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. (Numbers not updated from additional surveys after 2014.)

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. (Numbers not updated from additional surveys after 2014.)

For photographs of 400 observations from this area as of 26 November 2019, see the Inaturalist observations from this area.

For a hike description from Yaqui Pass to the Sheep Guzzler on the ridge west of Yaqui Pass, along with many photographs of this area, see Fred Melgert and Carla Hoegen's Yaqui Ridge Peak.

Species Checklist


The column with header Famil gives the first five letters of the plant family name. See Plant Family Abbreviations.

An asterisk before the common name indicates a non-native species.

The column with label BW links to the photo gallery page for each species at Fred Melgert and Carla Hoegen's BorregoWildflowers site.

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 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 three 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
Link goes to the Jepson eflora
(*) Common Name
Link goes to Calphotos
1SelagSelaginella eremophiladesert spike-mossBW 99 99
2PteriCheilanthes parryiwoolly lipfernBW 554099
3PteriNotholaena californica ssp. californicaCalifornia cloak fernBW 11210
4CupreJuniperus californicaCalifornia juniperBW 30 
5EphedEphedra asperaMormon teaBW 994010
6AcantJusticia californicachuparosaBW4509950
7AmaraAmaranthus fimbriatusfringed amaranthBW 1 99
8ApiacSpermolepis lateriflorabristly spermolepis 1  
9ApocyAsclepias subulatarush milkweedBW2 66
10ApocyFunastrum hirtellumrambling milkweedBW  115
11ApocyMatelea parvifoliaspearleafBW 61
12AsterAdenophyllum porophylloidesSan Felipe dogweedBW 992020
13AsterAmbrosia dumosaburroweedBW2995099
14AsterAmbrosia salsola var. salsolacheesebushBW 10605
15AsterBaccharis brachyphyllashort-leaved baccharisBW   2
16AsterBahiopsis parishiiParish's viguieraBW 2020
17AsterBebbia juncea var. asperasweetbushBW 997599
18AsterBrickellia frutescensshrubby brickelliaBW 3 
19AsterChaenactis carphoclinia var. carphocliniapebble pincushionBW 9915
20AsterChaenactis fremontiiFremont pincushionBW  99
21AsterDicoria canescensdesert dicoriaBW1  
22AsterEncelia farinosabrittlebushBW1999999
23AsterEricameria brachylepisboundary goldenbushBW 99 
24AsterGutierrezia sarothraematchweedBW 9919
25AsterLogfia filaginoidesCalifornia filagoBW ~20 
26AsterMonoptilon bellioidesdesert starBW1  
27AsterPalafoxia arida var. aridaSpanish needleBW1  
28AsterPectis papposa var. papposachinch-weedBW   4
29AsterPerityle emoryiEmory's rock-daisyBW11012
30AsterPleurocoronis plurisetaarrow-leafBW  555
31AsterPorophyllum gracileodoraBW 54
32AsterRafinesquia neomexicanadesert chicoryBW  15
33AsterSenecio mohavensisMojave ragwortBW 220
34AsterStephanomeria pauciflorawire-lettuceBW1994050
35AsterTrichoptilium incisumyellow-headBW1  1
36AsterTrixis californica var. californicaCalifornia trixisBW1702515
37AsterUropappus lindleyisilver puffsBW 1 
38BoragAmsinckia intermediacommon fiddleneckBW  25
39BoragAmsinckia tessellata var. tessellatabristly fiddleneckBW4 sp15
40BoragCryptantha barbigera var. barbigerabearded cryptanthaBW3 ~99
41BoragCryptantha maritimaGuadalupe cryptanthaBW 9999
42BoragCryptantha nevadensis var. nevadensisNevada cryptanthaBW1 11
43BoragCryptantha pterocarya var. cyclopteraTucson wing-nut cryptanthaBW  99
44BoragCryptantha racemosabushy cryptanthaBW1  
