Flora of Red Butte Wash / Carey's Wash / Hayfield Area, Joshua Tree National Park

Fieldwork Results
Procedure For Compiling The Checklist
Important Caveats


This checklist is a start at the flora of the southernmost portion of the Eagle Mountains on the southeast side of Joshua Tree National Park. It was stimulated by a single day's work surveying Red Butte Wash and the neighboring wash to the west during the excellent bloom on 11 February 2008. See Wayne Armstrong's photographs of the beautiful boulders and cacti; Phacelia campanularia; and other wildflowers.

We subsequently returned on 16 February 2008 and worked on some of the species not fully identified earlier, and extended the survey to the main wash to the west, informally known as Carey's Wash.

In addition to our survey, we have compiled vouchers from a larger area surrounding these washes that is centered on the Hayfield area. The area was chosen to include all of the nearby south-facing slopes, and measures five miles north-south and 13 miles east-west.

There is considerable disagreement as to which floristic province is best associated with this area. In the Jepson Manual, as well as a National Park Service site on the Mojave Desert, this area is on the southern edge of the Desert Mountains (DMtns) portion of the Mojave Desert (DMoj) province. In contrast, the Joshua Tree National Park Map, and Turner et al (1995) Sonoran Desert Plants, consider this area part of the Sonoran Desert (DSon).

Although the whole of Joshua Tree National Park is thus fairly clearly a transition zone between the two deserts, our survey results given below show that the study area here is heavily dominated by DSon plants.

See also botanical reports from 11 February 2008 and 16 February 2008.


The following large-scale map shows where the study area is located:

The study area is shown in more detail in the two maps below, one showing the western area and one showing the eastern area:

The green lines in the map below show the route of our detailed survey on 11 February 2008, and the blue lines show the additional area surveyed on 16 February 2008:

Fieldwork Results

We found 76 taxa on 11 February 2008, covering a unique linear distance of 1.25 miles in that survey. We found 20 additional taxa on 16 February 2008, covering an additional 2.1 miles, for a total of 96 taxa.

We made an estimate of the abundance of each taxon in the entire surveyed area, primarily to highlight taxa encountered with few specimens. Our estimate is of the number of individual plants, up to a maximum number of 99, and the number of areas in which we found that taxon, up to a maximum number of 9. The estimates are in the Checklist below.

The locations of the first occurrence of each species are plotted below:

Note that some species have the same location of first occurrence.

This plot shows the usual situation where many taxa are picked up at the starting point at lower right, with successively longer distances required to find new taxa until new habitats are encountered. In our survey, after picking up most of the species in the washes, significant numbers of new species began to be encountered only once we entered the canyons above the washes. Since we only surveyed the very lowermost portions of the canyons, our survey is very incomplete for species that occur in that habitat. But it should be fairly complete for species that grow in the wash habitat.

Analysis of our survey results shows that the study area here is heavily dominated by DSon plants. Of the 96 taxa found from our survey, 84 have been found in other areas of DSon by our previous surveys. Of the 12 taxa new to our surveys, only one, Descurainia pinnata ssp. glabra, has just DMoj in its Jepson Manual geographic range; one, Camissonia claviformis ssp. claviformis, is given as DMoj plus edges; and another one, Phacelia campanularia ssp. vasiformis, is given as DMoj plus n DSon.

The complete list of the 12 taxa new to our surveys is:

FamilyScientific NameCommon Name
AsteraceaeBrickellia incanawoolly brickellia
BoraginaceaeCryptantha pterocaryawing-nut cryptantha
BrassicaceaeDescurainia pinnata ssp. glabrasmooth western tansy-mustard
BrassicaceaeLepidium fremontii var. fremontiidesert pepper-grass
CactaceaeEscobaria vivipara var. alversoniispinystar
EuphorbiaceaeTetracoccus halliiHall's purple bush
HydrophyllaceaePhacelia campanularia ssp. vasiformisdesert bluebells
OnagraceaeCamissonia brevipes ssp. brevipesgolden sun-cup
OnagraceaeCamissonia claviformis ssp. claviformisbrown-eyed primrose
OnagraceaeCamissonia refractanarrow-leaf sun-cup
PapaveraceaeEschscholzia glyptospermadesert golden poppy
PolygonaceaeEriogonum thomasiiThomas' buckwheat

