Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle


Here is a partial list of interesting websites for Sonoran Desert flora resources. I have referenced from one or more of the sites on several occasions.


Arizona Hiking Gallery
Terry Wright has an amazing site for anyone interested in hiking in Arizona. Here you will find almost 100 dated trail hikes with beautiful photographs dating back to 2002! This site is a must for hikers and botanists alike.

Arizona Wild Flowers - George and Eve DeLange - site offline 11/30/2019
Here is a beautiful website featuring Arizona wild flowers with photos and plant descriptions. Flowers are listed by scientific names, many with images and descriptions. This site is one of many by George and Eve DeLange.

Arizonensis – Southwest Desert Naturalist - Nature Study in the Sonoran Desert
This website is one of the best out there if you're interested in learning about the intricacies of the Sonoran Desert and interactions between plants and their associated attending animals and certainly insects. This website is a wonderful focus of the study and appreciation of Arizona Natural History. Topics include: Plants, Animals, Fungi, Geology, and Insects and more! One of my favorite long time standing websites!.

Brad Fiero; Pima Community College
This site has been one of my favorites for several years now. This is one of the earliest website of its kind. This site contains most if not all of the basic species (169) in the Sonoran Desert. The site spotlights the most commonly seen plants in the desert around Tucson, and provides background information necessary to understand the species spotlights. This site has tabs for Trees, Shrubs, Cactuses, Wildflowers and Other plants.

Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association, Sonoran Desert Plants
This website, following the latest in taxonomic research concerning plants of the area published by Richard Felger and others (Felger, R.S., S. Rutman, J. Malusa, T.R. Van Devender. 2013. Ajo Peak to Tinajas Altas: Flora of Southwestern Arizona: Part 2. The Checklist. Phytoneuron 2013-27, 1-30), contains 760 entries. The entries include brief descriptions and some photos by Hank Jorgensen, Sue Rutman and others. Most of these are Sonoran Desert species, except for a few occurring at higher elevations. Entries are grouped by scientific name, common name and family.

Common Plants of the Verde Valley & Sedona
This is a great site that will assist locals in the Verde Valley and all readers that are interested in the visual identification of the most common native and "feral" or escapee plants of the Verde Valley of central Arizona. This site includes links to Flowers, Trees, Shrubs, Cacti and Succulents and Other Plants.

Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and Plants
One of my favorite websites that focuses on southern Arizona wildflowers (and more!). The site is an identification guide to Sonoran Desert plants and Tucson wildflowers. This excellent site contains wonderful flower photographs as well as a brief description of each. The site is the work of T. Beth Kinsey of The Firefly Forest website Ms. Kinsey has several other sites that are each worth visiting here.

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants - Yavapai County Cooperative Extension
Arizona Cooperative Extension - Yavapai County. Here is an excellent website with original plant content and photographs prepared by Jeff Schalau. The goal of the project was to provide educational information to aid Master Gardeners in plant identification and to aid the community in selecting the appropriate native and water-wise plants for their habitats. It also provides great information for the casual viewer. Here is a handy scientific names index.


California Native Plant Society: Rare and Endangered Plant Inventory - CNPS

California Desert Wildflowers
This web page lists several hundred taxa with a photograph of each. The lists are complete with scientific and common name of each species. Locations of the flora include: Santa Monica Mountains; Sierra Nevada; California Desert, Southern California and Central California. This excellent site was created by Jay Sullivan.

California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology
An excellent site for understanding Latin and Greek meanings and derivations of botanical words and terms. As the title suggests this site is literally a dictionary of botanical and biographical etymology. I use it often preparing plant narratives. This site is owned and maintained by Michael L. Charters.

CalPhotos is a collection of 521,149 photos of plants, animals, fossils, people, and landscapes from around the world. A variety of organizations and individuals have contributed photographs to CalPhotos.

Here you can browse plant and animal (and more) photos by scientific name. This excellent site is a project of Berkeley Natural History Museums Intranet Page (BSCIT) University of California, Berkeley

Ethno-Herbalist: Southern California Ethnobotany
The Ethno-Herbalist website reviews the cultural history and health benefits of some of the most effective plant supplements. Dr. Kevin Curran is the founder of Ethno-Herbalist. Dr. Curran holds a PhD in molecular biology and currently serves as professor at the University of San Diego teaching courses on Cell Biology and Ethnobotany. This is a wonderful site for the Ethnobotany of many Southern California plants.

Fall-Blooming Plants of the East Mojave
This is another of my favorite websites which is primarily a pictorial site by Michael L. Charters with large beautiful photographs. Flowers here include both spring and fall blooming flowers photographed in the fall.

