silene antirrhina Caryophyllaceae bluish
Centaury Centaurium calycosum Gentianaceae pinkish
Cereus, Desert Night-Blooming Peniocereus greggii Cactaceae whitish
Chia Salvia columbariae Labiatae bluish
Chicory, Desert Rafinesquia neomexicana Compositae whitish
Cholla, Buckhorn Opuntia acanthocarpa Cactaceae various
Cholla, Chainfruit (Jumping) Opuntia fulgida Cactaceae pinkish
Cholla, Christmas Opuntia leptocaulis Cactaceae yellowish
Cholla, Pencil Opuntia arbuscula Cactaceae yellowish
Cholla, Staghorn Opuntia versicolor Cactaceae various
Cholla, Teddybear Opuntia bigelovii Cactaceae yellowish
Chuparosa Beloperone californica Acanthaceae reddish
Claret Cup Echinocereus triglochidiatus Cactaceae reddish
Cockroach Plant Haplophyton crooksii Apocynaceae yellowish
Coldenia, Shrubby Tiquilia canescens Boraginaceae whitish
Coral Bean, Southwestern Erythrina flabelliformis Fabaceae reddish
Coursetia Coursetia glandulosa Fabaceae yellowish
Creosote Bush Larrea tridentata Zygophyllaceae yellowish
Crucillo, Mexican Condalia warnockii Rhamnaceae tiny
Cryptantha Cryptantha spp Boraginaceae whitish
Daisy, Woolly Eriophyllum lanosum Compositae whitish
Daisy, Yellow Spiny Machaeranthera gracilis Compositae yellowish
Dalea, Parry Marina parryi Fabaceae bluish
Dandelion, Desert Malacothrix californica Compositae yellowish
Datura, Sacred Datura meteloides Solanaceae whitish
Desert Broom Baccharis sarothroides Compositae whitish
Desert Mistletoe Phoradendron californicum Viscaceae tiny
Desert Star, Mojave Monoptilon bellioides Compositae whitish
Desert Willow Chilopsis linearis Bignoniaceae pinkish
Devil's Claw Proboscidea parviflora Martyniaceae pinkish
Dodder Cuscuta spp Convolvulaceae whitish
Dyssodia Dyssodia acerosa Compositae yellowish
Dyssodia, San Felipe Dyssodia porophylloides Compositae yellowish
Ephedra (Mormon Tea) Ephedra spp Ephedraceae tiny
Euphorbia Euphorbia spp Euphorbiaceae whitish
Evening Primrose, Mustard Camissonia californica Onagraceae yellowish
Fairy Duster Calliandra eriophylla Fabaceae pinkish
Fern, Cliff Brake, Spiny Pelleae truncata Polypodiaceae none
Fern, Cliff Brake, Wright's Pellaea ternifolia Polypodiaceae none
Fern, Cloak, Narrow Notholaena cochisensis Polypodiaceae none
Fern, Cloak, Star Notholaena standleyi Polypodiaceae none
Fern, Cloak, Wavy Notholaena sinuata Polypodiaceae none
Fern, Lip Cheilanthes spp Polypodiaceae none
Filaree Erodium cicutarium Geraniaceae pinkish
Flax, Western Blue Linum lewisii Linaceae bluish
Fleabane Erigeron divergens Compositae whitish
Four O'Clock, Red Mirabilis coccineus Nyctaginaceae pinkish
Four O'Clock, Trailing Allionia incarnata Nyctaginaceae pinkish
Gilia, Desert Gilia sinuata Polemoniaceae bluish
Globemallow, Desert Sphaeralcea spp Malvaceae orangish
Gourd, Buffalo Cucurbita foetidissima Cucurbitaceae yellowish
Grass, Fluff Erioneuron pulchellum Poaceae whitish
Grass, Fountain Pennisetum setaceum Poaceae whitish
Graythorn Ziziphus obtusifolia Rhamnaceae whitish
Groundsel, Sand Wash Senecio douglasii Compositae yellowish
Hackberry, Desert Celtis pallida Ulmaceae whitish
Hedgehog Cactus, Cockscomb Echinocereus fasciculatus Cactaceae pinkish
Heliotrope, Wild Phacelia distans Hydrophyllaceae bluish
Herissantia Herissantia crispa Malvaceae yellowish
Hibiscus, Rock Hibiscus denudatus Malvaceae pinkish
Honeysuckle, Desert Anisacanthus thurberi Acanthaceae orangish
Hopbush Dodonaea viscosa Sapindaceae yellowish
Ironwood, Desert Olneya tesota Fabaceae pinkish
Janusia Janusia gracilis Malpighiaceae yellowish
Jewelflower, Arizona Streptanthus arizonicus Cruciferae whitish
Jojoba Simmondsia chinensis Simmondsiaceae yellowish
Lacepod Thysanocarpus curvipes Cruciferae whitish
Larkspur, Barestem Delphinium scaposum Ranunculaceae bluish
Lavender, Desert Hyptis emoryi Labiatae bluish
Lichens Various spp Various none
Lily, Desert Mariposa Calochortus kennedyi Liliaceae various
Limberbush Jatropha cardiophylla Euphorbiaceae whitish
Lizard-tail Gaura parviflora Onagraceae pinkish
Locoweed Astragalus spp Fabaceae bluish
London Rocket Sisymbrium irio Cruciferae yellowish
Lotus, Hill Lotus humistratus Fabaceae yellowish
Lotus, Wiry Lotus rigidus Fabaceae yellowish
Lupine Lupinus sparsiflorus Fabaceae bluish
Mallow, Desert Rose Hibiscus coulteri Malvaceae yellowish
Mallow, Indian Abutilon incanum Malvaceae orangish
Marigold, Desert Baileya multiradiata Compositae yellowish
