San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias: Botany Department


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Floristic List for Palo Verde Mountains,
Imperial County

This floristic list is for the area just nw of Palo Verde Peak (33° 20' 18''N, 114° 46' 52"W; elev. approx. 200 m) in the middle of the Palo Verde Mountains of northeastern Imperial County, California. The area was visited on 20 April 2000 during a rather dry year and no annual plants were seen. Even most of the perennial plant species were without foliage or flower and barely identifiable. The area is composed mostly of rocky volcanic substrates on the slopes, but it is dissected by small, sandy arroyos. The rocky slopes are dominated by Ambrosia dumosa, Fouquieria splendens, Fagonia sp., and Krameria grayi, but Chorizanthe rigida, Hibiscus denudatus, and Opuntia basilaris are also common. The rocky crevices on the upper slopes have a lot of Pleurocoronis pleuriseta and Peucephyllum schottii. The arroyos are lined with perennial shrubs and trees such as: Cercidium floridum, Olneya tesota, Acacia greggii, and Hyptis emoryi. There is no doubt that this minimal floristic list can be added to greatly after a better rainy season.

The only plants with flowers were Cercidium floridum ssp. floridum and Acacia greggii.

Family Species Common Name
Asclepiadaceae Asclepias albicans White-Stemmed/Wax Milkweed

Asteraceae Ambrosia dumosa Burro Bush, White Bursage, Huizapol
Asteraceae Atrichoseris platyphylla Tobacco-Weed, Gravel-Ghost
Asteraceae Bebbia juncea Sweetbush
Asteraceae Encelia farinosa Brittlebush, Incienso
Asteraceae Peucephyllum schottii Pygmy-Cedar
Asteraceae Trixis californica Trixis, Plumilla

Cactaceae Ferocactus cylindraceus Barrel Cactus, Biznaga
Cactaceae Opuntia basilaris Beavertail Cactus
Cactaceae Opuntia ramosissima Diamond Cholla

Ephedraceae Ephedra sp. Mormon Tea, Canatillo

Euphorbiaceae Ditaxis lanceolata  
Euphorbiaceae Euphorbia micromera  

Fabaceae Acacia greggii Catclaw Acacia, Wait-a-minute Bush, Uña de Gato
Fabaceae Cercidium floridum ssp. floridum Palo Verde
Fabaceae Olneya tesota Ironwood, Palo Fierro
Fabaceae Psorothmanus spinosus Smoke Tree, Corona de Cristo

Fouquieriaceae Fouquieria splendens Ocotillo

Krameriaceae Krameria erecta Pima Rhatany, Purple Heather
Krameriaceae Krameria grayi White Rhatany

Lamiaceae Hyptis emoryi Desert Lavender, Salvia

Malvaceae Hibiscus denudatus Pale Face
Malvaceae Sphaeralcea sp.  

Polygonaceae Chorizanthe rigida Spiny-Herb
Polygonaceae Eriogonum inflatum  

Solanaceae Lycium spp. Desert Thorn, Box Thorn, Frutilla
Solanaceae Physalis crassifolia  

Zygophyllaceae Fagonia laevis  
Zygophyllaceae Larrea tridentata Creosote Bush, Gobernadora