Plants of Borderlands

Welcome to the Borderlands Restoration Handbook of key plant species. We hope to build upon this resource, and eventually make this a resource that is interactive, user friendly, and full of useful information for everyone from backyard gardeners to scientists.
These species are used in restoration projects and plant sales. The plants in this list were chosen because of a set of unique ecological services.  These services can include: supporting the base of the food chain by providing forage for pollinators and frugivores like birds, stabilizing soils, providing habitat, and bridging the nectar gap. Any of these plants would be an excellent addition to your pollinator garden or hedgerow. Information thanks to NPS Flora Project.

Scientific Name Common Name Duration Form Description Notes Ecology
Agave palmeri Palmer’s century plant Perennial Succulent Compact, globose rosette, medium sized, glaucous gray to light green, freely suckering; 40Ð50 cm by 60Ð75 cm, with 100Ð160 closely imbricated leaves. Extensive range; distinguished by its compact, light green to grayish rosettes. This species is found along the Òoutlines of the cold fringe of AgavelandÓ (Gentry 1981). There are several varieties in the region, best to compare notes or specimens against Gentry. Found on rocky slopes
Agave parryi Parry’s agave Perennial Succulent Plants without stems except when flowering, rosettes solitary or in clusters, freely suckering, 30-60 cm across and 60-120 cm tall.  There are 2 varieties of A. schotti in the southwest,  A. schottii var. schottii and A. schottii var. treleasei, differentiated primarily  by their blade width,  with var. schottii being 0.7Ð1.2 cm wide, and  var. treleasi being 1.2Ð2.5 cm wide. Agave schottii and its varieties are thought to hybridize with A. chrysantha, and each other, making positive identification more difficult. Found in gravelly or rocky areas in desert scrub, grasslands, and juniper or oak woodlands
Anisacanthus thurberi Thurber’s desert honeysuckle Perennial Shrub Perennial, coldÐdeciduous shrub 1Ð2 m (3Ð6 ft) high, leaves reappear in early spring, bark exfoliating, brown to gray with two vertical lines of pubescence. Summer rains stimulate stem growth, with flowers that are well adapted for hummingbird pollination. One of the better browse plants in the desert.  Often found growing in shade. Rocky canyon bottoms and gravelly or sandy washes
Aquilegia chrysantha golden columbine Perennial Forb/Herb Herbaceous perennial that grows in shadey moist places. Large yellow blossums.  Damp places in canyons
Aristolochia watsonii Watson’s dutchman’s pipe Perennial Vine Perennial from a single, thickened, carrotÐshaped rook, dying back to root in drought or with freeze. Stems slender, training, herbaceous, often less than 30 cm or vining to 1Ð1.5 m in shaded, moist habitats. Easily identifiable by its maroon leaves with prominent central vein of light green and its triangularÐhastate shape. Widespread in gravelly soils, along rocks in drier areas
Asclepias angustifolia Arizona milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb This species is found only in Arizona. It can be identified by its thin stem, narrow leaves, and small white flowers, in which the horns attach near the base of the hoods. Well-established plants appear to have many stems originating from a common root crown.
Asclepias asperula spider milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb Herbaceous perennials, to  50 cm tall, stems ascending, much branched below, finely short woolly, especially on younger growth, plants with milky sap. The large yellow flowers with purplish tips have stiff lobes, the flowers create large, conspicuous umbels which help to easily identify this species when in flower. Look for this species in Pima, Santa Cruz, Graham, and Cochise counties in Arizona. See also the similar Asclepias involucrata. Found on desert mountains, plains, mesas, grasslands, and roadsides
Asclepias brachystephana bract milkweed, shortcrown milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb Shrubby or suffrutescent perennials, stems to 150 cm tall, erect to ascending, usually with numerous leaf scars below, herbage puberulent to pubescent, especially on younger growth, stems with milky sap. The needle-like appearance is a dead giveaway, but you can also identify this species by the puberulent stems, the hoods without recurved tips, not arching at the apex, and the widened, triangular anther wings. Found on dry, rocky slopes and mesas, in canyons,
Asclepias cryptoceras Stems erect to spreading, sparingly branched from near the base, 10Ð40 cm tall, pubescent more or less in lines above the petioles. The leaves are distinctive in that they are large, and opposite like you might find among the Nyctaginaceae. Found in washes, on slopes and on roadsides, grasslands, and in open woodlands
Asclepias elata Annual, Perennial Forb/Herb Stems erect to ascending, unbranched to branched from stout woody roots, 15-100 cm tall, glabrous or finely pubescent above. Very similar to A. fascicularis and A. verticillata, Sundell 1993 refers to these three species as being essentially a continuum from west to east with this species in the middle. Can be difficult to distinguish, but the latter species generally has more leaves per node and the former is generally not found outside of the Pacific states. Found in open areas, generally in woodlands, grasslands, to disturbed areas
Asclepias engelmanniana Engelmann’s milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb Rather low herbs, vegetative parts typically roughened with a fine pubescence, stems ascending to decumbent, unbranched, from 10Ð80 cm tall, infrequently somewhat glabrate below. There are two subspecies, ssp. asperula, which is told apart by its pedunculate umbels, and dark purple crown hoods; and ssp. capricornu which has sessile or subsessile umbels, and its hoods are a greenish cream color. Found on a variety of soils in open woodlands, chaparral, and grasslands
Asclepias glaucescens Nodding Milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb Herbaceous perinnials, 40-80 cm tall, stems erect, umbelate flowers, surfaces glabrous to glaucous Canyons, rocky stream beds, open woodlands, mts. of se AZ: Cochise, Gila, Graham, Pima, Santa Cruz,
Asclepias hypoleuca mahogany milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb Herbaceous perennials, 40-80 cm tall, stems erect, unbranched, surfaces glabrous to rather glaucous. Look for it mostly in the mountains of southeastern Arizona. Known to occur in Cochise, Gila, Pima, Graham, and Santa Cruz counties in Arizona. Found in mountains, canyons, rocky stream beds, openings in pine forests, and open woodlands, from 4,000-7,000 ft (1219-2134 m); flowering July-September.
Asclepias incarnata swamp milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb Low growing, herbaceous perennials, to 12 cm tall or less, stems 1-several from the base, erect to ascending, herbage lanate-tomentose, at least when young, plants sometimes appearing to have no stem, however the peduncles are often much longer than the leaves. This species is similar to Asclepias cryptoceras, look to the short stems generally less than 10 cm tall, with the leaves crowded towards the base of the stems, along with the purplish corolla lobes in A. nummularia to distinguish this species. A. cryptoceras has stems 15-20 cm long, with leaves all along the stems and yellowish corolla lobes. Found on dry mesas and slopes, grasslands, oak and conifer woodlands, from 3,000-5,000 ft (914-1524 m); flowering March-June.
Asclepias involucrata dwarf milkweed Perennial Subshrub, Forb/Herb Erect or bushy, ranging from simple to sparingly branched, the herbage sparsely to finely pubescent, 20-60 cm tall. There is some uncertainty as to the ecology of this species, whether it is found in moist ground or not. Definitely found in more mesic woodlands and forests at higher elevations. Found in open woodlands of oak, pine, or mixed conifer and in moist ground from 4,000-8,500 ft (1219-2591 m), flowers July-August.
Asclepias latifolia broadleaf milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb Stout, pubescent herbs with erect, unbranched stems 40Ð100 cm tall, densely white woolly to pubescent when young, glabrate below. Distinctive are the largest flowers of any species of Asclepias in North America. Found in meadows and open woodlands, along streams and in more mesic disturbed sites from 5,000Ð8,500 ft (1524Ð2591 m); flowers JuneÐAugust.
