Native Plants of the Mojave Desert~


Please Click to Enlarge for Optimal Viewing! These are the air sacks and flowers of the unusual Paperbag Bush or Flower Sage.


This beautiful plant creates multi-colored air sacks that contain nuts. Purple flowers extend from the air sacs creating a reamarkably beautiful sight!

Please see this link for more info and this interesting plant. I do have more photos for those interested,.

Dehydrated Prickly Pear Cactus, waiting for rain to come so they can engorge with water!

Joshua Tree seed pods.


The twisted shapes of The Joshua’s!


Yucca flower remnant.


Jumping Cholla cacti. They are called jumping because they easily detach when brushed and dig right on in! Ouch!

Cholla catctus flowers.

What beauty there is to behold in every season in the living desert! Cheers to you from Joshua Tree National Park and The Mojave Desert!

106 thoughts on “Native Plants of the Mojave Desert~

  1. Thanks for sharing some of your native plants! That paper bag bush is very unique. I laugh at the jumping cactus… my dogs will find anything that can tangle and stick in their fur. It’s burr (burdock) time now and it’s easier to cut those out of the fur than brush out. Gesh, don’t know where they find them…

    1. Dogs and cactus are a notoriously, comically-bad mix. Since I have lived in these parts, all my life, I know what you are talking about. Most of it is inconvenient and the dog learns faster then we do. But there are some serious exceptions, the cholla is one to avoid, and far worse, but medicinally important, in the blue agave cactus, Remarkable plants. But you must have enough sense to teach your dog to avoid, now matter how tempting the rabbit is that ran into it is. The poison on the spears can kill a dog.
      Yet these plants are one of the few that prosper under extreme adverstiy. If you are dying of thirst in the desert, find one they will keep you alive.

    1. It’s partly because I missed the optimal season.. I caught the colors of the flower sage slightly too late, the air sacks were about to burst, and the remaining purple flowers were withering.
      The prickly pear will live, you saw it in extremist, if it doesn’t get water soon, it will die.But it will.get water and it will survive.
      It is just a patient plant.
      But yes, life in such austerity, if rain doesn’t come, should be frightening, because we are not as resilient as plants.
      I am quite impressed you noticed this.
      Hugz my friend.

  2. Beautiful plants! beautiful photos!
    The word “exotic” is an understatement.
    I love the last photo. The cactus looks so “warm”. It makes me wanna hug it, even though it is thorny. LOL!

    1. Boy, I am glad I met you!
      I think about you and your wife a lot.
      Wonder how you are both doing.
      The biggest lesson I have learned from life?
      Grab it hard by the neck,
      Shake it.
      Don’t let it go.
      Make it work.
      for you,
      before you are gone.
      big ones,
      my friend.

      1. Hi Cindy. We are both hanging in there (sometimes by our fingertips). Thanks for the pep talk. I needed it and it made me dig a little deeper.
        I am not doing much with writing or reading blogs but I keep an eye out for your great trips and photos, Ginger fight back’s crazy humor, A Daily Thought’s interesting videos, and one or two others.
        Take care

    1. The flower sage was new to me as well! Now I am looking in to growing some at The Holler. I missed the optimal photo window by a few days, when the purple flowers are all over the air sacs! Amazing plant~

  3. Fascinating plants, Cindy. I am forever amazed about how nature responds to different environments and desert plants are some of the most amazing. I went back and looked at my photos from Joshua Tree. Your adventure helped inspire my next blog series. Peggy and I are heading off to Mexico for three weeks and I needed something to post in the meantime. I decided to do a series on the National Park photos we’ve taken. –Curt

  4. beauties as always Cindy…you know I love seeing your photos of the southern states…I think I was born in the wrong area…should have been a place without cold and snow…not sure what happened along the way? πŸ˜‰

  5. Hi Cuz,
    I love it ! I get a free nature lesson every time you go somewhere! I knew about the prickly pear and the cholla, but had never seen the “paper bag bush”. Sorta strange and beautiful all in the same breath. Nice pics.

  6. Stunning plants. That Prickly Pear was brought to Australia and used as a hedge that then went feral and became a terrible curse. It is now under control when they brought in an insect that would eat it.

      1. Wow!! Australia has such a uniquely isolated eco-system. Introduced plants and animals (like rabbits and prickly pears) created such mayhem. Quite interesting. Thank you for the link!

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