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PLANT IDENTIFICATION. TREES. Catclaw Acacia. Bipinnately compound leaves Brown, curved spines. Catclaw Acacia Fruit: bean-like Flower: yellow, elongated. Whitethorn Acacia. Leaves: Bipinnately compound Spines: Straight, white Bark: Reddish. Whitethorn Acacia. Flower: yellow, spherical.

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catclaw acacia
Catclaw Acacia
  • Bipinnately compound leaves
  • Brown, curved spines
whitethorn acacia
Whitethorn Acacia
  • Leaves: Bipinnately compound
  • Spines: Straight, white
  • Bark: Reddish
whitethorn acacia1
Whitethorn Acacia
  • Flower: yellow, spherical
desert ironwood
Desert Ironwood
  • Leaves: Simple pinnately compound
  • Flowers: Purple
  • Spines: dark, thin, slightly curved
velvet mesquite

My knee for scale

Velvet Mesquite
  • Leaves: Large, bipinnately compound
  • Relatively large leaflets and flowers
velvet mesquite1
Velvet Mesquite
  • Fruit: bean-like
  • Flowers: yellow, long
foothills palo verde
Foothills Palo Verde
  • Leaves: Bipinnately compound
  • 4+ pairs of leaflets/“leaf”
  • Spines: none along branches
  • Bark: green
foothills palo verde1
Foothills Palo Verde
  • Fruit: bean-like
  • Flower: yellow, with white, upper banner petal
blue palo verde
Blue Palo Verde

Spine

  • Leaves: bipinnately compound
  • 3 or fewer pairs of leaflets/“leaf”
  • Spines along branches
  • Bark: Green

Spine

blue palo verde1
Blue Palo Verde
  • Flower: yellow, with yellow, upper banner petal
fairy duster
Fairy Duster
  • Leaves: Bipinnately compound
  • Fine, dark green leaflets
  • Spines: none
  • Bark: whitish
fairy duster1
Fairy Duster
  • Flower: unique
desert mistletoe
Desert Mistletoe
  • Parasitic
  • Appear as clumps in trees most commonly
  • Phainopepla is main vector
jojoba
Jojoba
  • Leaves: simple, vertical
  • Dioecious
  • Nuts appear on females in spring and summer
jojoba1
Jojoba
  • Nuts produce high quality wax that is liquid at room temperature

Instead of sperm whale oil

brittlebush
Brittlebush
  • Leaves: simple, entire, triangle-shaped
  • Flowers: yellow (like lots of other plants
brittlebush1
Brittlebush
  • Yellow, like many other plants
limberbush
Limberbush
  • Leaves: simple, heart-shaped
  • Bark: red
  • Flexible limbs
limberbush1
Limberbush
  • Flowers: small, white
ocotillo
Ocotillo
  • Multiple arms
  • Flowers: red, tubular
  • Spines: straight, stout
  • Drought deciduous
triangle leaf bursage
Triangle-leaf Bursage
  • Leaves: simple, toothed, triangle-shaped
ratany
Ratany
  • Non-descript plant most of year
  • Flowers: purple
  • Fruit: spined
  • Hemi-parasite
creosote bush
Creosote Bush
  • Leaves have a single pair of leaflets
  • Yellow flowers developing into white seed pods
creosote bush1
Creosote Bush

Creosote bush gall and midge

desert broom
Desert Broom
  • Leaves more like twigs
desert broom1
Desert Broom
  • Leaves more like twigs
burroweed
Burroweed
  • Finely divided leaves
  • Flowers: yellow turning to white
  • Last year’s flower stalks remain for long time
canyon ragweed
Canyon Ragweed
  • Leaves: simple, long, triangle-shaped with toothed margin
  • Usually occurs in washes and canyons
canyon ragweed1
Canyon Ragweed
  • Flowers: nondescript
sotol desert spoon
Sotol (Desert Spoon)
  • Rosette of leaves
  • Leaves have spines along edges but not at tips
saguaro1
Saguaro
  • Seed
  • 2000 seeds/fruit
  • 100 fruits/year
  • 100-150 years = 20 million+ seeds in lifetime,
  • But only one survives to replace individual in stable population
saguaro2
Saguaro
  • Seedlings
  • Grow under nurse plant
  • Grow ½” first year
  • Grow 1’ in 15 years
  • Grow 10’ in 40 years (mature)
saguaro3
Saguaro
  • Fruit is edible
  • Flower: white, large, blooms at night and closes forever the next day
southwest or fishhook barrel cactus
Southwest (or Fishhook) Barrel Cactus

Spines: long, hooked

Fruit: yellow

southwest or fishhook barrel cactus1
Southwest (or Fishhook) Barrel Cactus
  • Flowers: yellow, orange, or red usually
  • Plant usually leans
hedgehog cacti
Hedgehog Cacti
  • Multiple heads
  • Spines not as dense as pincushion cacti
prickly pear cacti
Prickly Pear Cacti
  • Pads
  • Flowers: many colors
  • Fruit: purple when ripe
fishhook pincushion cactus
Fishhook Pincushion Cactus
  • Very dense spines
  • Ring of pink flowers near top
  • Spines: longest with hooks
chain fruit or jumping cholla
Chain-fruit (or Jumping) Cholla
  • Fruit stay attached and form chains.
  • Flowers: often pink
chain fruit or jumping cholla1

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/plmay98.htm

Blown up 350x; overlapping scales on spine make pulling out the spine very difficult

Chain-fruit (or Jumping) Cholla
teddybear cholla
Teddybear Cholla

Fruit are single and do not form chains.

teddybear cholla1
Teddybear Cholla
  • Spines: tend to be more dense than chain-fruit cholla
staghorn cholla
Staghorn Cholla
  • Spines less dense and arms more spreading than chain-fruit or teddy-bear cholla
christmas cholla
Christmas Cholla
  • One spine per areole
  • Red fruit in winter
  • Thin segments