Asclepias lemmonii Lemmon’s milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb Erect or ascending stems from deeply woody root, stems clustered, branching on in the inflorescence, 20-90 cm tall, herbage hirsute to hispid. Ours is likely ssp. interior which is distinguished by the narrow leaves with obtuse to truncate bases. Found a variety of habitats from chaparral, to pine, to riparian woodlands, meadows and disturbed sites from 3,000-8,000 ft ( 914-2438 m), flowers May-September.
Asclepias linaria pineneedle milkweed Perennial Subshrub Erect stems, typically unbranched, 60Ð120 cm tall, glabrous to glaucous. There is one variety in Arizona: var. rusbyi. This variety is distinguished minute to wellÐdeveloped hornlike crest on the inner face of the hoods, typical forms of the species do not have this appendage.  This variety is often found in the western portion of the state, in our instance this variety is probably found in the Verde Valley. Found along creeks, in canyons and in open woodlands from 3,500Ð7,500 ft (1067Ð2286 m); flowers JuneÐAugust.
Asclepias linearis Low, suffrutescent perennials, 15035 cm tall; stems numerous, ascending, slender, copiously branched, finely short pubescent in the lines above the leaves. The opposite, sessile leaves with revolute margins help to distinguish this species. Found in grasslands and in open woodlands from 4,500Ð7,000 ft (1372Ð2134 m); flowers JuneÐAugust.
Asclepias macrotis longhood milkweed Perennial Subshrub
Asclepias nummularia Tufted Milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb
Asclepias nyctaginifolia Mojave milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb
Asclepias oenotheroides Zizotes Milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb
Asclepias quinquedentata slimpod milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb
Asclepias speciosa showy milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb
Asclepias subulata Desert Milkweed Perennial Shrub Twiggy, woody, usually leafless, evergreen shrub. Found Sonoran desert & baja.
Asclepias subverticillata Horsetail Milkweed, Whorled Milkweed, Poison Milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb
Asclepias tuberosa butterfly milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb
Asclepias uncialis wheel milkweed Perennial Forb/Herb
Baccharis salicifolia Seepwillow Perennial Shrub Perennial deciduous shrub 1Ð4 m (3Ð12 ft) tall, willowÐlike branches grow long, tan, and wandlike. Characteristic of riparian areas and often increases in degraded riparian areas, not grazed by livestock or wildlife, it is good erosion control. Readily reproduces from stem cuttings along stream channels, tends to form thickets. Found along streams and drainages, often forms thickets, from sea level to 5,000 ft (0Ð1524 m); flowers AprilÐOctober.
Baileya multiradiata Desert Marigold, Desert Baileya Perennial Forb/Herb Annual or short lived perennial with floccose stems and leaves, stems branch at base, decumbent to ascending, 20Ð40 cm tall, leafy on lower portion only. Not always readily distinguishable from B. pleniradiata, but when sampled in the correct time of year the shape of the style is diagnostic. Found on arid plains, arroyos, outwash slopes, sandy plains and roadsides below 5,000 ft (1524 m); flowers MarchÐOctober.
Bouvardia ternifolia Scarlet Bouvardia, Firecracker Bush Perennial Shrub Shrubs to woody herbs reaching 1.5 m tall. The red flowers are distinctive, and when combined with the whorled leaves and the tendency to flower even with only a little rain, helps to clearly identify this plant. Found on rocky slopes and canyon bottoms from 2,500Ð8,000 ft (762Ð2438 m); flowers MayÐOctober.
Brickellia grandiflora Mountain Brickellbush, Tasselflower Brickellbush Perennial Forb/Herb Perennial 30Ð95 cm tall with thickened taproot, stems branched and puberulent. Distinguished from other Brickellia by its sharply serrate leaves, with stems that branch all along, long slender petioles bearing more distinctively triangular leaves, with the flowers at the end of the branches. Found on dry rocky hillsides, often in shaded forests or in canyons from 4,000Ð10,000 ft (1219Ð3048 m); flowers JulyÐOctober.
Calliandra eriophylla Fairyduster Perennial Shrub Spreading shrub growing to 1 m high, with unarmed light gray to whitish stems. Young stems and twigs densely to moderately pubescent with short white hairs. Readily identifiable because of its bright pink stamens. Grows along washes, on slopes and mesas, typically low and creeping, from 2,000Ð5,000 ft (762Ð1676 m); flowers FebruaryÐApril, occasionally SeptemberÐOctober.
Carlowrightia arizonica Arizona wrightwort Perennial Forb/Herb Subshrub 15Ð30 cm, or up to 1 m in the protection of a spiny shrub, much branched, often leafless. Stems slender and brittle, herbage densely pubescent with minute hairs and inconspicuous understory of minute glands. Grazed by rabbits and rodents, livestock. There is considerable variation in appearance in different seasons or at different stages of growth.  Corollas open at sunrise and fall by late morning with the heat of the day. Found on dry rocky slopes from 2,500Ð4,000 ft (762Ð1219 m); flowers AprilÐMay.
Castilleja austromontana Rincon Mountain Indian paintbrush Perennial Forb/Herb Perennial with villous stems with spreading hairs, 10Ð65 cm tall. Distinguished by the linear to lance shaped leaves, the stiff spreading hairs, bright red bracts, and its large size. Found in montane forests 6,500Ð10,000 ft (1981Ð3048 m); flowers MayÐSeptember.
Celtis reticulata netleaf hackberry Perennial Tree Trees or shrubs with a rounded crown up to 10 m, bark is smooth or warty with age, gray to whitish, with large corky warts on trunk. Diagnostics include its asymmetrical (at base) scabrous leaf; corky warts on bark; witches brooms and galls; reticulate venation below. There remains a bit of uncertainty as to the appropriate nomenclature of this species. On dry slopes, often on limestone or basalt, ravine banks, rocky outcrops, 1,000Ð7,500 ft (300Ð2300 m); flowers MarchÐMay.
Cercocarpus montanus Mountain Mahogany Perennial Shrub Shrubs or rarely trees 2Ð8 m tall with smooth, pale gray to reddish gray bark, older branches flecked with scales, younger twigs glabrous to sparsely puberulent. Found on dry slopes and along washes from 1,000Ð7,000 ft (305Ð2134 m); flowers MarchÐJuly.
Chilopsis Linearis Desert Willow Perennial Tree Native tree or shrub reaching 10 m at maturity. Bark is dark and ridged on older stems. Diagnostic characters of this plant are its very long slender and whorled leaves, long, slender pod, and the strikingly beautiful bilabiate flowers.  The Flora of Arizona project identifies the only extant subspecies in the state as ssp. arcuata, which is characterized by its arcuate, drooping leaves. Found along washes in deserts and foothills from 1,500Ð5,500 ft (457Ð1740 m); flowers AprilÐAugust.
Cirsium arizonicum Arizona thistle Biennial, Perennial Forb/Herb Herbaceous biennials or perennials, stems wooly to cobwebby, erect, branching, the leaves and involucres spiny or prickly. The keys to this species are the bright red or carmine corollas, the spines of the middle phyllaries short and slender, and the leaves persistently tomentose below. Found on rocky slopes, in chaparral, from 3,000-7,000 ft (914-2134 m); flowering May-October.
