Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 3, 2011

Joshua Tree Wildflower Bloom Update 5/3/11

Submitted by Julia Lynam, Interpretive Ranger
Cottonwood Ranger Station
Dave Carney
Park Ranger, Supervisor of Interpretive Operations
Joshua Tree National Park 

Attached below is the wildflower report for Joshua Tree National Park. Although last year and this have proven that Joshua Tree National Park can bloom well into May and sometimes June, our seasonal human resources peak in March and April. For this reason, we will not have the resources to continue the report through May, but know that the wildflowers will be here. You are all welcome to call us at 760-367-5500 and suggest to visitors to do the same for an overview of the wildflower progression.

Joshua Tree National Park Wildflower Update 2011 # 13, as of May 3, 2011

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

Cacti, including Mojave mound, hedgehog cactus and teddy-bear cholla are blooming throughout the park, and many other flowers are still in bloom. Park safely anywhere you see interesting flowers and take a short walk – the more the look the more you see.

Some suggested trails and areas:

  • Stop at the Cholla Cactus Garden on Pinto Basin Road for dramatic scenery and blooming cholla and desert senna;
  • The spectacular red blooms at the Ocotillo Patch are attracting humming birds and other feathered friends;
  • Mastodon Peak Trail at Cottonwood has blooming hedgehog cactus and silver cholla;
  • Cap Rock Nature Trail has a variety of blooms;
  • Quail Spring and other pull-outs in the west of the park are rich with flowers;
  • Keys View area has potential blooms – watch this one!

To see Wildflowers Location and Abundance click READ MORE

Abundance: 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 “1” indicating a few scattered blooms and “10” indicating that the place is carpeted with the species!