Menodora, Yellow Menodora scabra Oleaceae yellowish
Mesquite, Velvet Prosopis velutina Fabaceae yellowish
Milkweed, Rambling Sarcostemma hirtellum Asclepiadaceae whitish
Monkey Flower, Common Mimulus guttatus Scrophulariaceae yellowish
Mustard, Bladderpod Lesquerella gordoni Cruciferae yellowish
Nightshade, Silverleaf Solanum elaeagnifolium Solanaceae bluish
Oak, Shrub Live Quercus turbinella Fagaceae tiny
Ocotillo Fouquieria splendens Fouquieriaceae reddish
Odora Porophyllum gracile Compositae whitish
Owl Clover Orthocarpus purpurascens Scrophulariaceae pinkish
Paloverde, Blue Parkinsonia florida Fabaceae yellowish
Paloverde, Foothill Parkinsonia microphylla Fabaceae yellowish
Paloverde, Mexican Parkinsonia aculeata Fabaceae yellowish
Paperflower, Cooper's Psilostrophe cooperi Compositae yellowish
Penstemon, Parry's Penstemon parryi Scrophulariaceae pinkish
Peppergrass Lepidium spp Cruciferae whitish
Phacelia, Scalloped Leaf Phacelia crenulata Hydrophyllaceae bluish
Phlox, Desert Phlox tenuifolia Polemoniaceae whitish
Phlox, Slender Microsteris gracilis Polemoniaceae pinkish
Pincushion Cactus, Fishhook Mammillaria grahamii Cactaceae pinkish
Pincushion, Esteve's Chaenactis stevioides Compositae whitish
Plantain, Pursh Plantago purshii Plantaginaceae whitish
Poison Ivy Rhus radicans Anacardiaceae whitish
Poppy, Arizona Kallstroemia grandiflora Zygophyllaceae orangish
Poppy, Mexican Gold Eschscholtzia mexicana Papaveraceae yellowish
Poppy, Prickly Argemone gracilenta Papaveraceae whitish
Prickly Pear Cactus Opuntia spp Cactaceae yellowish
Primrose, Bottle Evening Oenothera primiveris Onagraceae yellowish
Purple Mat Nama demissum Hydrophyllaceae pinkish
Ragged Rock Flower Crossosoma bigelovii Crossosomataceae whitish
Ragweed, Canyon Ambrosia ambrosioides Compositae yellowish
Ratany, Range Krameria grayi Krameriaceae pinkish
Ratany, White Krameria grayi Krameriaceae pinkish
Resurrection Plant Selaginella spp Selaginellaceae none
Rosewood, Arizona Vauquelinia californica Rosaceae whitish
Russian Thistle Salsola australis Chenopodiaceae whitish
Sage, Scarlet Stachys coccinea Labiatae reddish
Saguaro Carnegiea gigantea Cactaceae whitish
Saltbush, Fourwing Atriplex canescens Chenopodiaceae tiny
Senna, Desert Senna covesii Fabaceae yellowish
Shindagger Agave schottii Agavaceae yellowish
Sida Sida albutifolia Malvaceae yellowish
Silver Puffs Microseris linearifolia Compositae yellowish
Siphonoglossa Siphonoglossa longiflora Acanthaceae whitish
Skeleton Weed Eriogonum deflexum Polygonaceae pinkish
Snapdragon, Twining Maurandya antirrhiniflora Scrophulariaceae bluish
Sotol (Desert Spoon) Dasylirion wheeleri Agavaceae yellowish
Sowthistle, Spiny Sonchus asper Compositae yellowish
Spike Moss Selaginella arizonica Selaginellaceae none
Stork's bill, Largeflower Erodium texanum Geraniaceae bluish
Sycamore, Arizona Platanus wrightii Platanaceae tiny
Tackstem, White Calycoseris wrightii Compositae whitish
Tamarisk (Salt Cedar) Tamarix ramosissima Tamaricaceae pinkish
Thistle, New Mexico Cirsium neomexicanum Compositae pinkish
Thread Plant Nemacladus glanduliferus Campanulaceae whitish
Toadflax, Blue Linaria texana Scrophulariaceae bluish
Tobacco, Desert Nicotiana trigonophylla Solanaceae yellowish
Tobacco, Tree Nicotiana glauca Solanaceae yellowish
Trixis Trixis californica Compositae yellowish
Trumpet Bush, Yellow Tecoma stans Bignoniaceae yellowish
Turpentine Bush Ericameria laricifolia Compositae yellowish
Verbena, Gooding's Glandularia gooddingii Verbenaceae bluish
Wait-A-Minute Bush Mimosa aculeaticarpa Fabaceae whitish
Willow, Seep Baccharis salicifolia Compositae whitish
Wishbone Bush, Desert Mirabilis bigelovii Nyctaginaceae whitish
Wolfberry, Berlandier Lycium berlandieri Solanaceae whitish
Yucca, Banana Yucca baccata Agavaceae whitish
Yucca, Soaptree Yucca elata Agavaceae whitish
Zinnia, Desert Zinnia acerosa Compositae whitish

* Flower Colors vary from individual to individual and with age within an individual. Also, flower colors vary along a continuum and are seen differently by different people. Therefore, if you see a species with a certain flower color, but don't find it among the plants listed with that flower color, look also at the plants with similar flower colors. Here is how I categorized flower color:


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