Procedure For Compiling The Checklist

The checklist consists of the taxa found from our two days of fieldwork, augmented by vouchers from the Consortium of California Herbaria obtained from searches on 12 February 2008.

We first searched for vouchers with positions between 33.656 and 33.733° north latitude, and -115.747 and -115.518° east longitude. We augmented those vouchers by searching for vouchers in Riverside County with any of the following words in their locality: Carey, Chiriaco, Hayfield, Lost Palms or Red Butte. The localities of those vouchers were examined to make sure they were from this area, removing ones not clearly from this area. The vouchers were then merged, and duplicate vouchers eliminated.

The voucher search resulted in 304 vouchers of 165 taxa. The following plot shows the locations of the 240 georeferenced vouchers:

Note that many vouchers have the same position, and that some vouchers have georeferenced locations that do not correspond to their localities. For example, the northernmost voucher outside the study area box has a locality of Lost Palms Canyon, which is almost completely contained in the study area box.

We then combined the checklist from our fieldwork with the checklist from the voucher search.

Many vouchers were only determined to the species level alongside some vouchers, or our determinations, to the infraspecific level. In those cases, if there was no other subspecies or variety near this area, we assigned the subspecies or variety to the vouchers determined only to species. If there was a potential for another subspecies or variety to occur here, we did not alter the vouchers determined only to the species level, and the checklist below will contain both the species and an infraspecific taxon.

An example will make this clear. Mimulus bigelovii has two varieties, var. bigelovii and var. cuspidatus. Two vouchers were determined only as Mimulus bigelovii, and three vouchers, as well as a specimen we found in the field, were determined as Mimulus bigelovii var. bigelovii. Since var. cuspidatus is found only well to the north of Joshua Tree National Park, north of the latitude of the southern part of Death Valley, we assigned the two vouchers determined only to species to var. bigelovii.

In contrast, Astragalus nuttallianus has two subspecies that could occur here. One voucher is determined as var. imperfectus (the Jepson Manual says that is only in e DMoj!), and two vouchers are determined only to the species level. Since it is quite possible that var. cedrosensis (DSon) occurs here, those vouchers determined only to the species level were left at the species level. The checklist below thus contains an entry for the species as well as for one variety.

Similarly, if there were vouchers determined only to the species, but there were also vouchers for two or more subspecies or varieties, the species was retained to correctly record the number of vouchers for the species as a whole.

The resulting checklist below contains 200 taxa.

Important Caveats

Please note the following important caveats about this preliminary Checklist:

Checklist for Red Butte Wash / Carey's Wash / Hayfield Area

We make the working list available online for two reasons. First, we know others will appreciate having such a list, even if it is preliminary. Second, we hope I will get feedback from others who find errors or omissions in this list.

Note that this area includes four springs: Lost Palms Oasis; Summit Spring; Hayfield Spring; and Hayfield Summit Spring. Most of the moisture-loving species found in those areas will not be found elsewhere in this area.

The Checklist is sorted first by category - ferns, dicots, and monocots - and then by family and scientific name. The JM Family and Scientific Name are from the Jepson Manual. An asterisk before the Common Name indicates a non-native taxon.

Species found in our two surveys have entries in the # Plants/ Areas column. Those numbers are our estimates of the number of individual plants encountered in both surveys, up to a maximum number of 99, and the number of areas in which we found that taxon, up to a maximum number of 9.

The # Vouchers is the total number of vouchers found in the entire study area.

This is a working list, about which we make no guarantees at all. Use at your own risk!

