The Vascular Flora of the Yaqui Pass Area, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Species Checklist


Pinyon / Yaqui Ridge is the prominent ridge seen south and southwest from the Borrego Valley that forms the southern boundary of Borrego Valley. The Ridge has been raised along faults on its north and south side, creating very steep slopes for much of its north and south slopes.

The Ridge is cut near its eastern end at Yaqui Pass, which is traversed by Highway S3, the Yaqui Pass Road, which is renamed Borrego Springs Road when it enters the Borrego Valley. The portion of the Ridge east of Yaqui Pass has been named Yaqui Ridge.

The Yaqui Pass area is shown in Fig. 1, along with the routes we have surveyed, and the area searched for vouchers. We define the Yaqui Pass area to be that area of Pinyon / Yaqui Ridge which is most easily accessed from Highway S3, excluding the area of San Felipe Creek, which has a very different flora. The southern boundary is therefore fairly well defined, but the northern boundary is nebulous, where Pinyon / Yaqui Ridge grades into the alluvial slopes of Yaqui Meadows / Borrego Valley.

Fig. 1. The Yaqui Pass area. The area searched for vouchers is outlined by the black rectangle. Five surveys have been done in this area, two in the area north of Yaqui Pass from S3 to a major drainage to the west, two along the ridge west of Yaqui Pass, and one along the ridge area east of Yaqui Pass, labeled by the dates of the surveys. The unlabeled red surveys at upper left are part of the Glorietta Canyon flora.

We first became interested in this area when Charlie Jones told James Dillane about the Scutellaria mexicana (=Salazaria mexicana) he had confirmed here on 28 April 2009 with Charles L. Bennett, after Charlie had spotted them blooming a few years previously at this location. Pictures of these plants are here. The location of these plants is shown in Fig. 1 at the far left, at the location of the flag with the hard-to-read reduced label of Salazaria.

This checklist is only a start at a flora of Yaqui Pass, since we have done only five surveys here, sampling only a small fraction of the total area. Also, our surveys were never done in a good rainfall year.

The surveys done so far are:

A total of 141 taxa were found in the union of all five surveys.

Vouchers from the Yaqui Pass area were obtained from a search on 16 February 2013. The Consortium records were searched for vouchers with coordinates between 33.14 and 33.17° N. Latitude, and -116.37 and -116.31 E. Longitude. An additional search was made for vouchers with Yaqui Pass in their locality. A review of the localities resulted in eliminating 14 vouchers as not being in the target area, leaving 117 vouchers, of 67 unique taxa.

This voucher search box is smaller than the area we define as the Yaqui Pass Area, but there were no vouchers with coordinates in the area of Pinyon / Yaqui Ridge to the west of this search box, and the only vouchers to the north of the search box were well away from the Yaqui Pass area, in the transition to the alluvial plain.

Species found in those vouchers to the north, that are not present in this Yaqui Pass Area checklist, are:

The combined checklist from surveys and vouchers contains 156 taxa. Of those 156 taxa, 89 were found only from our surveys; 52 were found both in our surveys and in vouchers; and 15 were found only from vouchers.

Species Checklist

The Checklist follows the 2012 Jepson Manual Second Edition with only a few exceptions.

See Information about the links from the Scientific Name and Common Name.

The column #V gives the number of vouchers found in this area.

The columns #Plants gives a minimum estimate of the number of plants from the field surveys in the two separate areas surveyed, up to a maximum of 99 plants, for species for which abundances were estimated. The main intent of this estimate is to indicate the species for which we found very few plants.

The column RdgW is for the two surveys along the ridge west of Yaqui Pass, and the column RdgE is for the single survey along the ridge east of Yaqui Pass, including part of the road and wash north from Yaqui Pass. Note that no survey has been done at prime time in either of these areas, and thus these columns are missing most spring annuals and perennials.

The column Cyn (for Canyon) is for the area north of Yaqui Pass that included a major drainage to the west.

It is possible that Oligomeris linifolia should be added to the checklist; we'll search for this in future surveys.

See also the neighboring Glorietta Canyon flora.

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (4 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (1 double-sided page). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