Henry W. Coe - Wildflower Guide; the Pine Ridge Association at Henry W. Coe State Park - offline 11/30/2019
This wildflower album has photographs of many of the wildflowers that grow in Coe Park. Many of the photographs were taken to portray the beauty of the flowers, not necessarily to record diagnostic features.

The Jepson Desert Manual: Vascular Plants of Southeastern California; Univ. of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California.

Plant Species of the Borrego Desert: Pictorial Gallery of Species in Bloom
This is an excellent site, on the technical side, with beautiful photographs of the flora of the Borrego Desert sorted by flower color. The site is owned and operated by Tom Chester, Botanist, Southern California.

Trees of Southern California; Photographs
An excellent website featuring the trees of Southern California. A diverse group that occupy several different ecological regions. this is an on-going website by Michael L. Charters and photos are still being added. Another excellent website!

Wildflowers and Other Plants of Southern California
This beautiful site contains photographs of almost 2,500 taxa of native and introduced Southern California plants. New species are added more or less continuously. This is another wonderful site by Michael L. Charters. Here is his guide to the pronunciation of specific, generic and family names.


New Mexico Rare Plants Website
The New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council (NMRPTC) is composed entirely of volunteer botanists who donate their time and expertise on rare plants. The primary goal is to develop an Internet version of a rare plant inventory with information on the basic biology and conservation status of New Mexico's approximately 193 rare plants. Photographs, line drawings, and distribution maps accompany the written reports. The site is prepared by the NMRPTC. This is an excellent site with photographs and detailed original plant content.

This website is created by Patrick Alexander. The website features Patrick's photographs of plants, landscapes, herps (reptiles & amphibians) in Indiana & New Mexico. I hope that it will be useful in things like plant identification, seeing what places look like, and simply enjoying some nice pictures.

Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness – Western New Mexico
This excellent website is presented in association with the Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences & the Dale A. Zimmerman Herbarium. This site features original plant content by Dr. Russ Kleinman, Russ is an Associate Botanist, Dale A. Zimmerman Herbarium. One of my favorite websites!

Welcome to New Mexico
This site provides information and images related to ferns and flowering plants from areas in New Mexico and the history of their discovery. Great website!

Wildflowers of the Southern Rocky Mountains – Colorado and New Mexico
A guide to the flora of Colorado and New Mexico. This wonderful site features wildflowers, grasses, ferns and trees that can be found growing on peaks and in valleys, on mesas and in canyons from the Bandelier Wilderness in New Mexico to the Wet Mountains and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness in Colorado. The website contains more than 2,100 images; most of the photographs were taken by Marilyn Phillips, the creator and manager of this site.


BIO 406D - NATIVE PLANTS - An Introduction to the Flora of Central Texas
This excellent website is part of a botany course called An Introduction to the Flora of Central Texas. The site involves plant identification, plant distribution, and consideration of edible and useful wild plants.

Chihuahuan Desert Plants; El Paso, Texas
The Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens are part of the University of Texas at El Paso. A great site with lots of great photographs of Chihuahuan flora species accompanied with a brief narrative of each species. The plant list combines plants found in the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens with species not represented in the Gardens. Some of the plants are not strictly Chihuahuan Desert, but occur in the desert fringes.

Image Archive of Central Texas Plants
This site is administered as a part of the course website for BIO 406D (Native Plants of Central Texas), a course given every semester at the University of Texas at Austin.

Native Plants of South Texas
Native Plants of South Texas focuses on native plants from the northern portion of the South Texas Plains and the southern portion of the Hill Country. This herbarium was developed by a team comprised of faculty, a research technician, and undergraduate interns. Major heading are: Grasses and Grass-like Plants, Forbs, and Trees, Shrubs and Vines. Texas A&M Research and Extension Center and Texas A&M University Agricultural Program.

Texas A&M, On-line Herbarium
This website focuses on native plants from the northern portion of the South Texas Plains and the southern portion of the Hill Country. Collections were made from the area bounded by San Antonio on the east, Sonora on the west, Cotulla on the south and Junction on the north. Categories include a list of common and scientific names, or a color chart to find a flower. This herbarium was developed by a team comprised of faculty, a research technician, and undergraduate interns.

Texas Native Shrubs
The Texas Natives Web site was created by Gail Kahle, Susan Teegardin, Wayne Mackay and Dan Lineberger, Texas A&M Agriculture Program, and Leslie Finical, Dallas Arboretum. Partial funding for this effort was provided by a grant from the Native Plant Society of Texas, the Dallas Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and individual contributions from members of the Native Plant Society. Additional contributions provided by the Dallas Arboretum. This excellent website is an honorarium to Benny J. Simpson, co-founder and former president of the Texas Native Plant Society and life-long Horticulturist.

