Death Valley Plants
South Sierra Plants
Inyo Milkvetch

      There are many members of the Astragalus genus which grow in the Death Valley area. In fact, Mary DeDecker in her book cataloging plants found in the Northern Mojave Desert lists twenty-five species of Astagalus, plus several varieties. Included in my online collection are seven species of milkvetch which I have found growing in the Death Valley area. The easiest way to locate the pages for all seven is to simply click on the List by scientific name link at the top of the Death Valley Area Plants page. (Click here for more info!)

Wishbone Bush

      Wishbone Bush is one of the many plants that have been reclassified in recent years thanks to the analysis of plant genomes. Formerly, it was classified as Mirabilis bigelovii, but now it is known as Mirabilis laevis. Although many plants have been reclassified as members of new families or put into different genera, Wishbone Bush has only become included as a member of a new species. Sometimes the adjustment made as a result of genetic analysis is large and sometimes it is small, and sometimes genetic analysis only confirms that the current classification is appropriate. (Click here for more info!)

Sandpaper Plant

      Sandpaper Plant (Petalonyx thurberi) is one of the few plants that can be counted on to produce flowers during the summer at elevations below 4000 feet in the Death Valley area. In fact, it blooms from May to September and sometimes even into November. The small, white flowers form in clusters and although they may not be spectacular, they are quite attractive. A slight problem with this plant is that its dried leaves can sometimes adhere to clothing and can be quite difficult to detach from said clothing. For this reason, Velcro Plant is a nickname sometimes used for this plant! (Click here for more info!)


      There are several members of the Mustard Family which produce interesting flowers. The Heart-Leaf Twistflower (Streptanthus cordatus) produces flowers consisting of a sepal which is green, yellow, or maroon, with petals which are brownish-purple or maroon. Blooming from May to July, the Twistflower is likely to be found in the Inyo, Panamint, Grapevine, or Last Chance mountains in the Death Valley area. Otherwise it grows throughout the Great Basin region at elevations between 5800 and 10000 feet. (Click here for more info!)

Fern Bush

      Also known as desert sweet and tansy bush, fern bush is primarily encountered at higher elevations. It may be found in mountainous areas in and around Death Valley at elevations above 6800 feet. The fernlike foliage is obviously the reason this plant is called fern bush and when there are no flowers present it appears to be an unlikely member of the Rose Family, but once flowers are present it's easy to see the family resemblance. (Click here for more info!)

Yerba Mansa

      As a member of the Lizard's Tail Family (Saururaceae), Yerba Mansa is every bit as unusual as you might expect. The large flower cone is actually a cluster of small flowers and what appear to be petals are actually modified leaves (called bracts) which just happen to be white. Helping colonies of this plant to spread are rhizomes from which new plants sprout as long as there is sufficient water. Yerba mansa is not encountered often in the Death Valley area since it can only flourish near springs or other sources of water, but there are a few spots where large colonies can be found. (Click here for more info!)

Death Valley Plants
South Sierra Plants

Hiking Geek


Trona News
Rusky Ed
Any Place Education

Cryptantha Bear Poppy
Panamint Daisy Bitterroot

Evening Snow Rosy Mallow
Stream Orchid Blazing Star

Entire site,

CONTACT: info@blackturtle.us