#FamilyScientific Name(*) Common Name#V#Plants
1SelagSelaginella eremophiladesert spike-moss 30 99
2PteriCheilanthes parryiwoolly lipfern 154099
3PteriNotholaena californica ssp. californicaCalifornia cloak fern 3210
4CupreJuniperus californicaCalifornia juniper 30  
5EphedEphedra asperaMormon tea 994010
6AcantJusticia californicachuparosa4209950
7AmaraAmaranthus fimbriatusfringed amaranth 1 99
8ApiacSpermolepis lateriflorabristly spermolepis1   
9ApocyAsclepias subulatarush milkweed2 66
10ApocyFunastrum hirtellumrambling milkweed  115
11ApocyMatelea parvifoliaspearleaf 61 
12AsterAdenophyllum porophylloidesSan Felipe dogweed 992020
13AsterAmbrosia dumosaburroweed2995099
14AsterAmbrosia salsola var. salsolacheesebush 10605
15AsterBaccharis brachyphyllashort-leaved baccharis   2
16AsterBahiopsis parishiiParish's viguiera 2020 
17AsterBebbia juncea var. asperasweetbush 997599
18AsterBrickellia frutescensshrubby brickellia 3  
19AsterChaenactis carphoclinia var. carphocliniapebble pincushion  15 
20AsterChaenactis fremontiiFremont pincushion  99 
21AsterDicoria canescensdesert dicoria1   
22AsterEncelia farinosabrittlebush1999999
23AsterEricameria brachylepisboundary goldenbush 99  
24AsterGutierrezia californicaCalifornia matchweed 9919 
25AsterMonoptilon bellioidesdesert star1   
26AsterPalafoxia arida var. aridaSpanish needle1   
27AsterPectis papposa var. papposachinch-weed   4
28AsterPerityle emoryiEmory's rock-daisy1 12
29AsterPleurocoronis plurisetaarrow-leaf  555
30AsterPorophyllum gracileodora 54 
31AsterRafinesquia neomexicanadesert chicory  15 
32AsterSenecio mohavensisMojave ragwort  20 
33AsterStephanomeria pauciflorawire-lettuce1994050
34AsterTrichoptilium incisumyellow-head1  1
35AsterTrixis californica var. californicaCalifornia trixis1602515
36BoragAmsinckia intermediacommon fiddleneck  25 
37BoragAmsinckia tessellata var. tessellatabristly fiddleneck4 sp15 
38BoragCryptantha barbigera var. barbigerabearded cryptantha3 ~99 
39BoragCryptantha maritimaGuadalupe cryptantha  99 
40BoragCryptantha nevadensis var. nevadensisNevada cryptantha1 11 
41BoragCryptantha pterocarya var. cyclopteraTucson wing-nut cryptantha  99 
42BoragCryptantha racemosabushy cryptantha1   
43BoragEmmenanthe penduliflora var. penduliflorawhispering bells1 99 
44BoragEucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. bipinnatifidaeucrypta  8 
45BoragNama demissum var. demissumpurple mat  22 
46BoragPectocarya recurvatacurvenut combseed1 99 
47BoragPhacelia cicutaria var. hispidacaterpillar phacelia  1 
48BoragPhacelia crenulata var. minutifloralittle-flowered heliotrope phacelia1 99 
49BoragPhacelia distanscommon phacelia1 9999
50BoragPhacelia pedicellatapedicellate phacelia1 3 
51BoragPholistoma membranaceumwhite fiesta flower  99 
52BoragTiquilia canescens var. canescensgray coldenia345 11
53BrassBrassica tournefortii*Asian mustard1 9999
54BrassCaulanthus cooperiCooper's jewel-flower  18 
55BrassCaulanthus lasiophyllusCalifornia mustard  5 
56BrassDescurainia pinnatawestern tansy-mustard  16 
57BrassDescurainia sophia*herb sophia1   
58BrassHirschfeldia incana*shortpod mustard1   
59BrassLepidium lasiocarpum ssp. lasiocarpumhairy-podded pepper-grass152 
60BrassLyrocarpa coulteriCoulter's lyrepod1434050
61BrassSisymbrium irio*London rocket  1 
62BrassStreptanthella longirostrislongbeak streptanthella1   
63CactaCylindropuntia bigeloviiteddy-bear cholla 999999
64CactaCylindropuntia ganderiGander's cholla 999999
65CactaEchinocereus engelmanniiEngelmann's hedgehog cactus 501030
66CactaFerocactus cylindraceusCalifornia barrel cactus 999999
67CactaMammillaria dioicaCalifornia fish-hook cactus 602099
68CactaMammillaria tetrancistrafish-hook cactus 11 2
69CactaOpuntia basilaris var. basilarisbeavertail cactus 993099
70CactaOpuntia phaeacanthadesert prickly-pear 20  
71CampaNemacladus glanduliferusglandular nemacladus1 ~5 
72ChenoAtriplex polycarpacattle saltbush   4
73ChenoChenopodium murale*nettle-leaved goosefoot1   
74ChenoMonolepis nuttallianaNuttall's poverty weed1   
75CrassCrassula connatapygmy-weed  37 
76CrassDudleya saxosa ssp. aloidesdesert dudleya 59925
77EuphoChamaesyce polycarpasmall-seeded spurge1509999
78EuphoChamaesyce setilobastarfish (Yuma) spurge 159999
79EuphoDitaxis lanceolatanarrowleaf ditaxis1997599
80EuphoDitaxis neomexicanaNew Mexico ditaxis   25
81EuphoEuphorbia erianthabeetle spurge2401299
