Rare Desert Plants

Below is a list of plants that have been listed as rare, endangered, threatened, or a species of concern by the USDA/Endangered Species Act, individual state Fish & Game authorities, and/or botanical institutions. Please note that this is only a partial list and only includes California at the moment but will include other states later. (You can sort by common or species names by choosing the title at the top.)

111 plants found
Scientific Namesort descending Common Name CA Native Plant Society Rare & Endangered Status
Abronia nana var. covillei Coville's Dwarf Sand Verbena 4.2--Watch list
Abronia villosa var. aurita Desert Sand Verbena 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Acanthoscyphus parishii var. goodmaniana Cushenbury Oxytheca 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Actomecon merriamii White Bear Poppy 2B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Agave utahensis var. nevadensis Nevada Agave 4.2--Watch list
Ageratina herbacea Fragrant Snakeroot 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Aliciella ripleyi Ripley's Aliciella 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Allium nevadense Nevada Onion 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Allium parishii Parish's Onion 4.3--Watch list
Aloysia wrightii Wright Lippia 4.3--Watch list
Amaranthus watsonii Watson's Amaranth 4.3--Watch list
Asclepias asperula ssp. asperula Spider Milkweed 4.3--Watch list
Asclepias nyctaginifolia Mojave Milkweed 2B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Astragalus albens Cushenbury Milkvetch 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Astragalus bernardinus San Bernardino Milkvetch 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere San Bernardino Milkvetch wildflower in the desert
Astragalus crotalariae Salton Milkvetch 4.3--Watch list Salton Milkvetch wildflower in the desert
Astragalus lentiginosus var. borreganus Borrego Milkvetch 4.3--Watch list Borrego Milkvetch wildflower in the desert
Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae Coachella Valley Milkvetch 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Astragalus lentiginosus var. piscinensis Fish Slough Milkvetch 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Astragalus magdalenae var. peirsonii Peirson's Milkvetch 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Astragalus tricarinatus Triple Ribbed Milkvetch 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Bursera microphylla Elephant Tree 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere Elephant Tree in the desert
Calochortus striatus Alkali Mariposa Lily 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Camissonia kernensis ssp. kernensis Kern County Evening Primrose 4.3--Watch list
Canbya candida Pygmy Poppy 4.2--Watch list
Castilleja cinerea Ash Gray Indian Paintbrush 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Chorizanthe spinosa Mojave Spineflower 4.2--Watch list
Chrysothamnus greenei Green's Rabbitbrush 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Chylismia arenaria Sand Evening Primrose 2B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Cordylanthus eremicus ssp. eremicus Desert Bird's Beak 4.3--Watch list
Coryphantha alversonii Foxtail Cactus 4.3--Watch list Foxtail Cactus plant in the desert
Cryptantha clokeyi Clokey's Cryptantha 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Cryptantha costata Ribbed Cryptantha 4.3--Watch list Ribbed Cryptantha wildflower in the desert
Cryptantha holoptera Winged Cryptantha 4.3--Watch list
Cryptantha tumulosa New York Mountains Cryptantha 4.3--Watch list
Cuniculotinus gramineus Panamint Rock Goldenrod 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Cylindropuntia fosbergii Pink Teddybear Cholla 1B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Cylindropuntia munzii Munz Cholla 1B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Cyllindropuntia wolfii Wolf's Opuntia 4.3--Watch list
Cymopterus deserticola Desert Cymopterus 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Cymopterus multinervatus Arizona Cymopterus 2B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Dedeckera eurekensis July Gold 1B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Deinandra arida Red Rock Tarplant 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Enceliopsis covillei Panamint Daisy 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Enceliopsis nudicaulis var. corrugata Nakedstem Sunray 3.3--CA ESA eligible/review list
Eremothera boothii ssp. boothii Booth's Evening Primrose 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Eriastrum harwoodii Harwood's Eriastrum 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Eriastrum rosamondense Rosamond Eriastrum 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Eriastrum sparsiflorum Great Basin Woollystar 4.3--Watch list
Ericameria albida White Flowered Rabbitbrush 4.2--Watch list
Erigeron parishii Parish's Fleabane 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Eriogonum contiguum Reveals Buckwheat 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere Reveal's Buckwheat in the desert
Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum Cushenbury Buckwheat 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere Cushenbury Buckwheat wildflower in the desert
