Elephant Tree

Common Names:
Elephant Tree, Littleleaf Elephant Tree
Scientific name:
Bursera microphylla
Elevation range:
230 - 2725 ft
Flowering Months:
June, July
Height | Length:
5-33 ft.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Rare, Food for insects & larvae, Food for birds
Ancestral Usage:
State Occurrences:
Parks & Preserves:
California Rare Plant Rank:
2B.3--Rare, Threatened, Endangered in CA/common elsewhere
Arizona Native Plant Law:
Salvage Restricted
Desert region:

The Cahuilla tribe used this plant as a cure-all for many ailments and to promote longevity. Some birds feed heavily on the Elephant Tree, such as Ash Throated Flycatchers and Vireos, while others browse only lightly, but are the primary means of seed dispersal. This is a protected species in California and Arizona, occuring mostly in Mexico.