Skip to global NPS navigation
Skip to main content
Skip to footer
National Park Service Logo
National Park Service
Return to The Civil War
Ironwood Tree in Bloom
The Ironwood is one of the Sonoran Desert's most beautiful trees, especially when coverd with lilac-colored blossoms in May.
Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii) has sometimes been called Moonflower. Its cerremonial uses by Native Americans are well-known. The seedpods are called 'thorn-apples.'
Yellow Columbine in the Rincon Mountains
In the high Rincon Mountains one can find the Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha) which grows along mountain streams and around spring seeps throughout the Southwest.
Owl Clover in Spring
One of the best of the desert's "blanket" flowers is the Purple Owl Clover (Castilleja exserta), but it's appearance is sporadic and hard to predict!
the King Canyon Trail in the Tucson Mountain District is a good place to look for the Desert Mariposa (Calochortus kennedyi) when spring rains stir the underground bulbs to bloom.
Desert Larkspur Blossoms
Desert Larkspur (Delphinium parishii) is a delicate flower that is a surprise to see in harsh desert settings.
Mexican Gold Poppy
The most famous of the Sonoran Desert's spring flowers is the Mexican Gold Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) -- large displays of this flower are rare at Saguaro National Park.
This bright violet bloom on a Hedgehog Cactus caught the eye of many a visitor.
This picture shows all the pollen that can be found deep inside the bloom of a prickly pear cactus.
Yellow Prickly Pear Bloom
Prickly pear cactus flowers bloom a bright yellow, then slowly change into shades of orange and peach.
The bright yellow flowers of the Brittlebush are a very common sight in the park during the spring, often covering whole hillsides.
Desert Rose Mallow (Coulter's Hibiscus)
This cream, yellow, and red colored member of the mallow family is beautiful sight to behold when hiking in Saguaro National Park.
This delicate small white flower is often found on rocky slopes, hillsides, and along streams.
The middle of this Desert Marigold is just begging for pollination.
Miniature Wool Star (Eriastrum diffusum)
Small and delicate, the blue flower of the Miniature Wool Star is often found in sandy areas and atop mesas.
Up close the intricate design of the Fairy Duster flower is mesmerizing and beautiful.
Indigo Bush is the common name given to many of the thirty-six species of Dalea found in Arizona. This picture is of one of the blossoms up close.
The pipe cleaner shaped flower of the Velvet Mesquite tree can reach lengths of more than four inches. It is an excellent source of honey for the bees that often pollinate it.
Common Monkey Flower
This small yellow flower is found along brooks, springs, and in other wet places. While it may surprise some that this flower can be found in the desert, it is actually a fairly common resident of Saguaro National Park.
While the name of this plant refers to curling flowerheads that resemble a scorpion’s tail this plant is neither venomous nor scary.
Last updated: August 1, 2014