Cirsium neomexicanum New Mexico thistle Biennial, Perennial Forb/Herb Native biennial herb from a stout taproot; stems stout, 30Ð200 cm tall; pubescent with tangled, wooly hairs. Characterized by the few or solitary white to lavender or pink flower heads with spineÐtipped and reflexed outer and middle phyllaries. Seeds favorite of Goldfinches and other birds while flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees. Host plant for Painted Lady butterfly. Dry, exposed slopes from 1,000Ð6,500 ft (305Ð1981 m); flowers MarchÐSeptember.
Clematis drummondii Texas Virgin’s Bower, Drummond Clematis, Old Man’s Beard Perennial Vine Scandent and climbing vine with slender woody stems to 10 m long or more, bark tawny or light gray, striate and eventually stringy. Diagnostic for C. drummondi versus C. ligusticifolia involves the longer filiform tail off the achene and the grayish pubescence on the leaves, whereas C. ligusticifolia is glabrous and green. Climbing over rocks and shrubs below 4,500 ft (1372 m); flowers MarchÐSeptember.
Cowania mexicana
Cylindropuntia spinosior Walkingstick cactus Perennial Succulent Distinctive with its gray to purplish gray spines and whorls of short joints growing a right angles to stem. Found in desert grasslands, flats, valleys, and plains from 2,000Ð6,500 ft (610Ð1981 m), flowers MayÐJune.
Dalea pulchra Santa Catalina prairie clover Perennial Shrub Small shrub, mostly erect with thin, gray branches, often abundantly pubescent. Similar to D. formosa and D. versicolor var. sessilis, but differs in having 5Ð7 leaflets that are cuneate obovate and covered in short appressed hairs that are shiny and appearing silky. Found on gravelly or rocky hills and slopes from 2,500Ð5,000 ft (762Ð1524 m); flowers FebruaryÐMay.
Dasylirion wheeleri common sotol Perennial Succulent Large, succulent shrub emerging from a central thick, woody, subterranean caudex. Known to be eaten by livestock in years of extreme drought. Found on rocky or gravelly hillsides and slopes from 3,000Ð6,000 ft (914Ð1829 m); flowers MayÐJuly.
Delphinium parishii Sacred Datura, Sacred Thornapple Annual Forb/Herb Perennial herbs; spreading and branching; herbage grayishÐgreen; 50Ð180 cm tall. Characterized by its spreading habit, large ovate leaves, and large white funnelÐshaped corolla. Entire plant is poisonous. Found in creosote brush, Joshua tree, sagebrush, and pinonÐjuniper communties from 1,000Ð6,500 ft (300Ð1980 m); flowers AprilÐOctober.
Dodonaea viscosa Florida hopbush Perennial Tree Shrub or small tree, 1Ð3 m tall with viscid foilage. Evergreen viscid leaves and multiple winged samaras help to clearly distinguish this plant. Found on rocky or gravelly slopes, along arroyos, in canyons and often on limestone from 2,000Ð5,000 ft (610Ð1524 m); flowers FebruaryÐOctober.
Echinocereus fasciculatus pinkflower hedgehog cactus Perennial Succulent This species has larger and more numerous stems than E. fendleri and often appears as a large clump when seed from a distance in open areas. E. fasciculatus used to contain two varieties, E. fasciculatus var. boyceÐthompsonii, and E. fasciculatus var. bonkerae that are now considered separate species by USDA Plants. ITIS shows E. fasciculatus  to be unaccepted as a stand alone species and instead counts it as E. fendleri var. fasciculatus, although USDA Plants accepts E. fasciculatus as a species. While TROPICOS places this species as E. fendleri var. fasciculatus. Found in the Sonoran desert on flats to steep canyon sides, desert scrub, semiÐdesert grasslands, interior chaparral, from 2,500-5,000 ft (762-1524 m), flowers MarchÐJune, fruiting MayÐJuly.
Echinocereus fendleri pinkflower hedgehog cactus Perennial Succulent The systematics of this species (according to some) now include what were previously varieties of E. fasciculatus: var. fasciculatus and var. boyce-thompsonii. These are both rare cacti, so precise distribution information is masked, both are treated as separate species here They are told apart by E. fasciculatus having 5Ð20 stems, each 15Ð45 cm long, with 8Ð10 ribs and spines at right angles to the stem, being deflexed and grayish; E. boyceÐthompsonii has 4Ð12 stems, each 10Ð20 cm long, with 14Ð18 ribs, a light colored principal stem and slightly longer than E. fasciculatus. Found in sandy or gravelly soils in a wide variety of ecotypes on mostly southÐfacing hillsides from 3,000Ð8,000 ft (914Ð2438 m), flowers AprilÐJune, fruiting JuneÐAugust.
Encelia farinosa Brittlebush Perennial Shrub Compact, rounded, much branched shrub 30Ð150 cm, stems branched distally, tomentose. A very distinctive plant with its bluish to grayÐgreen powdery looking leaves, usually rounded in form, which break easily and bright yellow flower heads, often turns whole hillsides yellow in spring. Found on dry, rocky or gravelly slopes below 3,000 ft (914 m); flowers NovemberÐMay.
Epilobium canum hummingbird trumpet Perennial Subshrub
Epilobium canum subsp. latifolium hummingbird trumpet Perennial Forb/Herb
Fallugia paradoxa Apacheplume Perennial Shrub Shrubs from 1.5Ð2 m tall, exfoliating bark in flakes, bearing slender branchlets with gray to white wool. Distinguished from Purshia species by its having slightly sticky leaves which are notably deciduous, while in fruit it is totally distinctive. Found on rocky slopes, gravelly flats, and alluvial soils from 3,500Ð7,500 ft (1067Ð2286 m); flowers AprilÐOctober.
Ferocactus wislizeni candy barrelcactus Perennial Succulent Called the compass cactus because it tends to lean south toward sun, species can live up to 100 years. Spines are said to cripple a horse unless they are treated the same day. Found on deep soils of igneous and limestone origin, sandy desert soils, gravelly slopes, wash margins, alluvial fans, lower edges of oak woodlands and grasslands from 1,000Ð4,500 ft (305Ð1372 m), flowers JulyÐSeptember.
Fouquieria splendens Ocotillo Perennial Shrub LongÐlived desert ÒshrubÓ 3Ð5 m tall, with slender wandlike spiny branches from reduced trunk.  Adults have 12 or more branches. Very distinct plant in our region, particularly good for hummingbirds. Found on dry, rocky or gravelly slopes and sandy plains from sea level to 5,000 ft (0Ð1524 m); flowers FebruaryÐMarch.
Frangula betulifolia Beechleaf Buckthorn, Birchleaf Frangula Perennial Shrub, Tree Shrub with smooth brown to grayÐbrown stems reaching 3 m tall. Ours is of ssp. betulifolia which is distinguished by the thin, oblong to elliptic leaves with thin veins. Ssp. obovata is distinguished by having thick obovate leaves with thick, prominent veins and is typically found in the northern part of Arizona. Found on stream or creek banks from 4,500Ð9,000 ft (1372Ð2743 m); flowers AprilÐSeptember.
Frangula betulifolia subsp. betulifolia beechleaf frangula Perennial Tree
Funastrum crispum Wavyleaf Twine-vine Perennial Vine Twining vine with downward curving hairs. Similar to F. cynanchoides in many ways vegetatively; distinctive in the length of the fruiting peduncles, with peduncles of F. crispum averaging about a quarter as long as the subtending leaves. Found in canyons often among shrubs from 3,000Ð5,500 ft (914Ð1676 m); flowers AprilÐAugust.