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (8 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (2 double-sided pages). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

#JM FamilyScientific Name(*)Common Name#
1PteridaceaeAdiantum capillus-venerismaidenhair fern 1
2PteridaceaeCheilanthes parryiwoolly lipfern2/22
3PinaceaePinus monophyllapinyon pine 1
4AcanthaceaeJusticia californicachuparosa 3
5AnacardiaceaeRhus trilobatabasketbush 1
6ApiaceaeCymopterus panamintensis var. acutifoliusPanamint Indian parsnip 5
7ApocynaceaeAmsonia tomentosawoolly amsonia 1
8AsclepiadaceaeAsclepias albicanswhite-stemmed milkweed1/11
9AsclepiadaceaeSarcostemma hirtellumrambling milkweed2/21
10AsteraceaeAdenophyllum porophylloidesSan Felipe dogweed1/1 
11AsteraceaeAmbrosia dumosaburroweed10/32
12AsteraceaeAtrichoseris platyphyllagravel-ghost 1
13AsteraceaeBaccharis brachyphyllashort-leaved baccharis 1
14AsteraceaeBebbia juncea var. asperasweetbush30/9 
15AsteraceaeBrickellia desertorumdesert brickellia 2
16AsteraceaeBrickellia incanawoolly brickellia3/13
17AsteraceaeCalycoseris parryiyellow tackstem 1
18AsteraceaeChaenactis carphoclinia var. carphocliniapebble pincushion20/1 
19AsteraceaeChaenactis fremontiiFremont pincushion99/91
20AsteraceaeEncelia farinosabrittlebush99/92
21AsteraceaeEriophyllum wallaceiWallace's woolly daisy 1
22AsteraceaeFilago depressadwarf filago 2
23AsteraceaeHymenoclea salsolacheesebush99/92
24AsteraceaeLepidospartum squamatumscale-broom 1
25AsteraceaeMalacothrix coulterisnake's head 2
26AsteraceaeMalacothrix glabratadesert dandelion99/9 
27AsteraceaeMonoptilon bellioidesdesert star50/92
28AsteraceaePalafoxia arida var. aridadesert needle10/5 
29AsteraceaePerityle emoryiEmory's rock-daisy50/92
30AsteraceaePeucephyllum schottiipygmy-cedar20/4 
31AsteraceaePleurocoronis plurisetaarrow-leaf5/22
32AsteraceaeRafinesquia neomexicanadesert chicory 1
33AsteraceaeSenecio flaccidus var. monoensisMono ragwort 4
34AsteraceaeStephanomeria pauciflora var. pauciflorawire-lettuce10/9 
35AsteraceaeTrichoptilium incisumyellow-head 3
36AsteraceaeTrixis californica var. californicaCalifornia trixis20/92
37AsteraceaeViguiera parishiiParish's viguiera2/11
38AsteraceaeXylorhiza tortifolia var. tortifoliaMojave-aster 1
39BignoniaceaeChilopsis linearis ssp. arcuatadesert-willow 4
40BoraginaceaeAmsinckia menziesii var. intermediacommon fiddleneck5/1 
41BoraginaceaeAmsinckia tessellata var. tessellatabristly fiddleneck30/42
42BoraginaceaeCryptantha angustifolianarrow-leaved cryptantha99/92
43BoraginaceaeCryptantha barbigerabearded cryptantha30/31
44BoraginaceaeCryptantha dumetorumbush-loving cryptantha 1
45BoraginaceaeCryptantha maritimaGuadalupe cryptantha1/11
46BoraginaceaeCryptantha pterocaryawing-nut cryptantha10/2 
47BoraginaceaeCryptantha racemosabushy cryptantha 1
48BoraginaceaePectocarya heterocarpachuckwalla pectocarya 1
