Deserts often conjure up images of hot, sandy expanses with no plant life to be found for miles. However, this could not be further from the truth! In fact, the desert is home to a wide variety of plant life, much of which can be found in Anza–Borrego Desert State Park. Let’s take a look at some of the plants that call this park home.
One of the first plants you’re likely to notice when visiting Anza–Borrego Desert State Park is the cholla cactus. These cacti are easily recognizable thanks to their squat shape and large, spiny flowers. Cholla cacti are actually made up of many small individual pieces that have jointed together to form one larger plant. The flowers of the cholla cactus bloom in a variety of colors including pink, red, and yellow.
The ocotillo is another common plant found in the park. Ocotillos are tall, spindly plants that can grow up to 20 feet in height. They have long, slender leaves that are greenish-grey in color. During the winter months, these leaves fall off and the ocotillo appears to be dead. However, come springtime, the ocotillo comes back to life as new leaves sprout from its branches.
The desert ironwood tree is an iconic plant of the Sonoran Desert. These trees can grow up to 30 feet tall and live for hundreds of years. The desert ironwood tree gets its name from its extremely dense wood which is one of the heaviest woods in North America. The wood of these trees is so dense that it actually sinks in water! Desert ironwood trees can be found throughout Anza–Borrego Desert State Park and are a beautiful sight to behold.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to the desert than hot sand and no plants! The next time you find yourself in Anza–Borrego Desert State Park, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these amazing plants.