There may be several common names for a species – or none!  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’ QV Queen Valley 4300’
CF Covington Flats 3500’ SB South Boundary 1500’
CW Cottonwood 3100’ SR Skull Rock 4320’
HV Hidden Valley 4200’ STR Stirrup Tank Road 3500’
IC Indian Cove 2730’ W West entrance area 3520’
JR Jumbo Rocks 4380’ WC Wilson Canyon 3000’
LSB Little San Bernardino Mtns various    
  Yellow Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/Abundance
Acton’s brittlebush Encelia actonii STR/4, W
Adonis blazing star Mentzelia multiflora var longiloba QV
Barrel cactus Ferocactus cylindraceus CW/4, QV, 49/2, QV, STR/1, CF
Bird’s nest buckwheat Eriogonum nidularium QV
Blackbrush Coleogyne ramosissmia QV, CW/1
Bladderpod Isomeris arborea CW/2, PB/2, 49/2, QV
Blazing star Mentzelia nitens CW/1, 49/1, STR/3
Blue palo verde Cercidium floridum BJ/5
Brittlebush Encelia farinosa BJ/3, WC/3, PB/3, CW/5, 49/3, QV
Buckwheat species Eriogonum spp LSB/2, SB/4, BJ/6,
California coreopsis Coreopsis californica WC/5, W/4, QV, STR/9
California evening primrose Camissonia californica QV, STR/1, CF
California juniper Juniperus californica QV, CW/1
Checker fiddleneck Amsinckia tessellata BJ/1, W/4, WC/3, CW/1, NE/4 QV/4, HV/2, BD/4,SB/2, STR/7
Cooper’s goldenbush Ericameria cooperii W, QV
Cooper’s jewelflower Caulanthus cooperi QV, STR/1
Cottonthorn Tetradymia comosa QV
Coyote melon Cucurbita palmata PB/1
Creosote bush Larrea tridentata CC/5, CW/4, PB/7, WC/2, QV, BJ/5, STR/3
Desert bedstraw Galium stellatum var eremicum SB/1,QV, CW/1
Desert dandelion Malacothrix glabrata PB/5, BJ/1, W/2, WC/5, QV, STR/1, N/6, CF, CW/1  
Desert lotus, Desert bird’s-foot trefoil Lotus strigosus PB/3, BJ/3, CW/2, W/1, STR/3, QV
Desert marigold Baileya spp W
Desert miseltoe Phoradendron californicum STR/2
Desert rockpea Lotus rigidus 49/3, CW/1, IC, SR/2, HV/4, BD/4, W/5, QV, STR/3
Desert senna Senna armata CC/4, SB/2, PB/5, QV, CW/2
Desert sunflower Gerea canescens PB/2
Desert trumpet Eriogonum inflatum var inflatum CW/3, PB/4, WC/1, QV
Dwarf cottonrose Filago depressa PB/1,
Dyssodia, San Felipe dogwood Adenophyllum porophylloides QV, CW/2
False woolly daisy Syntricopappus fremontii QV
Golden gilia, golden desert-trumpets Linanthus aureus CW/2, STR/1, CF, W
Golden suncup Camissonia brevipes CW/2, SB/2,QV, STR/2
Golden yarrow, long-stemmed woolly daisy Eriophyllum confertiflorum CF
Granny’s hairnet Pterostegia drymariodes LSB/1, STR/1
Green brittlebush Encelia frutescens PB/1
Interior goldenbush Ericameria linearifolia W, QV, CF
Jones’s blazing star Mentzelia jonesii LSB/1, W/2
Live-forever Dudleya saxosa QV/2, N/1, CW/2,STR/1,   STR/2
London rocket Sisymbrium irio LSB/4, SB/1, CW/1
Mohave prickly pear Opuntia phaeacantha QV
Mojave ragweed Senecio mohavensis PB/3,
Mormon tea Ephedra spp QV, CW/2, STR/3
Narrow-leaved ragweed Senecio flaccidus CW/3, PB/2
Pale evening primrose Camissonia pallida SB/2, CW1,QV, STR/3, CF
Palmer bead-pod, bladderpod Lesquerella tenella CW/2
Pancake-pear cactus, Dollar-joint cactus Opuntia chlorotica QV
Parish’s golden poppy Eschscholzia parishii PB/3, W/5, WC/2, 49/1,QV, STR/3, CF
Parish’s viguiera/goldeneye Viguiera parishii CW/7, LSB/4, W/1, 49/1, QV, STR/3
Prince’s plume Stanleya pinnata CW/5
Pringle’s woolly daisy Eriophyllum pringlei CF, W
Pygmy poppy Eschscholzia minutiflora W/1, STR/1, CF, PB/1
Ranch weed Amsinckia menziesii QV
Rush milkweed, Ajamete Asclepius subulata PB/1
Sahara mustard* Brassica tournefortii CW/1, PB/3, STR/1
Sand blazing star Mentzelia involucrata CW/2, QV,STR/1, PB/1  
Scalebud Anisocoma acaulis LHV/1, SR/2, QV/3, STR/2, CF
Silver puffs Uropappus lindeyi QV, STR/2
Skunkbush sumac Rhus trilobata QV
Spear leaved bricklebush Brickelia arguta CW/1, PB/2
Stebben’s desert dandelion Malacothrix stebbensii STR/1
Sweetbush Bebbia juncea var aspera PB/4, LSB/1, SB/1, QV, CW/3
Trixis Trixis californica var californica PB/2, CW/3, LSB/4, SB/2, STR/1, PB/1
Tumble mustard Sisymbrium altissimum QV
Twining snapdragon Antirrhinum filipes CW/1, LSB/1, W/1,QV, STR/2, PB/1
Vine milkweed Cynanchium utahense PB/2
Wallace’s woolly daisy Eriophyllum wallacei CW/1, BJ/1, W/4, N/3, PB/3, SR/2, WC/4, BR/2, QV, STR/5, SB/1, CF
Whispering bells Emmenanthe penduliflora BJ/2, CW/2, W/3, STR/2
Yellow or thick-leaved ground cherry Physalis crassifolia CW/2, PB/2, BJ/1, LSB/1,SB/1,QV, STR/1
White-stem blazing star Mentzelia albicaulis QV, STR/2
White-stem milkweed Asclepius albicans BJ/1
Yellowhead, Yellowdome Trichoptilium incisum PB/7s, CW/1, WC/2,
Yellow tansy mustard Descurainia pinnata CW/3, W/2, QV, STR/2   STR/2
Yellow turbans Eriogonum pusillum QV, STR/2, PB