Funastrum cynanchoides Hartweg’s twinevine Perennial Forb/Herb Stems numerous, from woody root, slender, herbaceous above, 1Ð3 m long or more, somewhat glaucescent. Leaves can be diagnostic for this species, as can its drier habitat. Found along arroyos and in arid valleys below 5,500 ft (1676 m); flowers FebruaryÐSeptember.
Funastrum cynanchoides var. hartwegii fringed twinevine Perennial Forb/Herb Slender herbaceous stems to 2 m long from woody root and short caudex; herbage glabrous or nearly so. Leaves are good diagnostic for telling between species. Found scrambling over bushes, along streams and arroyos from 1,500Ð4,500 ft (457Ð1372 m); flowers MayÐSeptember.
Gaillardia pulchella var. pulchella
Garrya wrightii Wright’s silktassel Perennial Shrub Dioecious evergreen shrubs to 5 m tall; bark reddishÐbrown with age. The genera is distinctive because of its leaf shape and opposite pattern. Distinguished by its glabrous to sparsely pubescent leaf undersides, and papillateÐdenticulate margins; the fruit is also glabrous to sparsely pubescent. Found in desert scrub, chaparral, oak woodlands and pineÐoak forests from 3,500Ð7,000 ft (1067Ð2134 m); flowers MarchÐAugust.
Geranium caespitosum purple cluster geranium Perennial Subshrub Herbaceous or small shrubs with forked stems and swollen nodes, stems erect or decumbent, profusely branching, 20-70 cm long. Another good key to this species are the pedicels that are normally without glandular hairs. The lobes of the leaves are often rounded at the tips. Commonly found in pine forests from 5,000-9,000 ft (1524-2743 m); flowering May-September.
Geranium caespitosum var. eremophilum Pineywoods Geranium, Purple Cluster Geranium, Tufted Geranium Perennial Forb/Herb
Geranium caespitosum var. parryi Parry’s geranium Perennial Subshrub
Ipomopsis macombii Macomb’s ipomopsis Perennial Forb/Herb Plants without stems except when flowering, rosettes solitary or in clusters, freely suckering, 30-60 cm across and 60-120 cm tall.
Ipomopsis multiflora manyflowered ipomopsis Perennial Subshrub Herbaceous or shrubby perennials to 75 cm tall, stems leafy, simple to branching at the base, short-pilose to wooly.  If you find a specimen where the stamens are greatly exserted with a tube 30-40 mm long the plant is likely I. thurberi. Found on sandy to gravelly soils in openings in coniferous forests, oak woodlands, and on rocky slopes, from 4,500-9,000 ft (1372-2743 m); flowering August-September.
Larrea tridentata Creosotebush Perennial Shrub ShortÐlived perennial, 15Ð50 cm tall, simple to branched at base, stems with short to long, glandular to nonÐglandular hairs. Often distinguished by its open, diffuse habit, with many little purple flowers. Found in open sites from desert shrublands up into woodlands and in montane forests from 2,000Ð8,500 ft (610Ð2591 m); flowers JulyÐOctober.
Lobelia cardinalis subsp. graminea Aromatic, much branched evergreen shrub up to 3.5 m, growing from at or just above ground. Most common and widespread shrub in warm deserts of North America, ordinarily untouched by livestock; causes dermatitis in some people. Diagnostics include its sympodial stems, dark green, lustrous and paired leaves, 13 mm long; leaves 2Ðpinnate; strong ÒcreosoteÓ odor. Widespread and common on dry plains and mesas below 5,000 ft (1676 m); flowers any time after adequate rain. Needs minimum 12 mm of precipitation for flowers.
Lonicera albiflora Western White Honeysuckle, White Honeysuckle Perennial Shrub
Lycium berlandieri Berlandieri Wolfberry Perennial Shrub Shrubby perennials, can be partially twining or straggling, to 3 m tall, stems mostly woody, brown to gray or whitish and often shredding, stems and leaves more or less pubescent. This plant is easily recognizable by the orbicular to obovate leaves which closely clasp the stems below the inflorescences. Differentiate from the similar L. interrupta, which has a corolla less than 15 mm long, mostly glabrous leaves, and the stems which are herbaceous above. Found along streams or drainages, from 3,500-6,000 ft (1067-1829 m); flowering April to June.
Lycium exsertum Arizona desertÐthorn Perennial Shrub Openly branched, sparingly armed shrub 1Ð4 m tall with densely pubescent twigs and dark gray or brown bark. Told apart by its densely pubescent twigs, densely glandularÐpubescent leaves, and stamens exserted 2Ð5 mm. Is separated from L. andersonii by its larger size. The pendulous white flowers are also key. Found along washes and flats below 4,000 ft (1219 m); flowers yearÐround, mostly JanuaryÐMarch.
Mammillaria grahamii Graham’s nipple cactus Perennial Succulent Thorny shrub, reclining or spreading, glabrous to hairy to 2.5 m, branches very gray to reddish, somewhat crooked. Told apart from Lycium andersonii by the minute puberulent or glabrous leaves, and often expanded funnelform corolla; bark color is also a good indicator.  The leaves of Lycium berlandieri are much less succulent and often larger. Two varieties are known to exist in Arizona. Found on alluvial plains and rocky foothills slopes below 3,000 ft (914 m); flowers MarchÐSeptember.
Mammillaria macdougalii Macdougal’s nipple cactus Perennial Succulent There are quite a few varieties, at least historically. The systematics according to FNA seem to make this a geographically variable species, rather than making species distinctions. Benson 1969 listed two varieties. The fishhooks are key with this genera on the whole and the beautiful pink flowers and really red fruits help also, but this species in particular has no nipples visible. Found on silty, sandy, gravelly, or rocky soils, often on slopes in the chaparral and grasslands from 2,000Ð5,000 ft (610Ð1524 m); flowers AprilÐSeptember, fruits SeptemberÐMarch.
Mimulus cardinalis scarlet monkeyflower Perennial Forb/Herb Considered rare in most counties in Arizona. Can be found along the margins of the Sonoran Desert scrub, in the chaparral and oak woodlands, and desert grasslands. FNA designates this as its own species, while ITIS and Plants DB continue to refer to this species as M. heyderi var. macdougalii. Found on rocky slopes and along ridges often in Sonoran desert scrub, chaparral, woodlands, and grasslands from 3,500Ð6,000 ft (1067Ð1829 m); flowers OctoberÐMarch.
Mimulus guttatus Common Monkeyflower, Seep Monkeyflower Annual, Perennial Forb/Herb Perennial with much branched stems, erect to decumbent stems, 22Ð60 cm tall, glabrous below to viscidÐvillous above. Is morphologically similar to M. eastwoodiae, but is distinguished by the different phenology, with this speciesÕ flowers being borne in spring as opposed to late summer and fall. M. eastwoodiae has been collected only in the northern part of Arizona and New Mexico and further north. Found in wet soils of streambanks, seeps, and springs from 2,000Ð8,000 ft (610Ð2438 m); flowers MayÐAugust.
Mirabilis longiflora sweet four o’clock Perennial Forb/Herb Native annual or perennial herb, rarely stoloniferous but often rooting at the nodes; stems erect to lying down, simple or sparingly branched, 5Ð55 cm tall; usually moreÐorÐless glabrous below and glandularÐhairy in the inflorescence. A large Mimulus, with big yellow flowers; can be distinguished vegetatively by its broader, generally glabrous leaves. Host plant for Mylitta Crescent butterfly. Wet areas, especially near streams, from 1,000Ð9,500 ft (305Ð2895 m); flowers MarchÐSeptember.
