Annual Plant Species of the Borrego Desert: Seedling Pictures Arranged by Morphology

The seedling pictures (of annuals, perennials and shrubs) shown here are organized by shape of the cotyledons and first true leaves. For a list in family order, see Annual Plant Species of the Borrego Desert: Seedling and Flower Pictures.

The first-order organization is as follows:

Table 1. Entire cotyledons, entire first true leaves ("entire" means leaves that have no lobes or teeth)
Table 2. Weakly-toothed or weakly-lobed cotyledons and/or first true leaves
Table 3. Entire cotyledons and lobed first true leaves
Table 4. Lobed cotyledons and entire-to-lobed first true leaves

The second-order organization is as follows.

These baby plants have been identified from a number of different approaches:

However, it is certainly possible there is a mistake or two on the page. If you wonder about any of the determinations here, please let us know.

Fundamentally, of course, this is an exercise in matching the items in column A (baby plants) with items in column B (adult plants). The flora of an area gives us the list of adult plants. Hence when the list of baby plants is complete, the errors should be absent.

Table 1. Entire cotyledons, entire first true leaves, ordered from narrower to wider leaves


Chaenactis fremontii

Malacothrix glabrata

Palafoxia arida

Plantago ovata
Leaf hairiness is quite variable; some young leaves are nearly glabrous

Cryptantha angustifolia

Cryptantha_maritima

Monoptilon bellioides

Cryptantha_barbigera

Pectocarya recurvata

Camissonia pallida ssp. pallida
Camissoniopsis pallida ssp. pallida

Camissonia pallida ssp. pallida
Camissoniopsis pallida ssp. pallida

Nama demissum var. demissum
Nama demissa var. demissa

Trichoptilium incisum

Amaranthus albus or
Amaranthus blitoides

Ditaxis neomexicana
Cotyledons are shriveled

Loeseliastrum matthewsii

Loeseliastrum schottii
(intentionally blank)

Bebbia juncea var. aspera

Senecio mohavensis

Plagiobothrys arizonicus

Filago californica
Logfia filaginoides

Geraea canescens

Mimulus bigelovii

Simmondsia chinensis

Tidestromia oblongifolia
(intentionally blank)

Antirrhinum filipes
Note the hairy base of the petioles (the lower stem is hairy, too)

Justicia californica

Nemacladus rubescens

Mirabilis bigelovii var. retrorsa
Mirabilis laevis var. retrorsa
These two Mirabilis species may have the biggest cotyledons of any of our species

Mirabilis tenuiloba
These two Mirabilis species may have the biggest cotyledons of any of our species

Encelia farinosa

Encelia farinosa

Encelia farinosa

Encelia frutescens

Encelia frutescens

Encelia frutescens

Table 2. Weakly-toothed or weakly-lobed cotyledons and/or first true leaves, ordered from narrower to wider cotyledons or leaves


Hesperocallis undulata
A monocot with only one cotyledon. First true leaf (undulate) in later years.

Baileya_pauciradiata
Cotyledons not visible in this pix
(intentionally blank)

Oenothera deltoides ssp. deltoides

Camissonia claviformis ssp. peirsonii
Chylismia claviformis ssp. peirsonii

Camissonia claviformis ssp. peirsonii
Chylismia claviformis ssp. peirsonii

Gilia stellata (can also have more lobed first leaves)

Volutaria tubuliflora

Rafinesquia neomexicana

Lepidium lasiocarpum
Linear entire cotyledons
First true leaf can be entire (shown above) to lobed

Lepidium lasiocarpum
Linear entire cotyledons
First true leaf can be entire to lobed (shown above)
(intentionally blank)

Chenopodium murale

Chenopodium murale

Chenopodium murale

Abronia villosa var. villosa

Psorothamnus schottii

Psorothamnus spinosus

Table 3. Entire cotyledons and lobed first true leaves, organized from least-lobed true leaves to more-lobed true leaves


Mentzelia involucrata

Mentzelia involucrata

Perityle emoryi

Dithyrea californica

Dicoria canescens
(intentionally blank)

Gilia latifolia
Aliciella latifolia

Gilia latifolia
Aliciella latifolia

Gilia latifolia
Aliciella latifolia

Phacelia crenulata var. ambigua

Phacelia crenulata var. ambigua
Leaves are quite variable
(intentionally blank)

Phacelia crenulata var. minutiflora

Phacelia crenulata var. minutiflora
Leaves are quite variable

Nemacladus glanduliferus

Eucrypta micrantha

Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. bipinnatifida

Langloisia setosissima ssp. setosissima

Emmenanthe penduliflora

Phacelia distans

Ambrosia dumosa
Cotyledons not visible

Lotus salsuginosus var. brevivexillus
Acmispon maritimus var. brevivexillus

Lotus strigosus
Acmispon strigosus

Apiastrum angustifolium

Lupinus concinnus (hairiness is variable)

Lupinus arizonicus
(intentionally blank)

Fagonia laevis (note narrowly-elliptic leaflets)

Fagonia pachyacantha (note obovate terminal leaflets)
(intentionally blank)

Pholistoma auritum var. arizonicum

Pholistoma membranaceum
Note the much longer petioles on the cotyledons compared to Pholistoma auritum
(intentionally blank)

Eschscholzia minutiflora
Leaves are variable, and can look similar to E. parishii

Eschscholzia parishii
Leaves are variable, and can look similar to E. minutiflora
(intentionally blank)

Table 4. Lobed cotyledons and entire-to-lobed first true leaves, ordered from least-lobed cotyledons to most-lobed cotyledons


Camissonia californica
Eulobus californicus

Eriogonum davidsonii

Brassica tournefortii

Salvia columbariae

Salvia vaseyi
(intentionally blank)

Eremalche exilis

Eremalche rotundifolia
(intentionally blank)

Erodium texanum

Erodium cicutarium
(intentionally blank)

Amsinckia menziesii var. intermedia
Amsinckia intermedia
(intentionally blank) (intentionally blank)


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Copyright © 2012-2017 by Tom Chester, Mike Crouse and Kate Harper.
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Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 11 February 2017.