Red or Orange Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/Abundance
Arrowleaf (red & yellow) Pleurocoronis pluriseta PB/3, CW/1, QV
Burroweed, White bursage Ambrosia dumosa PB/6, SB/5, LSB/5, CW/5, 49/1, STR/8
Chuparosa Justicia californica BJ/2, CW/2, QV
Desert mallow/ Globe mallow Sphaeralcea ambigua CW/4, WC/4, W/2, 49/3, QV/2, STR/4
Desert paintbrush Castilleja angustifolia W/2,QV/2, STR/1
Hall’s purple bush Tertracoccus hallii SB/4, CW/4
Mojave mound cactus Echinocereus triglochidiatus HV/4, QV/2, Cap Rock/2, BD/2, CF
Ocotillo Fouquieria splendens BJ/2, PB/7, CW/3, LSB/2, SB/2
Pygmy weed Crassula connata STR/2

White Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/Abundance
Anderson’s desert thorn Lycium andersonii W/1,QV
Antelope brush Purshia tridentata CF
Astragalus acutirostris Astragalus acutirostris PB/1
Brown-eyed primrose Camissonia claviformis BJ/1, PB/4, WC/4, W/2, 49/1,QV, CW/1
California chicory Rafinesquia californica QV/3
California mustard Guillenia lasiophylla STR/2
Cheesebush Hymenoclea salsola PB/3, BJ/4, CW/5, SB/6, LSB/6, WC/4, QV, STR/8
Climbing milkweed, trailing townula Sarcostemma hitellum LSB/3, SB/3, CC/4, QV, STR/1
Comb burr Pectocarya spp  WC/2, BR/6, W/5, QV, STR/4, CF
Creamcups Platystemon californicus CF
Desert almond Prunus fasiculatum QV, CF
Desert alyssum Lepidium fremontii BJ/1, IC/1, WC/1, CC/1, CW/4, PB/2, W/2, QV, STR/2
Desert chicory Rafinesquia neomexicana PB/1, BJ/1, WC/1, CW/1, SB/3, 49/1, QV, STR/1
Desert forget-me-not Cryptantha spp W/4
Desert/pebble  pincushion Chaenactis carphoclinia var carphoclinia PB/7, BJ/2, WC/1, CW/1, W/3, 49/1, QV/2
Desert rock daisy Perityle emoryi BJ/1, WC/4, QV
Desert snow Linanthus jonesii SB/1
Desert star Monoptilon belloides PB/2, BJ/1, CW/1, QV, STR/4
Desert star vine, desert jewel star Brandegea bigelovii BJ/3, CC/2,  WC/4, PB/4, CW/1, LSB/3, SB/3, QV, STR/4
Desert sunflower Gerea canescans PB/2
Desert tobacco Nicotiana obtusifolia PB/2, CW/2, IC/3, BJ/1, WC/1, QV, STR/2
Ditaxis Ditaxis lanceolata PB/2, CW/1, SB/3
Dune evening primrose Oenothera deltoides Geology Tour Rd/2, PB/1
Evening snow Linanthus dichotomus SB/1, STR/1
Fiesta flower Pholistoma membranaceum CW/2, PB/1, SB/2, LSB/2, W/1, QV
Freckled milk vetch Astragalus lentiginosus var variabilis PB/1
Fremont’s pincushion Chaenactis fremontii LSB/3, SB/2, QV, STR/4, CF
Fringe pod Thysanocarpus curvipes QV, STR/2
Ghost flower Mohavea confertifolia LSB/3
Joshua tree Yucca brevifolia BR/1, Park Boulevard/1, BD/1, CF
Lace pod Thysanocarpus laciniatus PB/1, W/1
Long beaked twist flower Streptanthella longirostris W/1, CF
Milk vetch Astragalus nutallianus STR/1
Mojave yucca Yucca schidigera QV, PB/1
Narrowleaf suncup Camissonia refracta PB/2, BJ/1, WC/1
Onyx flower/Frostmat/Sandmat Achyronycia cooperi PB/3, WC/1
Panamint cat’s eye Cryptantha angustifolia PB/4, BJ/2, W/2, CF, CW/1
Parry’s nolina, beargrass Nolina parryii HV/2, LHV/2, QV/5, W/3, BD/2, Key’s View, CF, W
Parry’s/yellow  tackstem Calycoseris parryi QV, CF
Pearl-o-rock Phacelia perityloides QV
Popcorn flower Plagiobothrys spp IC/5, BD/5, QV/5, W/4
Pungent brickell bush Brickellia arguta QV
Rattlesnake weed, sandmat Chamaesyce albomarginata QV/2, STR/2, SB/2, CW/6
Sacred datura, jimson weed Datura wrightii QV, PB/3, BJ/2, WC/3
Sand cress, Pussy-paws, Calyptridium monardum BJ/1, BR/1, PB/1
Silky dalea Dalea molis CW/2,
Smallseed sandmat Chamaesyce polycarpa PB/3, STR/2
Sonoran sandmat Chamaesyce micromera LSB/1
Spectacle-pod Dithyria californica PB/1, WC/1
Steve’s/desert pincushion Chaenactis stevioides QV, STR/7, CF
Thurber’s spineflower Centostegia thurberi STR/2
Tidy Tips Layia glandulosa W/3, WC/1, QV/2, STR/1, CF
Wire lettuce Stephanomeria exigua PB/3, BJ/1
Wishbone bush Mirabilis laevis var californica QV, W/1, 49/1, STR/3, CW/2
Woody bottle washer Camissonia boothii WC, BJ/1, SB/1
Yuma sandmat Chamaesyce setiloba SB/3, LSB/3