Monarda citriodora subsp. austromontana lemon beebalm Annual, Biennial Forb/Herb Several stems 5Ð15 dm, herbage lightly puberulent basally, glandularÐpuberulent distally, erect or ascending. Plant remarkable for the very long and slender perianth tube of the white or pinkish flowers. There is one recognized variety, var. wrightiana found north of the Mexican border. Found in rocky canyons and on slopes from 2,500Ð9,000 ft (762Ð2743 m); flowers from AugustÐSeptember.
Nolina microcarpa sacahuista Perennial Shrub Fragrant annual herb, branching from the base or inflorescence, 25-70 cm tall. Look for this species also under M. austromontana. This lovely plant looks somewhat similar to an Agastache, but is distinguished among the Monarda by the reflexed bracts that are slightly ciliate on the margins. In the region that are two subspecies but ours are generally ssp. austromontana. Found on mesas and slopes from 4,000-8,500 ft (1219-2519 m); flowering July-October.
Nolina texana Texas sacahuista, palmilla texana Perennial Shrub Acaulescent rosette, with the appearance of a large, coarse grass. The more delicately serrated edges help to make this species identifiable and helps to separate this plant from Dasylirion wheeleri, as does the much wider leaves and longÐprickles on the margins of D. wheeleri. Found on rocky slopes and hills from 3,000Ð6,000 ft (914Ð1829 m); flowers MayÐJuly.
Oenothera cespitosa var. marginata Acaulescent rosette,  growing in dense clumps, with the appearance of a large coarse grass. Found on limestone or granitic substrates on rocky hillsides, grasslands and shrublands, from 500Ð6,500 ft (152Ð1981 m); flowers late winterÐearly spring.
Oxytropis lambertii Hooker’s evening primrose Biennial, Perennial Forb/Herb
Penstemon barbatus purple locoweed Perennial Forb/Herb
Penstemon barbatus var. barbatus Herbaceous perennials, showy, acaulescent or nearly so, herbage green to white silky-hairy (sericeous), with at least some of the hairs dolabriform; (shaped like an axe-head under magnification). At first glance, this plant looks very similar to an Astragalus, look to the dense, soft, white, long-silky hairs to help identify this species; even the caudex is covered with the dense fuzz. The caudex can become well-developed and stacked on older plants, another good indicator for this genus. The other Oxytropis in Arizona according to Kearney and Peebles; O. oreophila, has ovate, inflated pods and is silvery-sericeous. Found on sandy soils in open places and pine forests, from 5,000-8,000 ft (1524-2438 m); flowering June-September. Grows well in disturbed areas.
Penstemon dasyphyllus Purple Penstemon, Cochise Beardtongue Perennial Forb/Herb Perennial herb 30Ð110 cm tall, stems few from a stout, shortÐbranched caudex, glabrous, ascending to erect, internodes often remote. In our region we identify one subspecies: ssp. torreyi, which can be distinguished by having more slender stems, linear cauline leaves, the calyx is 3Ð5 mm long, and the corolla is glabrous at the base of the lower lobes with the palate bearing yellow hairs. Similar to P. eatonii, except that the corolla in P. eatonii has approximately equal lips. Found on a rocky to sandy soil from 4,000Ð10,000 ft (1219Ð3048 m); flowers JuneÐOctober.
Penstemon fendleri Fendler Penstemon, Fendler Beardtongue Perennial Forb/Herb Herbaceous, stems 1 to several from a tough root, erect or ascending, 0.3Ð1.2 m tall, glabrous and glaucous throughout. Diagnostic is the glabrous stem and clasping leaves. Found on hillsides, outwash slopes, and along canyons from 1,500Ð5,000 ft (457Ð1524 m); flowers MarchÐMay.
Penstemon lanceolatus lanceleaf beardtongue Perennial Forb/Herb Perennial, erect to 50 cm tall, with puberulous herbage. There appears to be lingering questions as to whether this species is indeed a separate species, P. ramosus.  If it is separate as it was treated in 1966 by Crosswhite, then it is a narrow endemic species native to southeastern Arizona and New Mexico. Anderson et al. 2007 argue that it is not a distinct population, but instead found many species across its range back into Mexico.  ITIS and Plants DB have not caught up with this information, they still refer to this species as P. ramosus. Found in foothills of desert scrub, desert grasslands, chaparral, and the lower range of pi–onÐjuniperÐoak woodlands from 5,000Ð6,000 ft (1524Ð1829 m); flowers JuneÐAugust.
Penstemon linarioides toadflax penstemon Perennial Subshrub Stems erect or ascending to 50 cm tall, puberulous or glabrate. This species can be distinguished by its secund inflorescence, the narrow linear opposite leaves which are crowded at the base and less so as you move up the stem, and the distinctive yellow beard in the violet flower. There are several other subspecies in the region, particularly important is ssp. coloradoensis Found on dry slopes and flats from 4,500Ð7,500 ft (1372Ð2286 m); flowers JuneÐAugust.
Penstemon linarioides subsp. linarioides toadflax beardtongue Perennial Subshrub
Penstemon parryi Parry’s beardtongue Perennial Forb/Herb Shrubby perennials, stems woody below. This species of Penstemon is easy to identify due to its filiform leaves. Found above 5,000 ft (1524 m); flowering in summer.
Penstemon pinifolius pineneedle beardtongue Perennial Subshrub
Penstemon pseudospectabilis subsp. connatifolius desert beardtongue Perennial Subshrub Perennial herbs to 40 cm tall, pubescent, the pubescence giving a gray, ashy appearance to the leaves and stems. Distinctive with the thin and linear leaves along with the glabrous staminode and a corolla without conspicuous guidelines on the tongue. Found on gravelly slopes in open areas, from 3,500-5,500 ft (1067-1676 m); flowering April-June.
Penstemon stenophyllus Herbaceous perennials, 30-120 cm tall, stems erect, many, herbage bluish (glacous) to the base, turning light purple with age. According to Kearney and Peebles, P. superbus blackens upon drying, but P. parryi does not. Arizona Game and Fish reports that Penstemon superbus is unlikely to be confused with any
other penstemon in the area because of its size, glaucous foliage, inflorescence architecture, reddish flowers, and flattened anthers. When comparing it to P. parryi, it differs by its
longer and different colored and shaped corolla (20-25 mm vs. 15-20 mm, carmine to scarlet
vs. rose-magenta, narrowly funnelform vs. rather broadly funnelform), and its cauline leaves  Penstemon superbus are broadly ovate to oblong-ovate (vs. narrowly lanceolate to lance-oblong).  Another showy penstemon is Penstemon pseudospectabalis, which is scarlet flowered, and its leaves have serrated margins, while P. superbus does not (Malusa, 2001).
Found in limestone, red clay, and sandstone or sandy soils, on roadsides or above streambeds, desert grasslands and riparian zones, from 3,000-6,000 ft (914-1829 m); flowering April-May.
Penstemon stenophyllus var. dasyphyllus Sonoran beardtongue Perennial Forb/Herb Strictly herbaceous perennials, herbage glabrate. Kearney and Peebles note that this species commonly occurs in the Patagonia and Huachuca (Cochise and Santa Cruz counties) in Arizona. Look for it in the southeastern portions of Arizona, and Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico. Look to the rich violet-blue color of the corollas, the puberulent herbage, and the broadly scarious-erose margins of the calyx lobes to help identify this species. Found on light, dry soils, from 4,000-5,500 ft (1219-1676 m); flowering August-September.
