List of Desert Blooms

Desert gardening conditions are harsh. Plants for desert life must be able to withstand droughts, full direct sun, and intense heat. Desert blooms are some of the most hardy plants around and able to deal with those conditions. Plants that are not drought-tolerant and full sun-loving are destined to fail in the desert.

Western Wallflower

The western wallflower is botanically known as Erysimum asperum. It is part of the mustard family, Brassicaceae. It is a short-lived perennial with stems 5-40 inches tall and basal leaves 1-5 inches long. Yellow flowers are 1/2-inch wide with black seed pods as fruits 1-5 inches long. Flowers are fragrant and attract insects. It can live in any soil type and with full sun, so can be included in desert gardens.

Popcorn Flower

The popcorn flower is botanically known as Plagiobothrys nothofulvus. It is part of the forget-me-not family, Boraginaceae. It can get 6-20 inches tall with 4-inch-long leaves. Small flowers are white and 1 inch wide in February to June. It can live in any soil type and with full direct sun--perfect for desert gardening.

Big Sagebush

The big sagebrush plant is botanically known as Artemisia tridentate. It is part of the aster/daisy family, Asteraceae/Compositae. It gets 2 to 7 feet tall with leaves up to 2 inches long. Flowering stems are yellow or cream clusters with tiny seeds. Blooms are in the late summer. Leaves are aromatic. This plant is commonly seen in desert locations.


The chuparosa plant is botanically known as Beloperone californica. It is part of the Acanthus family, Acanthaceae. It gets 5 feet tall with hairy branches. Leaves are up to 1 inch long with fine hair. Flowers are red, tubular and clustered. It has nectar for hummingbirds. This is another plant that is desert-compatible.

Desert Pincushion

The desert pincushion is botanically known as Chaenactis stevioides. It is part of the aster/daisy family, Asteraceae/Compositae. It will get 12 inches tall with 1/2- to 1 1/2-inch leaves. Flowers are white, 1 inch, and blooms March to August. It will grow fine in desert-like conditions and good for desert gardening.

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Keywords: desert gardening, plants for desert life, desert blooms

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.