Texas Wildbuds - A Collection of Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildbuds is owned by Tom Lebsack and is a collection of Texas wildflower photos taken mostly from Central Texas and Big Bend. The website is organized to show the species by color, name and places where they were taken. There are 359 identified species and varieties on the site as of June 21, 2016. This site objective is to display quality images of correctly identified wildflowers for others to reference, use and enjoy. A lot of care has been taken in plant identification but there are likely some mistakes. Here is another excellent website by Tom: Welcome to Colorado Wildbuds!

Wildflowers in Bloom (Texas)
This website photo album photo contains images of many of the showiest wildflowers presumably all from Texas. The site contains pictures of the plants, some in their seedling stage, a map of the U. S. showing their distribution range, and other useful information regarding planting and growing the wildflowers. This site was created and is maintained by Dan Lineberger and Jerry Parsons, Horticulture Program, Texas Agricultural Extension Service. Images & text copyright by Wildseed Farms.


CANOTIA: An Arizona journal publishing botanical and mycological papers - Vascular Plants of Arizona Project

Eastern Colorado Wildflowers
Eastern Colorado Wildflowers contains photographs and information for over 525 plant species growing east of the Continental Divide in Colorado. Species listed in Weber and Wittmann's Colorado Flora: Eastern Slope, 3rd Edition are included.

Mid-Snake River Watershed Vegetation Database - offline 11/30/2019
The wildflowers and other vegetation depicted in this database are from the watersheds of the Owyhee, Malheur, Burnt, Powder, Weiser, Payette, Boise, and Bruneau Rivers along with smaller creeks that enter the mid-section of the Snake River in southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon. Plants described here range from those adapted to low elevations along the Snake River up watersheds to the surrounding mountain tops. Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and Malheur Experiment Station Oregon State University.

Montana Plant Life
Montana Plant Life now provides online access to the entire Collection of 2,063 species of Montana plants, classified in 176 plant families, including trees, spore plants, grasses, rare plants etc., with over 9,000 images and a 6+ million character information database.

Reed College; Portland, Oregon, Bio 332 - Keith Karoly - Vascular Plant Diversity

Wildflowers, Ferns and Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah
One of the best sites for original flora content by Al Schneider. This site provides for the identification and appreciation of mountain and desert flora. This web site is hosted by the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory of Gothic, Colorado.

Partial List of Plants of the Sonoran Desert
Hank and Dorothy Jorgensen: Wildlife photos from the Western U.S., particularly Montana and Arizona and also Edie Certalic Photos of Yellowstone Park and Surroundings.

Wildflowers West
Wildflowers West is a beautiful site with original content created and maintained by Mark L. & Darice S. Dixon.


Butterflies and Moths of North America; BAMONA; Collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera.

Encyclopedia of Life, EOL; Global Navigation - Global access to knowledge about life on Earth.

Ethno-Herbalist Southern California Ethnobotany
Ethnobotany of Southern California; A Traditional Use of Native Plants This website explores the historical use of plants for medicine and food as well as the biology, cultural history and health benefits of plant-based medicine. The site is owned and founded by Dr. Keven Curran. Dr. Curran holds a PhD in molecular biology and currently serves as a professor at the University of San Diego, teaching courses on cell biology and Ethnobotany.
FloraFinder is an excellent website developed by Tom Kent and focuses on common wild plants. FloraFinder is about finding flora. I hope this site will eventually make it easy for amateurs like me to identify the plants they encounter while walking. The website currently lists 2,426 species; so far, articles have been written for only about 43% of these. This site is amazing as it has many and diverse types of flowering and non-flowering plants including: Woody plants: trees or shrubs; Fungi: mushrooms, bracket fungi, gel fungi; Grasses, sedges, and rushes; Lichens; Mosses, liverworts; Ferns, horsetails, clubmosses, firmosses, ground cedars, quillworts, and spikemosses; Galls: growths on plants created by insects or fungi and more!

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center hosts the latest edition of the Native Plants Database where you can explore the wealth of native plants in North America. This excellent site has original content and includes about 9,000 native plants by scientific or common name or you can even choose a particular family of plants. One of my favorite websites!

This is a beautiful website by Dan Tenaglia, with more than 1,000 flowering and non-flowering plants of Missouri and many more photographs; many species with plant descriptions. The plants are available in an alphabetical list of all of the plants. Plants are arranged by color and other non-flowering plants such as sedges, and rushes and plants reproducing by spores.

Native & Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia
This is an excellent website created by Janie Marlow, member, South Carolina Native Plant Society. The website is a public education endeavor: It is a clearinghouse of information about native and naturalized plants of the Carolinas and Georgia, including plants found throughout the Southeast. It “packages” knowledge that plant people have patiently shared and provides a venue for that sharing.

North American Butterfly Association - Butterfly Garden and Habitat Program
The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) formed in 1992 is the largest group of people in North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico) interested in butterflies. NABA is a membership-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization working to increase public enjoyment and conservation of butterflies.

