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Botanical Inventory

Plants are the cornerstone of a biological community, often dictating the species of animals that will be present there. In arid deserts, riparian habitat can account for as much as 75 percent of the biological diversity in the area. Because of this, a botanical inventory (i.e., identifying and mapping plants in a specific area) is often the first step in any biological investigation.

Wildlife studies currently underway in the Las Vegas Wash typically include describing habitat so that we can associate the animals with the plant communities in which they are found. Additionally, botanical inventories also are necessary to identify rare and sensitive plant species, as well as to highlight species that are particularly beneficial or harmful to the ecosystem.

Fourwing Saltbush
Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)

Since 2002, the Las Vegas Wash Project Coordination Team has been conducting botanical inventories in and around the Wash and has identified more than 265 plants. Several habitat types have been examined, including wetland, riparian and upland. Many of the plants that were found during field investigations were collected and made into herbarium specimens. These herbarium specimens are kept at the Wash Team office and serve as a permanent record of plant occurrences in the Wash. A pair of specimens about the size of an index card are produced for each plant collected and used for public education and outreach events and activities.

The purpose of the Botanical Study is to document the plant species found near the Wash by creating species lists and to prepare herbarium specimens of these plants. As restoration and enhancement activities move forward in the Wash, resource managers will determine a long-term goal for wildlife resources in the Wash. These resources ultimately depend on the plants and plant communities that are found near the Wash and an inventory of this basic ecological component is valued.

Plants at the Las Vegas Wash
Family Name Scientific Name Common Name
 
Ferns
Mosquito fern family Azolla sp. Mosquito fern
 
Gnetopsida
Joint-Fir family Ephedra torreyana Torrey joint-fir
 
Monocotyledons
Duckweed family Lemna sp. (ca. minor) Duckweed
Grass family Aristida adscensionis Six-weeks three-awn
  Aristida purpurea Purple three-awn
  Arundo donax Giant reed
  Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens Foxtail chess
  Bromus tectorum Cheatgrass
  Chloris virgata Finger grass
  Cynodon dactylon Bermuda grass
  Dasyochloa pulchella Fluff grass
  Distichlis spicata Saltgrass
  Echinochloa crus-galli Barnyard grass
  Leptochloa fusca ssp. uninerva Mexican sprangletop
  Muhlenbergia asperifolia Mist grass
  Panicum capillare Witchgrass
  Panicum cf. hirticaule Panic grass
  Paspalum distichum Ditchgrass
  Phragmites australis Common reed
  Pleuraphis rigida Galleta grass
  Polypogon monspeliensis Rabbit's foot grass
  Polypogon viridis Bent grass
  Schismus barbatus Splitgrass
  Setaria pumila Bristlegrass
  Sorghum halepense Johnsongrass
  Sporobolus airoides Alkali sacaton
  Vulpia octoflora var. hirtella Six weeks fescue
Horned pond weed family Zannichellia palustris Horned pond weed
Lily family Androstephium breviflorum Lily
Palm family Washingtonia filifera California Fan Palm
Rush family Juncus balticus Wire rush
  Juncus cooperi Cooper rush
Sedge family Bolboschoenus maritimus Bulrush
  Cyperus erythrorhizos Nutsedge
  Eleocharis cf. montevidensis Spike-rush
  Eleocharis sp. Spike-rush
  Schoenoplectus acutus var. occidentalis Tule
  Schoenoplectus americanus Olney three-square
  Schoenoplectus californicus California tule
  Schoenoplectus pungens Common three-square
 