Eriophyllum mohavense Barstow Woolly Sunflower 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Eschscholzia androuxii Joshua Tree Poppy 4.3--Watch list
Euphorbia abramsii Abram's Spurge 2B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Funastrum utahense Utah Vine Milkweed 4.2--Watch list
Galium angustifolium ssp. gracillimum Narrow Leaved Bedstraw 4.2--Watch list
Gilmania luteola Golden Carpet 1B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Holmgrenanthe petrophila Rock Lady 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Linanthus bellus Desert Beauty 2B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Linanthus bernardinus Pioneertown Linanthus 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Linanthus maculatus Little San Bernardino Mtns Linanthus 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere Little San Bernardino Mtns Linanthus wildflower in the desert
Linanthus orcutii Orcutt's Linanthus 1B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Menodora scabra Rough Desert Olive 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Menodora spinescens var mohavensis Mojave Menodora 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Mentzelia eremophila Pinyon Blazing Star 4.2--Watch list
Mentzelia hirsutissima Hairy Blazingstar 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Mentzelia polita Elegant Blazing Star 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Mentzelia pterosperma Wing Seed Blazing Star 2B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Mentzelia puberula Argus Blazing Star 2B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Mentzelia torreyi Torrey's Blazingstar 2B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Mentzelia tricuspis Spinyhair Blazingstar 2B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Mentzelia tridentata Threetooth Blazingstar 1B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Mimulus mohavensis Mojave Monkeyflower 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Mimulus rupicola Death Valley Monkeyflower 4.3--Watch list
Mirabilis coccinea Scarlet Four o'Clock 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Monardella robisonii Rock Pennyroyal 1B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Nitrophila mohavensis Amargosa Nitrophila 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Oenothera californica ssp. eurekensis Eureka Dunes Evening Primrose 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Oenothera longissima Longstem Evening Primrose 2B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Pediomelum castoreum Beaver Dam Breadroot 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Penstemon albomarginatus White-Margined Beardtongue 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Penstemon calcareus Limestone Beardtongue 1B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Penstemon thompsoniae Thompson's Beardtongue 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Petalonyx thurberi ssp. gilmanii Death Valley Sandpaper Plant 1B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Phacelia anelsonii Aven Nelson's Phacelia 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Phacelia barnebyana Barneby's Phacelia 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Phacelia coerulea Sky Blue Phacelia 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Phacelia mohavensis Mojave Phacelia 4.3--Watch list
Phacelia nashiana Charlotte's Phacelia 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Phacelia parishii Parish's Phacelia 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Phacelia peirsoniana Peirson's Phacelia 4.3--Watch list
Phacelia perityloides var jaegeri Jaeger's Panamint Phacelia 1B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Physaria kingii ssp. bernardina San Bernardino Mountains Bladderpod 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Plagiobothrys parishii Parish's Popcorn Flower 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere Parish's Popcorn Flower wildflower in the desert
Plagiobothrys salsus Desert Popcorn Flower 2B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Portulaca halimoides Desert Portulaca 4.2--Watch list
Prunus eremophila Mojave Desert Plum 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Saltugilia latimeri Latimer's Woodland Gilia 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Salvia funerea Death Valley Sage 4.3--Watch list Death Valley Sage shrub in the desert
Sclerocactus johnsonii Johnson's Fishhook Cactus 2B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Sclerocactus polyancistrus Mojave Fish Hook Cactus 4.2--Watch list
Sidalcea pedata Birdfoot Checkerbloom 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Swallenia alexandrae Eureka Dunegrass 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Tetracoccus hallii Hall's Purple Bush 4.3--Watch list Hall's Purple Bush shrub in the desert
Thelypodium stenopetalum Slender Petaled Thelypodium 1B.1--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Tripterocalyx micranthus Little Sand Verbena 2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Xanthisma gracile Annual Bristleweed 4.3--Watch list
Xylorhiza cognata Mecca Aster 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere
Xylorhiza orcuttii Orcutt's Woody Aster 1B.2--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA & elsewhere Orcutt's Woody Aster in the desert