Pink to Purple Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/s
Arizona lupine Lupinus arizonicus N/3, W/2, WC/1, 49/3, QV/1
Bajada lupine Lupinus sparsiflorus QV, STR/1, WC/2, W/3
Beavertail Cactus Opuntia basilaris var basilaris CC/1, WC/2, QV, CW/1, CF
Bigelow’s monkey flower Mimulus bigelovii BJ/1, CW/2, LSB/1, SB/1, 49/1,QV/2, PB/2, CF
Blue dicks, wild hyacinth Dichelostemma capitatum CF, BR
Brome grass Bromus madritensis ssp rubens SB/5, STR/9, CW/3
Calico or hedgehog cactus Echinocereus englemanii CC/1, BJ/1, SB/1, CW/3, W/1, STR/1, CF, QV/2
California three-awn (grass)  Aristida californica PB
Chia Salvia columbariae PB/3, N/3, SR/2, LSB/2, W/1, WC/4, 49/1,QV/1, STR/6
Desert buckwheat Eriogonum fasciculatum QV, CW/5, CF
Desert calico Loeseliastrum matthewsii BJ/1, SB/2, PB/4
Desert five spot Eremalche rotundifolia PB/3
Desert heron’s bill Erodium texanum BD/1, CF, PB
Desert lavender Hyptis  emoryi BJ/3, PB/3, LSB/8,SB/6, WC/1, CC/2, 49/1,QV, STR/3
Desert/hairy sand verbena Abronia villosa var villosa PB/2, W/5
Desert parsley Lomatium mohavense QV/1, HV/2, W/3, STR/2
Desert thistle Cirsium neomexicanicum QV
Dune peabush Psorothamnus emoryi PB/2
Filaree, red-stemmed storksbill Erodium cicutarium BJ/2, CW/4, PB/2, W/5, BD/5, QV
Foxtail cactus Coryphantha vivipara alversonii PB/1
Freckled milk vetch Astragalus lentiginosus W/2, Key’s Ranch/1
Fringed onion Allium fimbriatum W
Heliotrope Phacelia/Wild heliotrope/ Laceleaf phacelia Phacelia distans WC/5, CW/4, BJ/3, W/4, QV, STR/5, CF, PB/4
Hairy prairie-clover Dalea mollis PB/2
Hidden-flower scorpion weed Phacelia cryptantha QV
Indigo bush Psorothamnus schottii QV, WC/1, BJ/2
Littleseed muhly (grass) Muhlenbergia microsperma LSB/1, STR/2
Mojave aster Xylorhiza tortifolia BJ/1, CW/4, SB/2, 49/2, QV, STR/2
Mojave sage Salvia dorrii CF
Mojave thistle Cirsium mohavense QV
Notch-leaf scorpion weed or phacelia Phacelia crenulata PB/2, WC/3, W/1, CW/1
Odora Porophyllum gracile CW/2, STR/1
Paper bag bush Salazaria mexicana N/1, CW/4,QV
Parry dalea Marina parryi WC/1, PB2
Peppergrass Lepidium lasiocarpum var lasiocarpum STR/1
Perennial rock cress Arabis perennans BD/1, W/2
Purple mat Nama demissum SR/2, SB/2, W/1, QV, STR/2, PB/3, CF
Purple pop-ups Pholisma arenarium STR/1
Purple three-awn (grass) Aristida purpurea STR/2
Rattlepod Astragalus lentigulosus QV/2
Rock cress Arabis pulchra QV, STR/2
Rock gilia Gilia scopulorum CW/1, BJ/2, WC/2
Rock hibiscus, paleface Hibiscus denudatus PB/1, WC/1,
Rosy gilia Gilia sinuata STR/1
Schott’s desert calico Loeseliastrum schottii PB/1
Smallseed fagonia Fagonia laevis PB/3, BJ/1, CW/2, SB/3,LSB/4
Spanish needles Palafoxia arida var arida PB/1, CC/2
Spotted hideseed, common eucrypta Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia var bipinnatifida LSB/1, QV, STR/1
Star gilia Gilia stellata CW/2, W/4, STR/2
Sticky fagonia Fagonia pachyacantha SB/5
Turpentine Broom Thamnosoma montana NE,QV
White rhatany Krameria erecta CW/3, PB/2
Windmills Allionia incarnata LSB/1,QV, CW/1
Wooly crinklemat Tiquilia canescans STR/1, CW/2
Yellow throats Phacelia fremonti W/1, CF
 Blue Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/Abundance
Amsonia Amsonia tomentosa STR/7, CW/2, SB/2, QV/4
Canterbury bell, desert bell Phacelia campanularia CW/2, N/1, WC/1, W/2, 49/1, QV, CF
Coulter’s lupine Lupinus sparsiflorus CW/1, W/3, WC/2, QV, STR/1
Desert larkspur Delphinim parishii 49, CW/1