49BoraginaceaePectocarya platycarpabroad-fruited combseed 1
50BoraginaceaePectocarya recurvatacurvenut combseed99/91
51BoraginaceaeTiquilia canescensshrubby coldenia 1
52BrassicaceaeBrassica tournefortii*Asian mustard10/52
53BrassicaceaeDescurainia pinnata ssp. glabrasmooth western tansy-mustard10/21
54BrassicaceaeGuillenia lasiophyllaCalifornia mustard1/12
55BrassicaceaeLepidium fremontii var. fremontiidesert pepper-grass10/23
56BrassicaceaeLepidium lasiocarpum var. lasiocarpumhairy-podded pepper-grass5/15
57BrassicaceaeSisymbrium irio*London rocket30/93
58BrassicaceaeThysanocarpus curvipesfringe-pod1/1 
59CactaceaeEchinocereus engelmanniiEngelmann's hedgehog cactus5/3 
60CactaceaeEscobaria vivipara var. alversoniispinystar3/3 
61CactaceaeFerocactus cylindraceusCalifornia barrel cactus30/9 
62CactaceaeOpuntia basilaris var. basilarisbeavertail cactus2/2 
63CactaceaeOpuntia bigeloviiteddy-bear cholla50/9 
64CactaceaeOpuntia echinocarpasilver cholla10/9 
65CactaceaeOpuntia ramosissimapencil cholla10/9 
66CampanulaceaeNemacladus glanduliferusglandular nemacladus 3
67CapparaceaeIsomeris arboreabladderpod20/52
68CaryophyllaceaeAchyronychia cooperifrost mat 1
69CrassulaceaeDudleya saxosaPanamint dudleya 1
70CucurbitaceaeBrandegea bigeloviidesert star-vine50/9 
71EuphorbiaceaeChamaesyce polycarpasmall-seeded spurge99/92
72EuphorbiaceaeChamaesyce setilobaYuma spurge 2
73EuphorbiaceaeDitaxis californicaCalifornia ditaxis 2
74EuphorbiaceaeDitaxis lanceolatanarrowleaf ditaxis20/92
75EuphorbiaceaeDitaxis neomexicanaNew Mexico ditaxis 2
76EuphorbiaceaeEuphorbia erianthabeetle spurge 3
77EuphorbiaceaeStillingia linearifolialinear-leaved stillingia 1
78EuphorbiaceaeTetracoccus halliiHall's purple bush20/58
79FabaceaeAcacia greggiicatclaw10/22
80FabaceaeAstragalus coccineusscarlet milk-vetch 1
81FabaceaeAstragalus insularis var. harwoodiiHarwood's milk-vetch 1
82FabaceaeAstragalus nuttallianussmall-flowered milk-vetch 2
83FabaceaeAstragalus nuttallianus var. imperfectusturkey-peas 1
84FabaceaeCaesalpinia virgatanarrow hoffmannseggia 1
85FabaceaeCercidium floridum ssp. floridumblue palo verde20/91
86FabaceaeDalea mollissilky dalea 1
87FabaceaeDalea mollissimadowny dalea 2
88FabaceaeHoffmannseggia glaucahog potato 1
89FabaceaeLotus strigosusstrigose lotus99/91
90FabaceaeLupinus arizonicusArizona lupine99/94
91FabaceaeLupinus sparsiflorusCoulter's lupine1/1 
92FabaceaeMarina parryiParry's marina 5
93FabaceaeOlneya tesotaironwood40/9 
94FabaceaePsorothamnus schottiiindigo bush1/11
95FabaceaePsorothamnus spinosussmoke tree2/21
96FabaceaeSenna armataspiny senna 1
97FagaceaeQuercus turbinellashrub live oak 1
98FouquieriaceaeFouquieria splendens ssp. splendensocotillo30/4 
99GeraniaceaeErodium cicutarium*redstem filaree99/92
100GeraniaceaeErodium texanumTexas filaree 2
101HydrophyllaceaeEmmenanthe penduliflora var. penduliflorawhispering bells30/93
