This Wildflower Resources page is dedicated to lists of some of the more common and showy Southwestern desert annual wildflowers. Some may become perennial – especially in our irrigated desert yards.


Annual wildflowers grow, bloom, and die, all within a year (or even less).
Perennial wildflowers live for more than one year. These “wildflowers” are not considered shrubs because they do not have much wood and are easily broken. You could also call them “native perennials.”

soule-word-scienceWord Nerd Note

Lawmakers are not biologists. The Arizona State “wildflower” is the saguaro blossom. It is a perennial wildflower in a sense – but this is surely not one perennial you want to be standing under when it is “pruned.” The average 20 foot saguaro weighs around 4 tons.


Where to Find Wildflower Seed?

Annuals grow best in the landscape when planted from seed. Go to local nurseries, botanical gardens, arboreta, and keep an eye open for local garden club sales and shows. The big box stores do not carry our native seed.

Desert lupine seed. They do try to hide from hungry birds by looking like tiny rocks.

There are also some western seed companies that carry such specialty products. Best of all – ask around for a local seed library. There is the interweb too of course, but it is better to start local because there are many very local seed companies in our region.

That said -Seed Companies for our area – under Resources. (once re-posted)

Please see these articles on Growing Wildflowers

Articles were destroyed by hackers, links will be in blue once re-posted.
Growing Spring Wildflowers – In 5 Easy Steps
Perennial Desert Wildflowers
Summer Annual Wildflowers
Growing Summer Wildflowers

Spring Annual Wildflowers by Common Name

A- E

bird-cage evening primrose

Arizona lupine (Lupinus arizonicus)
Arizona or Mexican gold poppy (Eschscholtzia mexicana)
Arizona wrightwort (Carlowrightia arizonica)
birdcage evening primrose, dune primrose (Oenothera deltoides)
bladder pod (Lesquerella gordonii)
blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
bluebells (Phacelia campanularia)
brickellia (Brickellia coulteri)
California evening primrose (Oenothera californica)
California gold poppy (Eschscholtzia californica)
catseye (Cryptantha species)
chia (Salvia columbariae)

Chia – Salvia columbariae.

chicory – California chicory (Rafinesquia californica) Mojave Desert
chicory – desert chicory (Rafinesquia neomexicana) Sonoran Desert
chinchweed, manybristle cinchweed (Pectis papposa)
cockroach plant (Haplophyton crooksii) – natural insecticide!
common fiddleneck (Amsinckia menziesii)

cowpen daisy (Verbesina encelioides)

Death Valley aster (Xylorhiza tortifolia)
desert bluebells (Phacelia campanularia)
desert chicory (Rafinesquia neomexicana)
desert coreopsis (Coreopsis bigelovii)
desert dandelion (Malacothrix californica) Sonoran and Mojave deserts
desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata) see article

desert sand-verbena (Abronia villosa)
desert snapdragon, ghost flower (Mohavea confertiflora)
desert star (Monoptilon bellioides) a belly flower
desert sunflower (Geraea canescens)
desert trumpets (Ipomopsis arizonica)

Desert star, Ipomopsis, doesn’t do well in sandy soils. (Plants need their Places.)

dyssodia – golden dyssodia (Dyssodia pentachaeta)
dyssodia – threadleaf dyssodia (Dyssodia tenuisecta)
Eaton’s penstemon (Penstemon eatonii)


firecracker penstemon (Penstemon pseudospectabilis)
firewheels, formerly Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
flax – blue flax (Linum lewisii)
flax – scarlet flax (Linum grandiflorum var. rubrum)
fragrant sand verbena (Abronia fragrans)
ghost flower (Mohavea confertiflora)
globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)
gold poppy (Eschscholtzia californica)
golden dyssodia (Dyssodia pentachaeta)
golden threefold (Trixis californica)
Indian blanket, PC name is blanket flower or firewheels (Gaillardia pulchella)
jewel flower (Streptanthus species) tasty edible pods but careful – some are endangered
lupine – Arizona lupine (Lupinus arizonicus)
lupine – Mojave lupine (Lupinus sparsiflorus)
lupine – sand or arroyo lupine (Lupinus succulentus)
Mexican hat, PC name is prairie coneflower (Ratibida columnifera)
Mojave aster, Death Valley aster (Xylorhiza tortifolia)
Mojave lupine (Lupinus sparsiflorus )
monkey flower, Bigelows monkeyflower (Mimulus bigelovii)

Owl clover. Image courtesy J. Wiens.

owl clover (Orthocarpus purpurascens, now Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta)
Parry’s penstemon (Penstemon parryi)
penstemon – Eaton’s penstemon (Penstemon eatonii)
penstemon – Parry’s penstemmon (Penstemon parryi)
penstemon – firecracker penstemon (Penstemon pseudospectabilis)
prairie coneflower (Ratibida columnifera)
primrose – birdcage evening primrose, dune primrose (Oenothera deltoides)
primrose – California evening primrose (Oenothera californica)
primrose – tufted evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa)
purple mat (Nama demissum) 2 plants one common name
purple mat (Nama hispidum) 2 plants one common name
rose bladderpod (Physaria purpurea)


sand or arroyo lupine (Lupinus succulentus)
sand verbena (Abronia villosa)
scarlet flax (Linum grandiflorum var. rubrum)

Spreading fleabane. Insecticidal, and once very useful for reducing household pests. Photo courtesy Z. Akulova.

silverleaf bahia (Bahia absinthifolia)
sleepy silene or sleepy catchfly (Silene antirrhina) flowers larger with extra water
slender goldenweed (Xanthisma gracile)
spreading fleabane (Erigeron divergens)

Texas vervain (Verbena halei)
threadleaf dyssodia (Dyssodia tenuisecta)
tufted evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa)
verbena – desert sand verbena (Abronia villosa)
verbena – fragrant sand verbena (Abronia fragrans)
verbena – Texas vervain (Verbena halei)
woolly daisy (Eriophyllum lanosum)

The Desert Diva Shares

soule-garden-successNatives preferred! Please do not plant the non-native African daisy (Arctotis stoechadifolia). It is elbowing out native wildflowers and it’s seeds are toxic to native birds. It’s seed spread easily (on the wind, like dandelions) and it is becoming an invasive weed in the desert, pushing out our lovely natives with its toxic roots, and killing baby quail who eat it unknowing. There are so many pretty natives to plant instead of this killer.

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