National Butterfly Center - NABA owns and operates the National Butterfly Center (NBC), a 100-acre conservation, education and research center in Mission, Texas. NABA has transformed what was an agricultural field, when acquired by NABA in 2002, into the largest botanical garden in the United States focused on using native plants in a garden setting. More than 220 species of wild butterflies have now been seen at the NBC.

NABA Butterfly Monitoring - NABA runs the NABA Butterfly Monitoring Program, including the 4th of July Butterfly Counts, and has amassed the largest database of butterfly occurrences and abundances in the world. These data are increasingly used by scientists to study butterfly population trends and to answer questions about butterfly biology.

Butterfly Gardening - NABA’s Program for Butterfly Gardening and Habitats promotes the creation of habitats that increase the world’s population of butterflies. A Butterfly Garden Certification is available for Individuals and institutions.

Pasture and Roadside Flowering Plants - Oklahoma
Kurt Schaefer’s wonderful website has beautiful pictures of Pasture and Roadside Flowering Plants, of Goodwell and Texhoma, Texas County, Oklahoma. Here is an index to the species found on the website.

Virginia Tech Dendrology Factsheets
One of the best websites for original content and wonderful associated photographs of identifying taxonomic features of North American trees. Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson. This is one of my favorite sites for information and photos of the study of trees. Excellent university material. Virginia Tech University: Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. Angiosperm Families

This is one of the best sites for searching for plant information assembled from a host of website across the country. Steve Sullivan is the author and he has done an excellent job pulling resources together into a comprehensive website. Steve says that this web site helps those of us with limited knowledge of botany to identify plants found outside of gardens. This website presents small images of plants. You can use a number of search techniques to get to the images that are most likely the plant you are looking for. When you click on a plant image the program shows you links to plant descriptions and more plant images.

Wildflowers of Western Pennsylvania
This website features 900 or so species of wildflowers pictured and described from Western Pennsylvania, almost all in Beaver County. The flowers can be accessed by Common name and by Family. There is an Introduction, a brief Glossary and an Identification Aid. Unlike most guides, this Aid focuses on selecting one or more families that is a likely home for the unknown flower. The author is Bob Zuberbuhler who grew up in Western Pennsylvania.

Wildflowers of the United States
Website creator and manager is Gerry Williamson is a self-described computer geek turned amateur botanist! This website is excellent and now contains more than 560 wildflower profiles! The site includes wildflower reference information - websites and books - on a state-by-state basis, and the format and content of the "wildflower detail" pages has been significantly enhanced from when the site contained only 75 wildflower species!

The Xerces Society
The is an excellent website that I use on a regular basis researching plants and pollinators. According to the site, "since 1971 the Xerces Society has worked to protect invertebrates and their habitats." This is an "international nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. We take our name from the now extinct Xerces Blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche xerces), the first butterfly known to go extinct in North America as a result of human activities."


Welcome to the site Malezas of Mexico!
This is a wonderful website featuring a vast array of flowering plants of Mexico. The site is created and managed by Dra. Heike Vibrans, coordinator. Professor and Researcher of the Laboratory of Ethnobotany, Botany Program of the Graduate College. This website is hosted by CONABIO - The National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) is a permanent interdepartmental commission, created in 1992.


Plants For A Future, earth, plants, people (PFAF)
This is an excellent UK charitable company website I found while researching plants of the southwest. According to the site, "Plants For A Future, earth, plants and people is a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants. Plants For A Future (PFAF) is an online free-to-use information database and associated website for those interested in edible and useful plants. Originally focused on plants suitable for temperate regions, it has now been extended to include many of the more important tropical and sub-tropical edible and useful plants".


The Fire Effects Information System (FEIS)
One of the best sites out there for researching specific species. FEIS is an online collection of reviews of the scientific literature about fire effects on plants and animals and about fire regimes of plant communities in the United States. FEIS reviews are based on thorough literature searches, often supplemented with insights from field scientists and managers.

Flora of North America
Another indispensable website for technical botanic information re: the flora of North America. I use it often. This website presents information on the names, taxonomic relationships, continent-wide distributions, and morphological characteristics of all plants native and naturalized found in North America north of Mexico.

The Plant List
The Plant List is a working list of all known plant species. This site is excellent for researching botanical names. The site contains a working list of plants of the world. The species included are grouped into 17,020 genera, 642 families and 4 major groups.

The SEINet data portal was created to serve as a gateway to distributed data resources of interest to the environmental research community within Arizona and New Mexico. Through a common web interface, we offer tools to locate, access and work with a variety of data. SEINet is more than just a web site - it is a suite of data access technologies and a distributed network of collections, museums and agencies that provide environmental information.

USDA - The PLANTS Database
The Plants Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories. This is one of my most often used website!