102HydrophyllaceaeNama demissum var. demissumpurple mat20/91
103HydrophyllaceaePhacelia campanularia ssp. vasiformisdesert bluebells99/9 
104HydrophyllaceaePhacelia crenulataheliotrope phacelia 1
105HydrophyllaceaePhacelia crenulata var. ambiguaheliotrope phacelia2/2 
106HydrophyllaceaePhacelia distanscommon phacelia99/91
107HydrophyllaceaePhacelia vallis-mortaeDeath Valley phacelia 1
108HydrophyllaceaePholistoma membranaceumwhite fiesta flower20/1 
109KrameriaceaeKrameria erectaPima rhatany 1
110KrameriaceaeKrameria grayiwhite rhatany 1
111LamiaceaeHyptis emoryidesert-lavender50/9 
112LamiaceaeSalazaria mexicanaMexican bladder sage 1
113LamiaceaeSalvia columbariaechia99/95
114LamiaceaeSalvia mohavensisMojave sage 2
115LoasaceaeMentzelia affinisyellow blazing star30/9 
116LoasaceaeMentzelia involucratabracted blazing star40/92
117LoasaceaeMentzelia jonesiiJones' blazing star 2
118LoasaceaePetalonyx thurberi ssp. thurberiThurber's sandpaper-plant1/11
119MalvaceaeEremalche exiliswhite mallow 2
120MalvaceaeEremalche rotundifoliadesert five-spot 1
121MalvaceaeHibiscus denudatusrock hibiscus2/11
122MalvaceaeSphaeralcea ambigua var. ambiguaapricot mallow5/4 
123MalvaceaeSphaeralcea angustifoliacopper globemallow 2
124MalvaceaeSphaeralcea emoryi var. emoryiEmory's globemallow 3
125MartyniaceaeProboscidea althaeifoliadesert unicorn-plant 1
126NyctaginaceaeAllionia incarnatatrailing four o'clock 1
127NyctaginaceaeBoerhavia coccineascarlet spiderling 1
128NyctaginaceaeBoerhavia coulteriCoulter's spiderling50/9 
129NyctaginaceaeBoerhavia triquetraslender spiderling 1
130NyctaginaceaeBoerhavia wrightiiWright's spiderling 1
131NyctaginaceaeMirabilis bigelovii var. retrorsawishbone plant3/3 
132OnagraceaeCamissonia boothiiBooth's sun cup 4
133OnagraceaeCamissonia boothii ssp. condensataBooth's desert primrose 1
134OnagraceaeCamissonia brevipes ssp. brevipesgolden sun-cup10/52
135OnagraceaeCamissonia cardiophyllaheartleaf sun-cup 1
136OnagraceaeCamissonia claviformisbrown-eyed primrose 2
137OnagraceaeCamissonia claviformis ssp. claviformisbrown-eyed primrose99/91
138OnagraceaeCamissonia pallidapale-yellow sun-cup 2
139OnagraceaeCamissonia refractanarrow-leaf sun-cup50/92
140OnagraceaeEpilobium canum ssp. latifoliummountain California-fuchsia 1
141OnagraceaeOenothera primiverisyellow desert evening-primrose 2
142PapaveraceaeArgemone corymbosaleafy prickly-poppy 1
143PapaveraceaeArgemone munitaprickly poppy 1
144PapaveraceaeEschscholzia californicaCalifornia poppy 1
145PapaveraceaeEschscholzia glyptospermadesert golden poppy50/91
146PapaveraceaeEschscholzia minutiflora ssp. minutiflorasmall-flowered poppy2/2 
147PapaveraceaeEschscholzia parishiiParish's poppy99/93
148PlantaginaceaePlantago ovatadesert plantain 2
149PolemoniaceaeGilia scopulorumrock gilia 1
150PolemoniaceaeGilia stellatastar gilia20/94
151PolemoniaceaeLinanthus jonesiiJones' linanthus 2
152PolemoniaceaeLoeseliastrum schottiiSchott's calico 2