Penstemon superbus superb beardtongue Perennial Forb/Herb Herbaceous perennials, 20-25 cm tall, stems erect, herbage puberulent to glabrous. The showy blue to purple or white flowers help identify this species, along with the anther sacs which are opposite, straight, and glabrous or scabrous on both sides, opening throughout. Kearney and Peebles note that there are 2 geographic variants but only one is named; ssp. arizonicus occurs in the White and Pinaleno mountains, at 7,500-11,000 ft, and has a bearded staminode and broader and oblong-spatulate leaves. Found on light, dry soils, in pine woodlands and mountain meadows, from 5,000-11,000 ft (1524-3353 m); flowering June-September.
Penstemon virgatus upright blue beardtongue Perennial Forb/Herb
Physalis acutifolia sharpleaf groundcherry Annual Forb/Herb
Physalis longifolia longleaf groundcherry Perennial Forb/Herb
Polemonium pauciflorum fewflower Jacob’s-ladder Perennial Forb/Herb Stout erect perennial 0.5Ð1 m tall with angulateÐstriate, glabrous stems Fairly rare in Arizona, large size compared to other ground loving Physalis distinguish this species. This species now includes the former P. virginiana var. sonorae which was vouchered at Coronado NM and anecdotally found at Fort Bowie. Collections of this species will help clarify the taxonomic relationships as well as the distribution of this species. Var. longifolia is a synonym for P. virginiana var. sonorae, which is distinguished by simple stems that branch above the base with leaves usually more than 5 cm long. Found on plains and along stream banks from 2,500Ð5,000 ft (762Ð1524 m); flowers AprilÐAugust.
Potentilla thurberi scarlet cinquefoil Perennial Forb/Herb Erect or ascending annual 10Ð100 cm tall with strongly angled, muchÐbranched stems and sparingly pubescent to subglabrous foliage. Smaller, low growing habit help identify this species. Found on roadsides, fields, ditches from 100Ð4,000 ft (30Ð1219 m); flowers AprilÐSeptember.
Prunus emarginata bitter cherry Perennial Tree Perennial with 1Ðseveral leafy stems, erect to decumbent, 20Ð80 cm tall, glandular and sparsely to densely pilose. Distinguished from other Polemonium by the longer corolla tubes at 20Ð35 mm long, with the attenuate calyx lobes. Found in gravelly to rocky soils along streams from 5,000Ð9,000 ft (1524Ð2743 m); flowers JulyÐSeptember.
Prunus fasciculata desert almond Perennial Shrub Perennial from short woody taproot, stems erect 30Ð60 cm tall pubescent to sparsely villous. Can be more leggy than other Potentilla, but youÕll really key in on the roseÐred color of the petals which are genuinely one of the more beautiful summer flowers. Found in moist soils along streams or in damp meadows from 5,000Ð9,000 ft (1524Ð2743 m); flowers JulyÐSeptember.
Prunus serotina var. virens Black Cherry Perennial Tree
Prunus virens
Purshia mexicana Mexican cliffrose Perennial Shrub
Quercus ajoensis Ajo Mountain scrub oak Perennial Shrub
Quercus arizonica Arizona white oak Perennial Tree Evergreen shrub or small tree from 2Ð6 m tall, open and often scraggly crown; bark reddishÐbrown or gray and shreddy; twigs with straight spreading hairs, woolly around leaf axils. Distinguished from the similar Fallugia paradoxa by the more white style on the end of the achene; the shreddy, reddishÐbrown bark, and the 3Ð7 lobed, glandular dotted leaves. Found on dry, rocky slopes and hillsides from 3,500Ð8,000 ft (1067Ð2438 m); flowers AprilÐSeptember.
Quercus chrysolepis canyon live oak Perennial Tree Trees reaching 10 m tall, bark dark blackishÐgray, young twigs usually densely woolly during first year, dark reddishÐbrown beneath hairs, the older twigs glabrescent, gray, remaining smooth. Distinctive in the landscape with its lustrous green foliage, although the leaves are pale beneath, this is one of the more widespread oaks in the region. Found in chaparral, pi–onÐjuniper, and oak woodlands from 3,500Ð7,000 ft (1067Ð2134 m); flowers AprilÐMay.
Quercus emoryi Emory Oak Perennial Tree Tree reaching 8 m tall, up to as high as 15 m, bark light gray, furrowed; young twigs densely yellowish woolly, older twigs losing most hairs within a year, remaining more or less smooth. One of the most notorious of the Quercus hybridizers. This species was historically lumped with Q. arizonica, and at one time even had that species as a variety. Landrum suggested that there was just enough genetic variation in the whole complex to consider it as such. This guide takes them as being two separate species. Distinguish this species by its having smaller, elliptic to ovate leaves, with the veins less prominent below, and tending to grow in the drier habitats. Found in riparian and montane forests from 3,500Ð7,000 ft (1067Ð2134 m); flowers AprilÐJune.
Quercus gambelii Gambel Oak Perennial Tree Tree to 10 m tall, bark dark blackishÐgray, young twigs woolly, dark reddishÐbrown beneath hairs, becoming glabrous with age, older twigs gray, more or less smooth. Distinctive with its acute tip and the white undersides. Found in canyons, woodlands or in the grasslands from 3,500Ð9,000 ft (1067Ð2743 m); flowers AprilÐJune.
Quercus grisea Gray Oak Perennial Tree Generally a tree from 4-8 m in height, the bark deeply furrowed and light gray. This is perhaps the most oblong of the leaves of the oaks, the bluish tinge to the leaves, often being found in the open woodlands and grasslands, and the entire margins all help to identify this species. Similar to Q. chrysolepis but found in the open, where the latter is often found in the more closed forested communities. Found in the grasslands and in oak woodlands, often on gentle rolling slopes from 2,500-8,000 ft (762-2438 m), flowers April-May.
Quercus hypoleucoides silverleaf oak Perennial Tree Shrub or small contorted tree 1Ð3 m tall, bark light gray, rough, fissured; young twigs densely woolly, smooth reddishÐbrown beneath hairs, older twigs glabrescent, gray, remains more or less smooth; thicket forming. Hybridizes with Q. grisea and Q. gambelii, a useful difference is seen in the stellate hairs of the lower leaf surface, which are more starfish like with radiating arms in Q. turbinella. Q. grisea has more ascending arms in the stellate hairs, and is often more clearly a tree. Found on arid slopes, often among chaparral types from 2,000Ð8,000 ft (610Ð2438 m); flowers MarchÐJune.
Quercus oblongifolia Mexican blue oak Perennial Tree Trees, rarely reaching 18 m tall, bark scaly, twigs yellowish and tomentose, becoming dingy gray. Still has some muddied systematics with respect to formerly being part of a Q. grisea complex, but understood now to be a separate species. Distinguished by its larger, more oblong to oblanceolate leaves, with the veins prominent below. Found in oak and pi–on woodlans, particularly along canyons from 4,000Ð8,000 ft (1219Ð2438 m); flowers spring.
Quercus palmeri Palmer oak Perennial Tree Shrubs and trees that can reach 10 m high, the bark is smooth to rough, and exfoliates in thin filaments or scales. Similar in appearance to Q. dunnii but distinguished by the serrate margins as opposed to the spinose toothed margins. The acorns also lack the flared margins on the cupule and this species is generally found as a tree above 6,000 ft (1829 m). Found in riparian and conifer forests and in exposed rocky sites from 3,500-8,000 ft (1067-2591 m), flowers in May and fruits in August to September.