Green and Brown Flowers
Common Name Scientific Name Location/Abundance
Beetle spurge Euphorbia eriantha SB/1, CW/1
Big Galleta grass Pleuraphis rigida SB/1,QV, STR/4, PB/3
Brittle spineflower Chorizanthe brevicornu var brevicornu LSB/3, SB/5, CW/2, PB/6
Brome fescue (grass) Vulpia bromoides SB/2, STR/2
California croton Croton californicus PB/2
Cheat grass Bromus tectorum QV
Common cudweed Filago californica STR/2
Devil’s spineflower, spiny herb Chorizanthe rigida SB/1, PB/8
Hopsage Grayia spinosa QV, W/2
Indian rice grass Achnatherum hymenoides QV
Jojoba Simmondsia chinensis LSB/1, SB/4, CW/2, QV
Mediterranean grass Schismus barbatus STR/7
Oniongrass Melica frutescens STR/1
Pinon pine Pinus monophylla QV
Plantain Plantago ovata PB/4, SB/5, WC/4, STR/3
Queen’s root Stillingia linearifolia CW/2, LSB/1, QV, STR/1
Silver cholla Opuntia echinocarpa QV, CW/2
Six-weeks three awn (grass) Aristida adcensionis SB/3
Squirrel tail grass Elymus elumoides STR/1
Teddy-bear or jumping cholla Cylindropuntia bigelovii CC/3
Tucker’s oak Quercus john-tuckeri QV

  • invasive species of concern

Joshua Tree National Park Phone 760 367 5500                                              

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