153PolygonaceaeChorizanthe brevicornu var. brevicornubrittle spineflower40/93
154PolygonaceaeChorizanthe rigidadevil's spineflower 1
155PolygonaceaeEriogonum deflexumflat-topped buckwheat 2
156PolygonaceaeEriogonum reniformekidney-leaf buckwheat99/91
157PolygonaceaeEriogonum thomasiiThomas' buckwheat99/92
158PolygonaceaeEriogonum trichopeslittle desert buckwheat 1
159PolygonaceaePterostegia drymarioidesthreadstem 1
160ResedaceaeOligomeris linifolianarrowleaf oligomeris 1
161RhamnaceaeRhamnus ilicifoliahollyleaf redberry 3
162RhamnaceaeZiziphus obtusifolia var. canescensgraythorn 2
163RhamnaceaeZiziphus parryi var. parryilotebush 1
164RosaceaeCercocarpus betuloidesbirch-leaf mountain-mahogany 2
165RosaceaePrunus fasciculatadesert almond 1
166RubiaceaeGalium stellatum var. eremicumstar-flowered bedstraw 2
167SalicaceaeSalix exiguanarrowleaf willow 2
168SalicaceaeSalix laevigatared willow 2
169ScrophulariaceaeAntirrhinum filipesdesert twining snapdragon3/3 
170ScrophulariaceaeMimulus bigelovii var. bigeloviiBigelow's monkeyflower1/15
171ScrophulariaceaeMohavea confertifloraghost flower5/5 
172ScrophulariaceaePenstemon eatoniiEaton's penstemon 1
173SimaroubaceaeCastela emoryicrucifixion thorn 6
174SimmondsiaceaeSimmondsia chinensisjojoba3/32
175SolanaceaeLycium andersoniiAnderson's desert-thorn5/15
176SolanaceaeNicotiana obtusifoliadesert tobacco2/21
177SolanaceaePhysalis crassifoliathick-leaved ground cherry30/94
178TamaricaceaeTamarix ramosissima*saltcedar 1
179ViscaceaePhoradendron californicumdesert mistletoe5/44
180ZygophyllaceaeFagonia laevisCalifornia fagonia2/22
181ZygophyllaceaeKallstroemia californicaCalifornia caltrop 1
182ZygophyllaceaeLarrea tridentatacreosote bush50/9 
183ZygophyllaceaeTribulus terrestris*puncture-vine 1
184JuncaceaeJuncus acutus ssp. leopoldiispiny rush 2
185JuncaceaeJuncus xiphioidesiris-leaved rush 1
186LiliaceaeNolina bigeloviiBigelow's nolina 4
187LiliaceaeNolina parryiParry's nolina 1
188OrchidaceaeEpipactis giganteastream orchid 1
189PoaceaeAristida adscensionissix-weeks three-awn10/1 
190PoaceaeAristida purpureapurple three-awn1/1 
191PoaceaeAristida purpurea var. nealleyiNealley three-awn 1
192PoaceaeAristida purpurea var. parishiiParish three-awn 1
193PoaceaeAristida purpurea var. purpureapurple three-awn 1
194PoaceaeBothriochloa barbinodiscane bluestem 1
195PoaceaeBromus madritensis ssp. rubens*red brome10/12
196PoaceaeHordeum murinum*foxtail barley 2
197PoaceaeMelica frutescenstall melica 1
198PoaceaePleuraphis rigidabig galleta5/3 
199PoaceaeSchismus barbatus*Mediterranean schismus99/94
200PoaceaeTridens muticusslim tridens 1

Go to:

Copyright © 2008 by Tom Chester, Jane Strong, James Dillane, Wayne Armstrong, Michael Charters, Dave Stith, and Eric Baecht
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
Last update: 24 February 2008 (print versions added 13 January 2012)