Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 8, 2011

Joshua Tree National Park Wildflower Update March 8, 2011

Submitted by Julia Lynam, Interpretive Ranger
Cottonwood Ranger Station Joshua Tree National Park

Welcome to the Joshua Tree National Park 2011 wildflower update. This report will be updated weekly during the spring blooming season. It is available from Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Centers and online at

This week, many species in bloom can be found by driving west along the dirt road (passable by car but may be rough in places) just outside the Park’s southern boundary. This road runs on Bureau of Land Management land alongside the Colorado River aqueduct. It is possible to walk into the trail-less southern wilderness area of the Park from this road.

For abundance and location of species click Read More

Abundance: Please note that sightings of any particular species may refer to many blooms, or to just a few blooms.

  • On a scale of one to ten, the number that appears after the location key refers to an estimate of relative abundance of flowers at that location with “I” indicating a few scattered blooms and “10” indicating that the place is carpeted with the species! The location keys and abundance scores are combined in one column.
  • There may be several common names for a species. Please refer to the scientific name if you don’t recognize the common name.

Key to Locations. See park map to find them.

    Elevation   Elevation
  49 49 Palms Oasis 2700’ LHV Lost Horse Valley 4500’
  BD Barker Dam 4280’ NE North Entrance 2810’
  BJ Bajada 2000’ OVC Oasis Visitor Center 1960’
  BR Black Rock 4000’ PB Pinto Basin 1800’
  CC Cholla Cactus Garden 2160’ SB South Boundary 1500’
  CW Cottonwood 3100’ SR Skull Rock 4320’
  HV Hidden Valley 4200’ WE West Entrance 3520’
  IC Indian Cove 2730’ WC Wilson Canyon 3000’
  JR Jumbo Rocks 4380’    

Yellow Flowers

Common Name Scientific Name Location/Abundance
Bladderpod Isomeris arborea Parkwide/4
Brittlebush Encelia farinosa BJ/2, WC/3, PB/3
California coreopsis (mis-identified as Bigelow’s coreopsis last week) Coreopsis californica WC/1
Checker fiddleneck Amsinckia tessellata BJ/1, W/1/WC/3
Chinchweed Pectis papposa var papposa PB/4
Creosote bush Larrea tridentata CW/1, PB/3
Desert dandelion Malacothrix glabrata PB/3, BJ/1
Desert lotus, Desert bird’s-foot trefoil Lotus strigosus PB/3; BJ/2
Desert mistletoe Phoradendron californica CW/4
Desert rockpea Lotus rigidus 49/3, CW/4
Desert trumpet Eriogonum inflatum CW/1, PB/4
Green brittlebush Encelia frutescens PB/1
Mojave ragweed Senecio mohavensis PB/3
Parish’s golden poppy Eschscholzia parishii BJ/8, PB/3
Pygmy cedar Peucephyllum schottii PB/1
Rush milkweed, Ajamete Asclepius subulata PB/1
Sahara mustard* Brassica tournefortii CW/1, PB/3
Scalebud Anisocoma acaulis Lost Horse Valley/1
Sweetbush Bebbia juncea var aspera PB/4
Trixis Trixis californica PB/2
Wallace’s woolly daisy Eriophyllum wallacei CW/1, BJ/1
Yellow ground cherry Physalis crassifolia CW/1, PB/2
Yellow tansy mustard Descurainia pinnata CW/3
Yellowhead, Yellowdome Trichoptilium incisum PB/1, CW/1


Red or Orange Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/Abundance
Arrowleaf (red & yellow) Pleurocoronis pluriseta PB/3
Burroweed, White bursage Ambrosia dumosa PB/4
Chuparosa Justicia californica BJ/4
Desert mallow/ Globe mallow Sphaeralcea ambigua CW/1
Ocotillo Fouquieria splendens BJ/1, PB/1
Prostrate spurge Chamaesyce polycarpa PB/3
Scarlet milkvetch Astragalus coccineus Lost Palms Trail/1






White Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/Abundance
Anderson’s desert thorn Lycium andersonii CW/1
Brown-eyed primrose Camissonia claviformis BJ/6, PB/3, WC/2
Cheesebush Hymenoclea salsola PB/3
Comb burr Pectocarya sp BJ/7, WC/7
Desert alyssum Lepidium fremontii BJ/1, IC/1, WC/1, CC/1
Desert chicory Rafinesquia neomexicana PB/1
Desert forget-me-not Cryptantha sp BJ/4, CW/2
Desert almond Prunus fasiculata Lost Palms Trail/2
Desert pincushion Chaenactis carphoclinia var carphoclinia PB/4, BJ/2
Desert rock daisy Perityle emoryi PB/3
Desert star Monoptilon belloides PB/2, BJ/1
Desert star vine Brandegea bigelovii BJ/2, CC/1,  WC/3, PB/4
Desert tobacco Nicotiana obtusifolia PB/2, CW/1, IC/3
Ditaxis Ditaxis lanceolata PB/2
Narrowleaf suncup Camissonia refracta PB/2
Joshua tree Yucca brevifolia BR/1,Park Boulevard/1
Onyx flower/Frostmat/Sandmat Achyronycia cooperi PB/3
Panamint cat’s eye Cryptantha angustifolia PB/4, BJ/2, W/2
Popcorn flower Plagiobothrys sp IC/5
Spectacle-pod Dithyria californica PB/1
Woody bottle washer Camissonia boothii WC


Pink to Purple Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/s
Arizona lupine Lupinus arizonicus BJ/3, PB/3
Bigelow’s monkey flower Mimulus bigelovii BJ/1, CW/1
Chia Salvia columbariae PB/4, BJ/7
Desert lavender Hyptis emoryi BJ/1, PB/3
Desert/hairy sand verbena Abronia villosa var villosa PB/1
Dune peabush Psorothamnus emoryi PB/2
Fagonia Fagonia laevis PB/3, BJ/1
Filaree Erodium cicutarium BJ/2, CW/2, PB/6
Freckled milk vetch Astragalus lentiginosus var fremontii Keys Ranch/1
Heliotrope Phacelia/Wild heliotrope Phacelia distans WC/1, CW/1
Hairy prairie-clover Dalea mollis PB/2
Notch-leaf scorpion weed Phacelia crenulata var crenulata PB/2, WC/1, BJ/1, CW/1
Purple mat Nama demissum BJ/1
Rock hibiscus, paleface Hibiscus denudatus PB/1
Spanish needles Palafoxia arida var arida PB/3, BJ/1
Turpentine Broom Thamnosma montana NE
Wright’s buckwheat Eriogonum wrightii Lost Palms Oasis/1


Blue Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/Abundance
Canterbury bell, desert bell Phacelia campanularia CW/2
Mojave lupine Lupinus sparsiflorus BJ/1


Green Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/Abundance
Croton Croton californicus PB/2
Plantain Plantago ovata PB/4
Stillingia Stillingia linearifolia CW/1




  • invasive species of concern


Joshua Tree National Park Phone 760 367 5500                                              



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