Top 10 Plants Commonly found in Deserts

What is that makes the desert different from other landscapes? It’s the ocean of sand, the high temperature at day and fall in temperature at night, high humidity, and the scarcity of water. Even though, in these harsh conditions, there is rich flora present in the desert. The desert plants are basically beautiful in their own ways and these plants cannot be found anywhere else. It is practically a challenging task to prepare a list of the common desert plant because no desert would have all the same plants together, a variety of plants differ according to the climatic conditions.

These are the 10 common desert plants found in the desert.

10. Barrel Cactus

Barrel Cactus

The Barrel Cactus is one of the most common desert plants. The barrel Cactus is almost found in most of the deserts across the world. This plant can grow up to 10 meters high and the buds of this Cactus grow generally during April. One of the notable things about this plant is that the blossomed flower usually varies in colour; it could be pink, red, orange or yellow in colour. The Barrel Cactus has spines all over it and the spines are extremely dangerous. If you accidentally prick the spine, you can end up in a hospital taking antibiotics that can counter its harmful effects.

9. Elephant Tree

Elephant Tree

The Elephant Tree is one of the rarest desert plants. This rare plant is mainly found in US, Sonoran Desert, Santa Rose Mountains, and in south-western Arizona. The Elephant tree has a thick trunk that can store water for days that helps them to survive in the desert. Apart from the trunk the plant also stores water in their lower limbs and the wood. This desert plant is comparatively smaller than other desert plants. The flowers in this plant are born with round yellow structure that has a bud form and they slowly blossom into small star-shaped beautiful flower with a white or cream colour.

8. Creosote Bush

Creosote Bush

The Creosota Bush is known by many names around the globe. This desert plant is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Zygophyllaceae. Creosota Bush is mainly found in the deserts of Arizona, Mexico, North America, California, and Texas. These plants can grow up to 3 meters tall and it’s an evergreen plant. This Bush blossoms from February to August and they bear a yellow flower with one-inch wide twisted petals. One of the notable characteristics of this bush is that they shed off their branches and die after 30-90 years.

7. Organ Pipe Cactus

Organ Pipe Cactus

The Organ Pipe Cactus is one of the species of Cactus and is mainly found in the surrounding areas of Sonoran Desert, Arizona, and Mexico. This species of cactus is mainly found in the rocky desert and therefore, known as Pitaya Dulce. The branches and stem in this cactus grown from a single trunk that is just above the ground level. The Organ Pipe Cactus bears a white flower with funnel shape and usually has a pink or purple tinge on them. This species cactus also bears a fruit that tastes better than the watermelon and is sometimes used as medicine and food by the Native Americans.

6. Palm Trees

Palm Trees

You may wonder why a palm tree is included in this list. Palm trees belong to the plant family and they are not actually a tree by nature. Palm trees are mainly found in hot and dry places and cannot survive in extremely cold conditions. The palm tree usually has long leaves and also grows a white colour star-shaped flower on an inflorescence. This plant also bears fruit that has flesh over a seed, coconut and dates are two main kinds of palm fruits. Palm trees are well-known as the symbol of peace.

5. Saguaro


Yet, another plant from the cactus species and this plant are known to live for as long as 150 years. One of the notable characteristics of this plat is that their spines grow rapidly. Studies indicate that the spines grow almost one millimeter per day. The Saguaro bears white and yellow colour flower that blossom at the night during April to June. This plant also bears fruit with a red ruby colour and are consumed by the locals. Each fruit is said to have more than 2000 seeds in them that can be easily pollinated. These plants are usually found in the deserts of Mexico, Arizona, and California.

4. Desert Marigold

Desert Marigold

The Desert Marigold belongs to the aster family of the plants. This plant is usually found in the south-western parts of US and Mexico. The Desert Marigold has a hairy leaf and these hairs help them reflect a large part of sunlight that falls on them that enables them to survive extreme desert conditions. The flower on this plant has bright yellow colour and hence called the Marigold. The flowers usually bloom in March and stayuntil the month of November. One of the notable characteristics of this plant is that if it is raining more flowers bloom and they usually grow on stone slopes. Ps: The flower is very poisonous and has resulted in the death of a large number of sheep’s.

3. Desert Sage

Desert Sage

The Desert Sage is a beautiful plant with attractive flowers. This plant is a shrub and can group up to 3 meters high. One of the notable characteristics of this plant is that they do not need water once it is fully grown. These plants are known to conserve solar energy and often blossom during precipitation and they have good medicinal properties like curing cold, treat headaches, eye problems etc. They are mainly found in California and Phoenix.

2. Desert Primrose

Desert Primrose

The Desert Primrose is a flowering plant and belongs to the same species of suncups and sundrops. This plant usually grows near sand dunes and the flowers on this plant vary in size. The leaves of this plant form a basal rosette on the ground and spirals up to a flowering plant. The colour of the flower varies from pink, red, yellow, and white. The desert primrose gets pollinated by insects like bees and long-tongued moths.

1. Desert Lily

Desert Lily

The Desert Lilly is a flowering plant that has a funnel-shaped cream colour flower that bloom in March and stays still May. This plant is mainly in desert areas of California, Arizona, and Mexico. The leaves of this desert plant are an inch wide and can grow up to 20 inches wide. This plant has a deep bulb from which stem sprouts in early spring. The desert Lilly looks a lot like the Easter Lilly and the bulb of this plant is often used as food source by Native Americans.

None of the above-mentioned plants can be found growing together naturally in the same area because each of these plants requires a different climatic condition to grow. The above list contains the desert plant what is most common in different parts of the world.