Quercus pungens Pungent Oak, Shin Oak Perennial Tree Usually a tree that can reach 12 m in height, the bark is longitudinally fissured and light gray, younger twigs can be reddish brown and gray. The gently lobed margins are distinctive among the oaks in the region. It is also the most clearly associated species with higher elevation forests. Horrible hybridizer! Found in forests, generally in association with ponderosa pine at higher elevations from 4,000-10,000 ft (1219-3048 m), flowers in April-June.
Quercus rugosa Netleaf Oak Perennial Tree
Quercus toumeyi Toumey oak Perennial Tree Shrub 1Ð2 m high, bark light gray, flaky when older, young twigs densely woolly, rarely subglabrous, the older twigs glabrescent within about two years, purplish gray to gray, more or less smooth. Can be confused with Q. palmeri, but is distinguished by its often being low to the ground, with more prominent leaf divisions, and being found generally on limestone. Often found on limestone soils, often in chaparral, oak, and juniper communities from 3,500Ð5,500 ft (1067Ð1676 m); flowers in spring.
Quercus turbinella Sonoran scrub oak Perennial Tree Shrubs and trees to 10 m high, bark light gray, relatively thin, with many longitudinal fissures between plates, young twigs densely yellowish woolly to scarcely pubescent, reddishÐbrown with lighter lenticels beneath hairs, older twigs glabrescent within about 2 years, becoming grayish. Distinctive in its thicketÐforming habit, with long leaves, often with the mature leaves gaining a golden yellow color beneath the larger leaves. Found in oak and conifer forests, often on wooded slopes from 5,000Ð9,000 ft (1524Ð2743 m); flowers AprilÐJune.
Quercus viminea Shrub to small tree reaching 3 m tall, bark rough, furrowed, light gray, young twigs densely to moderately covered with hairs, soon losing some or all pubescence, smooth reddishÐbrown beneath pubescence, older twigs gray, becoming rough and sometimes blackened. Distinctive on slopes among chaparral, with the spinose tipped leaves, with their yellowish tinge. Found on rocky slopes in chaparral and oak forests from 4,000Ð6,500 ft (1219Ð1981 m); flowers AprilÐMay.
Ratibida columnifera Prairie coneflower, Redspike Mexican Hat Perennial Forb/Herb Herbaceous perennial. Large cone with black petals, tipped in red/yellow. Found in disturbed areas; often seeded along roads.
Rhus aromatica fragrant sumac Perennial Shrub Thicket-forming shrubs or small trees to 3 m tall, bark dark gray, twigs glaucous, lenticular, pinkish-gray, stems below the inflorescences and leaves glabrous or glabrescent. This species is found in all counties in Arizona except for Yuma, La Paz, and Santa Cruz. Basionyms for this species are Schmaltzia glabra and Toxicodendron glabrum. Found in rich soils in oak and ponderosa pine woodlands, in canyons and riparian zones, often forming thickets, from 3,500-7,000 ft (1067-2134 m); flowering June-August.
Rhus aromatica fragrant Sumac Perennial Shrub Taprooted perennial with erect stems to 1 m, hirsuteÐstrigose and glandular. Distinctive with its columnar head and often bicolored ray flowers, ours often are only one color ray flowers. Found on open sites, often in flats, sometimes found in disturbed sites from 4,000Ð7,500 ft (1219Ð2286 m); flowers MarchÐNovember.
Rhus glabra smooth sumac Perennial Tree Shrub with spreading branches, sometimes in thickets reaching 3 m tall; gray, lenticular bark; brown, puberulent to glabrate. Found on dry slopes and in canyons, often among chaparral from 2,500Ð7,500 ft (762Ð2286 m); flowers MarchÐAugust.
Rhus microphylla littleleaf Sumac Perennial Tree
Rhus virens evergreen or tobacco sumac Perennial Shrub
Rhus trilobata skunkbush sumac Perennial Shrub Densely branched shrub to 2 m tall; dark gray bark when old, gray, stiff and spinescent branches, puberulent and glabrate. Easily told apart from other species in the genera by the pinnate leaves. Found on gravelly soils and on rocky slopes, on sandstone, limestone, and granitic parent material from 3,500Ð6,500 ft (1067Ð1981 m); flowers MarchÐMay.
Ribes aureum Golden Currant Perennial Shrub Shrub with spreading branches, sometimes in thickets reaching 3 m tall; gray, lenticular bark; brown, puberulent to glabrate. There is a bit of uncertainty surrounding this species. Anderson 2007 suggested that all species of R. trilobata and its varieties be subsumed under R. aromatica. Anderson treated the species as polymorphic, suggesting our species differed from those in the East by virtue of its sparsely pubescent fruits; secondly, he  indicated that var. trilobata is more illÐsmelling than its citrusy eastern counterpart. Anderson indicated several varieties of this species, but that the species be treated as one complex. Found on dry slopes and in canyons, often among chaparral from 2,500Ð7,500 ft (762Ð2286 m); flowers MarchÐAugust.
Ribes aureum var. aureum
Rubus arizonensis Arizona dewberry Perennial Shrub
Rubus neomexicanus New Mexico raspberry Perennial Subshrub
Salvia canescens Deciduous shrub growing to 20 cm, armed stems prostrate, with only flowering branches erect. Trailing habit of make makes for good ground cover, readily identifiable with its prostrate habit. Found in partial shade by streams, prefers wellÐdrained soil, slightly acidic from 3,500Ð5,000 ft (1067Ð1524 m); flowers MarchÐMay.
Salvia columbariae Chia Annual Forb/Herb Unarmed shrub, erect and 1-3 m tall, the stems with shredding bark. Often distinct as one of two unarmed species of Rubus in Arizona, distinguished from the other species R. parviflorus by having hairy styles, and the drupelets not having a pubescent cushion, much smaller leaves, and an unpalatable fruit. There is a little uncertainty in the taxonomy of this species, with some referring to it as R. deliciosus var. neomexicanus. Found on forested slopes often in mesic sites and canyons from 4,500-9,500 ft (1372-2896 m), flowers April-September.
Salvia henryi crimson sage Perennial Forb/Herb Suffrutescent perennial 30Ð70 cm, with simple stems, puberulent and sparsely villous. The upturned flowers at the ends of the stem, its shrubby habit, and ovate leaves all help to distinguish this species. Fround on dry, rocky slopes, often in canyons from 6,000Ð8,000 ft (1829Ð2438 m); flowers JulyÐOctober.
Salvia lemmonii Lemmon’s sage Perennial Subshrub Annual with one to several erect, naked, peduncleÐlike stems 10Ð60 cm tall. Distinctive capitate verticils and blue flowers help to identify this plant. Found on sandy, gravelly, or rarely clay soil on slopes, common in sandy washes below 3,500 ft (1067 m); flowers MarchÐJuly.
Sambucus nigra Elderberry Perennial Tree Perennial with 4Ðsided stems 20Ð40 cm tall, herbage of soft pubescent hairs. Distinguished by the 3Ð5 foliolate leaves with their irregular lobes and the larger terminal leaflet. Found on rocky slopes and canyons from 4,500Ð7,000 ft (1372Ð2134 m); flowers AprilÐSeptember.