82FabacAcmispon glaber var. brevialatusshort-winged deerweed 99  
83FabacAcmispon maritimus var. brevivexillusshort-bannered coastal lotus  99 
84FabacAcmispon rigidusdesert lotus3 42
85FabacAcmispon strigosusstrigose lotus  10 
86FabacAstragalus palmeriPalmer's milk-vetch1   
87FabacHoffmannseggia glaucahog potato 99  
88FabacLupinus concinnusbajada lupine1 17 
89FabacParkinsonia floridablue palo verde   1
90FabacPsorothamnus schottiiindigo bush 57575
91FabacPsorothamnus spinosussmoke tree2 4020
92FabacSenegalia greggiicatclaw159920
93FabacSenna armataspiny senna1 5 
94FouquFouquieria splendens ssp. splendensocotillo1999999
95GeranErodium cicutarium*redstem filaree 999999
96GeranErodium texanumTexas filaree 506 
97KrameKrameria bicolorwhite rhatany1351550
98KrameKrameria erectaPima rhatany 304520
99LamiaHyptis emoryidesert-lavender1159950
100LamiaSalvia columbariaechia 3020 
101LamiaSalvia vaseyiVasey's sage 10650
102LamiaScutellaria mexicanaMexican bladder sage 998 
103LoasaMentzelia albicauliswhite-stemmed blazing star  99 
104LoasaMentzelia involucratabracted blazing star  5 
105MalvaAyenia compactaayenia2101 
106MalvaHibiscus denudatusrock hibiscus340530
107MalvaSphaeralcea ambigua var. ambiguaapricot mallow 10  
108NyctaAllionia incarnatatrailing four o'clock   20
109NyctaBoerhavia coccineascarlet spiderling   23
110NyctaBoerhavia triquetra var. intermediafivewing spiderling 20299
111NyctaMirabilis laevis var. retrorsaBigelow's desert four-o'clock1995010
112OleacMenodora scabra var. glabrescensbroom twinberry 99  
113OnagrChylismia cardiophylla ssp. cardiophyllaheartleaf suncup2   
114OnagrChylismia claviformis ssp. peirsoniibrown-eyed primrose  99 
115OnagrEulobus californicusCalifornia suncup  99 
116PapavEschscholzia minutiflora ssp. minutiflorasmall-flowered poppy1 99 
117PapavEschscholzia parishiiParish's poppy4 50 
118PhrymMimulus bigelovii var. bigeloviiBigelow's monkeyflower3199 
119PlantMohavea confertifloraghost flower1 3 
120PlantPlantago ovatadesert plantain 99451
121PolemEriastrum eremicum ssp. eremicumdesert woolly-star 4015 
122PolemGilia stellatastar gilia  3 
123PolemLangloisia setosissima ssp. setosissimabristly langloisia1   
124PolygChorizanthe brevicornu var. brevicornubrittle spineflower  4 
125PolygEriogonum fasciculatum var. polifoliumCalifornia buckwheat 703040
126PolygEriogonum inflatumdesert trumpet3999999
127PolygEriogonum maculatumspotted buckwheat  ~1 
128PolygEriogonum reniformekidney-leaf buckwheat1   
129PolygEriogonum thomasiiThomas' buckwheat1 75 
130PolygEriogonum wrightii var. nodosumWright's buckwheat 999950
131RanunDelphinium parishii ssp. subglobosumintermediate larkspur1546 
132RubiaGalium stellatumstar-flowered bedstraw1992510
133RutacThamnosma montanaturpentine broom1203010
134SimmoSimmondsia chinensisjojoba4509950
135SolanDatura discolordesert thornapple   1
136SolanLycium andersoniiAnderson's desert-thorn2109220
137SolanNicotiana obtusifoliadesert tobacco   5
138SolanPhysalis crassifoliathick-leaved ground cherry110910
139UrticParietaria hespera var. hesperapellitory  99 
140ViscaPhoradendron californicumdesert mistletoe11603
141ZygopFagonia laevisCalifornia fagonia4999930
142ZygopKallstroemia californicaCalifornia caltrop   2
143ZygopLarrea tridentatacreosote bush3999999
144AgavaAgave deserti var. desertidesert agave1999999
145AgavaYucca schidigeraMohave yucca 2  
146LiliaCalochortus splendenssplendid mariposa lily 99  
147PoaceAristida adscensionissix-weeks three-awn 20899
148PoaceAristida purpureapurple three-awn 512 
149PoaceBouteloua aristidoides var. aristidoidesneedle grama   5
150PoaceBromus diandrus*ripgut brome1   
151PoaceBromus madritensis ssp. rubens*red brome 9999 
152PoaceBromus tectorum*downy brome  5 
153PoaceCynodon dactylon*Bermuda grass   30
154PoaceDasyochloa pulchellafluff grass245 3
155PoaceHilaria rigidabig galleta 1 1
156PoaceSchismus barbatus*Mediterranean schismus  99 

Voucher data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria (

We thank Charlie Jones for telling us about the Salazaria here, and for providing a picture to give the Calochortus determination.

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Copyright © 2014 by Tom Chester, Adrienne Ballwey, Keir Morse, James Dillane, Jim Roberts, Jeff Field, and Kate Harper.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 26 December 2014.