45BoragEmmenanthe penduliflora var. penduliflorawhispering bellsBW1599
46BoragEucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. bipinnatifidaeucryptaBW ~38
47BoragNama demissum var. demissumpurple matBW  22
48BoragPectocarya recurvatacurvenut combseedBW1 99
49BoragPhacelia cicutaria var. hispidacaterpillar phaceliaBW  1
50BoragPhacelia crenulata var. minutifloralittle-flowered heliotrope phaceliaBW19999
51BoragPhacelia distanscommon phaceliaBW1 9999
52BoragPhacelia pedicellatapedicellate phaceliaBW1 3
53BoragPholistoma membranaceumwhite fiesta flowerBW  99
54BoragTiquilia canescens var. canescensgray coldeniaBW345 11
55BrassBrassica tournefortii*Asian mustardBW159999
56BrassCaulanthus cooperiCooper's jewel-flowerBW 9918
57BrassCaulanthus lasiophyllusCalifornia mustardBW 995
58BrassDescurainia pinnatawestern tansy-mustardBW 516
59BrassDescurainia sophia*herb sophiaBW1  
60BrassHirschfeldia incana*shortpod mustardBW1  
61BrassLepidium lasiocarpum ssp. lasiocarpumhairy-podded pepper-grassBW1992
62BrassLyrocarpa coulteriCoulter's lyrepodBW1454050
63BrassSisymbrium irio*London rocketBW  1
64BrassStreptanthella longirostrislongbeak streptanthellaBW1  
65CactaCylindropuntia bigeloviiteddy-bear chollaBW 999999
66CactaCylindropuntia ganderiGander's chollaBW 999999
67CactaEchinocereus engelmanniiEngelmann's hedgehog cactusBW 501030
68CactaFerocactus cylindraceusCalifornia barrel cactusBW 999999
69CactaMammillaria dioicaCalifornia fish-hook cactusBW 702099
70CactaMammillaria tetrancistrafish-hook cactusBW 11 2
71CactaOpuntia basilaris var. basilarisbeavertail cactusBW 993099
72CactaOpuntia phaeacanthadesert prickly-pearBW 20 
73CampaNemacladus glanduliferusglandular nemacladusBW1 ~5
74ChenoAtriplex polycarpacattle saltbushBW   4
75ChenoChenopodium murale*nettle-leaved goosefootBW1  
76ChenoMonolepis nuttallianaNuttall's poverty weedBW1  
77CrassCrassula connatapygmy-weedBW  37
78CrassDudleya saxosa ssp. aloidesdesert dudleyaBW 68925
79EuphoChamaesyce micromeraSonoran spurgeBW 2 
80EuphoChamaesyce polycarpasmall-seeded spurgeBW1509999
81EuphoChamaesyce setilobastarfish (Yuma) spurgeBW 159999
82EuphoDitaxis lanceolatanarrowleaf ditaxisBW1997599
83EuphoDitaxis neomexicanaNew Mexico ditaxisBW   25
84EuphoEuphorbia erianthabeetle spurgeBW2401299
85FabacAcmispon glaber var. brevialatusshort-winged deerweedBW 99 
86FabacAcmispon maritimus var. brevivexillusshort-bannered coastal lotusBW  99
87FabacAcmispon rigidusdesert lotusBW3542
88FabacAcmispon strigosusstrigose lotusBW 9910
89FabacAstragalus palmeriPalmer's milk-vetchBW1  
90FabacHoffmannseggia glaucahog potatoBW 99 
91FabacLupinus concinnusbajada lupineBW1~217
92FabacParkinsonia floridablue palo verdeBW   1
93FabacPsorothamnus schottiiindigo bushBW 57575
94FabacPsorothamnus spinosussmoke treeBW2 4020
95FabacSenegalia greggiicatclawBW159920
96FabacSenna armataspiny sennaBW1 5
97FouquFouquieria splendens ssp. splendensocotilloBW1999999
98GeranErodium cicutarium*redstem filareeBW 999999
99GeranErodium texanumTexas filareeBW 506
100KrameKrameria bicolorwhite rhatanyBW1351550
101KrameKrameria erectaPima rhatanyBW 304520
102LamiaHyptis emoryidesert-lavenderBW1159950
103LamiaSalvia columbariaechiaBW 4020
104LamiaSalvia vaseyiVasey's sageBW 15650
105LamiaScutellaria mexicanaMexican bladder sageBW 998
106LoasaMentzelia albicauliswhite-stemmed blazing starBW  99
107LoasaMentzelia involucratabracted blazing starBW 205