Sapindus drummondii western soapberry Perennial Shrub Shrubs or small trees, deciduous; shrubs to 2 m tall, thicketÐforming; trees to 6 m; trunk to 0.3 m diameter; crown rounded and compact. Bark is gray or brown, furrowed. Twigs stout, angled, with thick, soft pith; lateral buds green, scaly. Diagnostic characteristics include its thick, pithy twigs; opposite, pinnately compound leaves; flatÐtopped cluster of flowers; dark blue berries with whitish coating. Good browse for goats, elk, and sheep in spring and fall. Berries eaten by bears and rodents, and songbirds. Important habitat for endangered elderberry beetle. Nectar utilized by Townsends solitaire and hummingbirds, as well as providing cover, perching, and nest sites for other birds. Used to stabilize stream banks. Moist soils along streams, in canyons, and loamy bottomlands; 2,500Ð5,000 ft (762Ð1524 m); flowers MayÐAugust.
Silene laciniata Mexican Campion, Mexican Catchfly, Cardinal Catchfly Perennial Forb/Herb Deciduous shrub or small tree, 2Ð8 m (7Ð26 ft) tall; trunk up to 0.3 m in diameter, often with several stems from base; branches soft; twigs glaucous. Bark gray or brown, furrowed. Ours, as here described, is ssp. cerulea. Blue elderberry is tolerant of fire and has the ability to sprout from the root crown. It can be successfully propagated from seed and there is some evidence that it maintains a seed bank in the soil. Seed germination may require, or be improved by, scarification or stratification. The fruit is eaten by bears, small mammals, and birds, and the foliage provides good browse in the warmer months of the year for deer and elk. Found along streams, canyons, open areas in coniferous forests, moist soils from 4,500Ð9,500 ft (1372Ð2896 m),  flowers JuneÐAugust.
Silene laciniata subsp. greggii cardinal catchfly Perennial Forb/Herb
Sisyrinchium demissum stiff blue-eyed grass Perennial Forb/Herb Perennial with erect 1Ðseveral stems 20Ð120 cm tall, forming a thick, fleshy taproot, densely puberulent throughout, glandularÐpubescent above. Ours is ssp. greggii which can be told apart by the distal leaf blades being lanceolate to elliptic, while the proximal leaf blades are oblanceolate and often broadly so. Found in dry oak, pine, and juniper woodlands from 5,500Ð10,000 ft (1676Ð3048 m); flowers JulyÐOctober.
Stachys coccinea Scarlet Hedgenettle, Texas Betony Perennial Forb/Herb
Symphoricarpos longiflorus desert snowberry Perennial Shrub Perennial with erect to lax stems to 50 cm, roots fine to thickened, stems 1Ð3 mm wide, 1Ð2 nodes, uppermost with 2Ð3 peduncles, the margins entire, the surface glabrous. Distinctive with its grasslike appearance with the spathe bracts and the umbellike inflorescence, the strikingly beautiful  blue flower is distinctive. Found along ephemeral waters, from streams to seeps, to wet and moist meadows, springs, to meadows at elevation from 1,500Ð9,500 ft (457Ð2896 m); flowers AprilÐOctober.
Symphoricarpos oreophilus mountain snowberry Perennial Shrub Perennial herb, rhizomatous, with sparse spreading hairs, stems to 1 m or taller. The scarlet flowers, paired along upper part of the stems, along with the nettleÐlike leaves are distinctive; often found in or along washes. Found in moist areas from 1,500Ð8,000 ft (457Ð2438 m); flowers JanuaryÐNovember.
Symphoricarpos palmeri Palmer Snowberry Perennial Shrub Deciduous erect or arching shrub, 0.5Ð1 m (1.6Ð3 ft) tall; young twigs glabrous to sparsely hairy, persisting so that plant appears thorny with age. This species of snowberry is adapted to drier sites than most other species. It establishes from seed and cuttings and is useful for erosion control. The foliage is browsed by deer and the fruits are eaten by pheasants, quail, and grouse. Found on foothills, canyons, pine forests, common in xeric habitats from 3,000Ð9,500 ft (914Ð2896 m), flowers AprilÐAugust.
Symphoricarpos palmeri Palmer Snowberry Perennial Shrub Shrubs, usually less than 4 m tall, bark exfoliating, light brown and glabrous on younger twigs and branches. This species may be difficult to identify without flowers or fruits, it can be gotten to genus by paying attention to the opposite leaves that are often of varying sizes. Found in mountain pine forests from 5,500Ð9,000 ft (1676Ð2743 m); flowers MayÐAugust.
Vauquelinia californica Arizona rosewood Perennial Tree Plants erect to trailing, bark gray to light brown on young branches to 2 m tall. Can be distinguished by the twigs pubescence, the trailing branches, and the paler lower leaf surface. Found on moist slopes, swales, and in drainages, in mountain forests from 7,000Ð8,000 ft (2134Ð2438 m); flowers MayÐJuly.
Vitis arizonica Canyon Grape Perennial Vine Plants erect to trailing, bark gray to light brown on young branches to 2 m tall. Can be distinguished by the twigs pubescence, the trailing branches, and the paler lower leaf surface. Found on moist slopes, swales, and in drainages, in mountain forests from 7,000Ð8,000 ft (2134Ð2438 m); flowers MayÐJuly.
Yucca arizonica Perennial Succulent Large shrubs to small trees with evergreen leaves, to 6 m tall, with dark gray nearly smooth bark. The upwardsÐpointing leaves are a good indicator for this species, along with the evergreen leaves and the finely serrate margins. Found on gravelly or limestone soils in canyons and oak woodlands, from 2,500Ð5,000 ft (762Ð1524 m); flowers MayÐJuly.
Yucca baccata Banana yucca Perennial Succulent Native, sprawling or weakly climbing perennial vine; stems generally 2Ð6 m long; the young twigs densely woolly, but losing this over time and the bark becoming shreddy. Characterized by a sprawling or vineÐlike habit; broad, irregularlyÐtoothed leaves with tendrils opposite; and inflorescences opposite of the leaves that bare dark purple to black grapes. Generally in canyons and along streams from 2,000Ð7,500 ft (610Ð2286 m); flowers AprilÐJuly.
Yucca elata Palmella, Soaptree Yucca Perennial Succulent Native shrub with definite trunk, rarely up to 9 m tall, not often over 1 to 2 m, simple with a few branches. Stalk can reach 9 m. Key characters to know this plant: arborescent, with indehiscent and erect fruits, racemose inflorescences, oblongÐcylindric capsule, 4Ð7 cm long. Often found in the expanses of desert grasslands, with its upright and elongate trunk of old leaves helps to clearly distinguish the species. Mesas, desert washes, sandy plains, and grasslands from 1,500Ð6,000 ft (450Ð1900 m); flowers MayÐJuly.
Yucca x schottii Schott’s yucca Perennial Succulent Solitary, caulescent plants, shorter than 3 m. Stems simple, unbranched, shorter than 2 m. This species emerges from discussion surrounding what formerly was Y. schottii. The phylogenetics suggest that Y. madrensis is the most accurate name for that species, following FNA and Lenz and Hanson 2000. Easy to distinguish by its community associations in the higher elevation pineÐoak woodlands and the lack of curling fibers along the margin of leaves. Found on slopes in Madrean pineÐoak forests from 4,000Ð7,000 ft (1219Ð2134 m); flowers in late summer and fall with the rains.


  • Our Mission

    The mission of Borderlands Restoration is to reconnect wildlife, land, and people in the Arizona/Sonora Borderland region by involving people in restoring the ecosystem on which we depend.

  • Contact

    PO Box 1191
    299 McKeown Ave, Suite #3
    Patagonia, AZ 85624

    (520) 216-4148