Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Fagonia laevis, California Fagonbush

California Fagonbush is a small plant with showy purple flowers that blooms from January /April in Arizona; and from March/May and again from May/November in California. Fagonia laevis California Fagonbush is a native species from the southwestern United States and Baja California and northwest Mexico. Fagonia laevis California Fagonbush has small leaves and thin stems with a protective waxy covering that helps the plant survive extreme arid conditions. Fagonia laevis California Fagonbush is a delicate relatively small plant with numerous showy flowers that grows in dry areas in the desert. Sufficient periodic rainfall is necessary. Fagonia laevis

Scientific Name: Fagonia laevis
Common Name: California Fagonbush
Also Called: California Fagonia
Family: Zygophyllaceae, Caltrop Family
Synonyms: (Fagonia californica, Fagonia californica subsp. californica, Fagonia californica subsp. laevis, Fagonia californica subsp. longipes, Fagonia californica var. laevis, Fagonia californica var. longipes, Fagonia longipes)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 2½ or so.
Growth Form: Shrub, subshrub; plants shrubby, suffrutescent; intricately branched.
Leaves: Green; compound trifoliolate or trifoliate, leaflets entire; spiny stipules.
Flower Color: Purple; fruit smooth, rarely glabrous.
Flowering Season: January to April; March-May and November-January in California.
Elevation: Up to 2,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Frequent on dry, rocky hillsides, slopes, mesas and sandy washes.

Recorded Range: Fagonia laevis is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, CA, NV, UT. It is also native to Baja California and northwest Mexico. In Arizona it is found in Coconino County in the north-central part of the state, the southwest part of the state and in the central-east in Graham County.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Fagonia laevis.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 3 species and 3 accepted taxa overall for Fagonia. World wide, The Plant List includes 34 accepted species names and includes a further 90 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona and California each have 2 species of Fagonia, Nevada and Utah each have 1 species and New Mexico and Texas have 0 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Fagonia laevis is a delicate, relatively small, plant with numerous showy flowers that grows in dry areas in the desert. Sufficient periodic rainfall is necessary. The plant leaves are small and the stems are thin and each has a protective waxy covering helping the plant survive extreme arid conditions.

Date Profile Completed: , updated 09/30/2016, updated format 10/06/2017
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Fagonia californica.
The Jepson Desert Manual; 2002; Baldwin, Bruce G., et. al.; The Jepson Desert Manual: Vascular Plants of Southeastern California; Univ. of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed , updated 09/30/2016)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed , updated 09/30/2016).
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information , updated 09/30/2016).