108MalvaAyenia compactaayeniaBW2101
109MalvaHibiscus denudatusrock hibiscusBW355530
110MalvaSphaeralcea ambigua var. ambiguaapricot mallowBW 10 
111NyctaAllionia incarnatatrailing four o'clockBW   20
112NyctaBoerhavia coccineascarlet spiderlingBW   23
113NyctaBoerhavia triquetra var. intermediafivewing spiderlingBW 20299
114NyctaMirabilis laevis var. retrorsaBigelow's desert four-o'clockBW1995010
115OleacMenodora scabra var. glabrescensbroom twinberryBW 99 
116OnagrChylismia cardiophylla ssp. cardiophyllaheartleaf suncupBW2  
117OnagrChylismia claviformis ssp. peirsoniibrown-eyed primroseBW  99
118OnagrEulobus californicusCalifornia suncupBW 9999
119PapavEschscholzia minutiflora ssp. minutiflorasmall-flowered poppyBW1 99
120PapavEschscholzia parishiiParish's poppyBW4 50
121PhrymMimulus bigelovii var. bigeloviiBigelow's monkeyflowerBW3199
122PlantMohavea confertifloraghost flowerBW1 3
123PlantPlantago ovatadesert plantainBW 99451
124PolemEriastrum eremicum ssp. eremicumdesert woolly-starBW 9915
125PolemGilia stellatastar giliaBW 993
126PolemLangloisia setosissima ssp. setosissimabristly langloisiaBW1  
127PolygChorizanthe brevicornu var. brevicornubrittle spineflowerBW 54
128PolygEriogonum fasciculatum var. polifoliumCalifornia buckwheatBW 753040
129PolygEriogonum inflatumdesert trumpetBW3999999
130PolygEriogonum maculatumspotted buckwheatBW  ~1
131PolygEriogonum reniformekidney-leaf buckwheatBW1  
132PolygEriogonum thomasiiThomas' buckwheatBW11075
133PolygEriogonum wrightii var. nodosumWright's buckwheatBW 999950
134RanunDelphinium parishii ssp. subglobosumintermediate larkspurBW1646
135RubiaGalium stellatumstar-flowered bedstrawBW1992510
136RutacThamnosma montanaturpentine broomBW1253010
137SimmoSimmondsia chinensisjojobaBW4759950
138SolanDatura discolordesert thornappleBW   1
139SolanLycium andersoniiAnderson's desert-thornBW2109220
140SolanNicotiana obtusifoliadesert tobaccoBW 3 5
141SolanPhysalis crassifoliathick-leaved ground cherryBW110910
142UrticParietaria hespera var. hesperapellitoryBW  99
143ViscaPhoradendron californicumdesert mistletoeBW11603
144ZygopFagonia laevisCalifornia fagoniaBW4999930
145ZygopKallstroemia californicaCalifornia caltropBW   2
146ZygopLarrea tridentatacreosote bushBW3999999
147AgavaAgave deserti var. desertidesert agaveBW1999999
148AgavaYucca schidigeraMohave yuccaBW 2 
149LiliaCalochortus splendenssplendid mariposa lilyBW 99 
150PoaceAristida adscensionissix-weeks three-awnBW 20899
151PoaceAristida purpureapurple three-awnBW 512
152PoaceBouteloua aristidoides var. aristidoidesneedle gramaBW   5
153PoaceBromus diandrus*ripgut bromeBW1  
154PoaceBromus madritensis ssp. rubens*red bromeBW 9999
155PoaceBromus tectorum*downy bromeBW  5
156PoaceCynodon dactylon*Bermuda grassBW   30
157PoaceDasyochloa pulchellafluff grassBW245 3
158PoaceHilaria rigidabig galletaBW 1 1
159PoaceSchismus barbatus*Mediterranean schismusBW 9999
160PoaceStipa speciosadesert needlegrassBW 1 
161ThemiDichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatumblue dicksBW 1 

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. We thank Joe Woods for his help with part of the 23 November 2019 survey.

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Copyright © 2014-2019 by Tom Chester, Adrienne Ballwey, Keir Morse, James Dillane, Jim Roberts, Jeff Field, Kate Harper, Nancy Accola, and Don Rideout.
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 27 November 2019.