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Death Valley National Park: Plants

Cactus in Death Valley

The Mojave Desert is rich with cacti and succulent species, yet in Death Valley National Park they are scarce due to the extremes of heat, dryness and soil salinity. Even so, cactus grow from an elevation of 400 feet above sea level to the summits of the surrounding mountains.

The cactus species most commonly seen are cottontop barrel, silver cholla, and beavertail cactus. Engelmann hedgehog cactus are locally abundant above 3000 feet elevation. Grizzly bear pricklypear is the most common species in the pinyon-juniper woodlands.

Joshua trees--the indicator species of the Mojave Desert--are found in only a few locations here. The Lee Flat area contains the finest stand in the park.

In contrast to other succulent species, pickleweed is very salt-tolerant and can be found in marshy areas below sea level.

Barrel Cactus

    California Barrel Cactus
    Ferocactus cylindraceus var. lecontei

    Cottontop Barrel Cactus
    Echinocactus polycephalus

    Mojave Pineapple Cactus
    Sclerocactus johnsonii

    Mojave Fishhook Cactus
    Sclerocactus polyancistrus

Hedgehog Cactus

    Engelmann Hedgehog Cactus
    Echinocereus engelmannii

    Mojave Mound Cactus
    Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. mojavensis

Pincushion Cactus

    Desert Spinystar
    Escobaria vivipara var. deserti

    Corkseed Fishhook Cactus
    Mammillaria tetrancistra

Pricklypear Cactus

    Beavertail Cactus
    Opuntia basilaris

    Old Man Pricklypear
    Opuntia erinacea var. erinacea

    Grizzly Bear Pricklypear
    Opuntia erinacea var. ursina
    Mojave Pricklypear
    Opuntia mojavensis

    Brown-spined Pricklypear
    Opuntia phaeacantha var. major

    Plains Pricklypear
    Opuntia polycantha var. rufispina

Cholla Cactus

    Silver Cholla
    Opuntia echinocarpa

    Pencil Cholla
    Opuntia ramosissima

Yuccas

    Joshua Tree
    Yucca brevifolia

    Mojave Yucca
    Yucca schidigera

Other Succulents

    Pickleweed
    Allenrolfea occidentalis

    Dead Manís Fingers (annual)
    Calandrinia ambigua

    Western Spring Beauty
    Claytonia lanceolata

    Panamint Live-forever
    Dudleya saxosa ssp. saxosa

    Bitterroot
    Lewisia rediviva

    Inkweed
    Suaeda moquinii
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Source - National Park Service
new & updated - ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - 360 photos - glossary - comments

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