Dicotyledons
Amaranth family Amaranthus albus Tumbleweed
  Amaranthus blitoides Prostrate amaranth
  Amaranthus powellii Amaranth
  Tidestromia suffruticosa var. oblongifolia Honeysweet
Aster family Podiceps nigricollis
  Podilymbus podiceps
  Podilymbus podiceps
  Podiceps auritus
  Podiceps grisegena
  Podiceps nigricollis
  Aechmophorus occidentalis
  Aechmophorus clarkii
  Acroptilon repens Russian knapweed
  Ambrosia dumosa Burro bush
  Ambrosia salsola Cheesebush
  Amphipappus fremontii Chaff bush
  Atrichoseris platyphylla Gravel ghost
  Baccharis salicifolia Seep willow
  Baccharis salicina Willow baccharis
  Baccharis sarothroides Broom baccharis
  Baileya multiradiata Desert marigold
  Brickellia atractyloides Brickellia
  Calycoseris parryi Parry tackstem
  Calycoseris wrightii White tackstem
  Centaurea melitensis Maltese star-thistle
  Chaenactis carphoclinia Pebble pincushion
  Chaenactis fremontii Fremont pincushion
  Chaenactis macrantha Pincushion
  Chrysothamnus paniculatus Black band rabbitbrush
  Cirsium vulgare Bull thistle
  Conyza canadensis Horseweed
  Eclipta prostrata False daisy
  Encelia farinosa Brittle bush
  Encelia virginensis Brittle bush
  Enceliopsis argophylla Silver-leaf daisy
  Enceliopsis nudicaulis Nakedstem sunray
  Erigeron divergens Fleabane
  Eriophyllum ambiguum Wooly daisy
  Eriophyllum lanatum Wolly sunflower
  Eriophyllum wallacei Woolly daisy
  Filago arizonica Filago
  Geraea canescens Desert sunflower
  Gnaphalium luteo-album Cudweed
  Helianthus annuus Sunflower
  Heterotheca cf. psammophila Camphorweed
  Isocoma acradenia var. eremophila Goldenbush
  Lactuca cf. biennis Prickly lettuce
  Lactuca serriola Prickly lettuce
  Laennecia coulteri Horseweed
  Machaeranthera pinnatifida ssp. gooddingii Goodding aster
  Malacothrix glabrata Desert dandelion
  Perityle emoryi Rock daisy
  Peucephyllum schottii Pygmy cedar
  Pluchea odorata Salt marsh fleabane
  Pluchea sericea Arrow weed
  Prenanthella exigua Bright white
  Psathyrotes ramosissima Velvet turtleback
  Psilostrophe cooperi Paper flower
  Rafinesquia neomexicana Desert chicory/ New Mexico Plumeseed
  Sonchus asper Spiny sow thistle
  Sonchus oleraceus Sow thistle
  Stephanomeria pauciflora var. pauciflora Wire lettuce
  Stylocline micropoides Desert nest straw
  Symphyotrichum var. ligulatum Alkali aster
  Xanthium strumarium Cocklebur
  Xylorhiza tortifolia Mojave woodyaster
Bellflower family Nemacladus glanduliferus var. orientalis Thread plant
Bignonia family Chilopsis linearis ssp. arcuata Desert willow
Borage family Amsinckia menziesii var. intermedia Rancher's fireweed
  Amsinckia tessellata var. tessellata Devil's lettuce
  Cryptantha angustifolia Narrow-leaved cryptantha
  Cryptantha barbigera Bearded cryptantha
  Cryptantha dumetorum Cryptantha
  Cryptantha holoptera Winged cryptantha
  Cryptantha inaequata Cryptantha
  Cryptantha maritima Cryptantha
  Cryptantha nevadensis Cryptantha
  Cryptantha pterocarya var. cycloptera Wing-nut cryptantha
  Cryptantha pterocarya var. pterocarya Wing-nut cryptantha
  Cryptantha recurvata Cryptantha
  Cryptantha utahensis Scented cryptantha
  Heliotropium curassavicum Salt heliotrope
  Pectocarya heterocarpa Comb-bur
  Pectocarya linearis Comb-bur
  Pectocarya platycarpa Comb-bur
  Plagiobothrys jonesii Jones popcornflower
Buckwheat family Chorizanthe brevicornu Brittle spineplant
  Chorizanthe corrugata Corrugated spineplant
  Chorizanthe rigida Rigid spineplant
  Eriogonum deflexum var. deflexum Buckwheat
  Eriogonum inflatum var. inflatum Desert trumpet
  Eriogonum insigne Buckwheat
  Eriogonum thomasii Thomas buckwheat
  Eriogonum trichopes var. trichopes Little trumpet
  Persicaria lapthifolia Willow weed
  Polygonum arenastrum Common knotweed
  Rumex crispus Curly dock
  Rumex stenophyllus Dock
Cactus Cylindropuntia echinocarpa Golden cholla
  Cylindropuntia ramosissima Diamond cholla
  Echinocactus polycephalus Cottontop cactus
  Mammillaria tetrancistra Fish-hook cactus
  Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris Beavertail
  Sclerocactus johnsonii Pineapple cactus
  Larrea tridentata Creosote bush
  Typha domingensis Southern cattail
Elm family Ulmus pumila Siberian elm
  Ulmus sp. Elm
Evening primrose family Camissonia boothii ssp. condensata Woody bottle washer
  Camissonia brevipes ssp. brevipes Sun cup
  Camissonia brevipes ssp. pallidula Sun cup
  Camissonia chamaenerioides Brown-eyed primrose
  Camissonia claviformis var. aurantiaca Brown-eyed primrose
  Camissonia refracta Evening primrose
  Camissonia walkeri ssp. tortilis Evening primrose
  Gaura coccinea Scarlet beeblossom
  Oenothera caespitosa var. crinita Evening primrose
Figwort family Antirrhinum filipes Twining snapdragon
  Mohavea breviflora Water speedwell
  Veronica anagallis-aquatica Water speedwell
Four o'clock family Allionia incarnata Pink windmills
  Mirabilis bigelovii var. bigelovii Four o'clock
Geranium family Erodium cicutarium Red-leaf filaree
  Erodium texanum Texas filaree
Goosefoot family Allenrolfea occidentalis Iodine bush
  Atriplex canescens ssp. canescens Four-wing saltbush
  Atriplex confertifolia Shadscale
  Atriplex elegans var. fasciculata Wheelscale
  Atriplex hymenelytra Desert holly
  Atriplex lentiformis var. lentiformis Quail bush
  Atriplex polycarpa Allscale
  Bassia hyssopifolia Bassia
  Chenopodium album Lamb's quarters
  Chenopodium berlandieri Lamb's quarters
  Chenopodium glaucum Lamb's quarters
  Dysphania ambrosioides Mexican tea
  Salsola paulsenii Russian thistle
  Salsola tragus Russian thistle
  Sueda nigra Bush seepweed
Gourds and squashes Cucumis melo Cantaloupe
  Cucurbita palmata Coyote melon
Grape family Vitis arizonica Desert grape
Krameria family Krameria erecta Range rhatany
Legume family Dalea mollissima Dalea
  Medicago sativa Alfalfa
  Melilotus alba White sweet-clover
  Melilotus indica Yellow sweet-clover
  Prosopis alba White mesquite
  Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa Honey mesquite
  Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana Honey mesquite
  Prosopis pubescens Screw-bean mesquite
  Psorothamnus fremontii var. fremontii Indigo bush
  Senegalia greggii Cat-claw acacia
  Senna armata Desert senna
Lizard's-tail family Anemopsis californica Yerba mansa
Loasa family Eucnide urens Stingbush
  Mentzelia albicaulis Stick-leaf
  Mentzelia involucrata var. involucrata Stick-leaf
  Mentzelia obscura Stick-leaf
  Mentzelia pterosperma Stick-leaf
  Mentzelia tricuspis Stick-leaf
  Petalonyx nitidus Shining sandpaper plant
Mallow family Eremalche rotundifolia Desert five-spot
  Malva parviflora Cheeseweed
  Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rugosa Desert mallow
  Sphaeralcea emoryi Emory mallow
Mint family Salazaria mexicana Mexican bladdersage
Mistletoe family Phoradendron californicum Desert mistletoe
Morning glory family Convolvulus arvensis Bind weed
Mulberry family Morus alba White mulberry
Mustard family Brassica tournefortii Asian mustard
  Descurainia pinnata ssp. glabra Tansy mustard
  Descurainia sophia Flixweed
  Draba cuneifolia var. integrifolia Draba
  Guillenia lasiophylla California mustard
  Lepidium fremontii var. fremontii Desert alyssum
  Lepidium lasiocarpum Shaggyfruit pepperweed
  Lepidium latifolium Broad-leaved pepperweed
  Lesquerella tenella Bladder pod
  Malcolmia africana African mustard
  Rorippa nasturtium-aquatica Water cress
  Sisymbrium altissimu Tall tumblemustard
  Sisymbrium irio London rocket
  Streptanthella longirostris Streptanthella
Nightshade family Datura wrightii Jimson weed
  Lycium andersonii var. andersonii Anderson thornbush
  Lycium fremontii Anderson thornbush
  Lycium sp. Thornbush
  Nicotiana glauca Tree tobacco
  Nicotiana obtusifolia Desert tobacco
  Physalis crassifolia Ground cherry
  Solanum americanum Nightshade
  Solanum elaeagnifolium Silver-leaf nightshade
Olive family Fraxinus latifolia Oregon ash
  Fraxinus velutina Velvet ash
Phlox family Gilia cana Gilia
  Gilia clokeyi Clokey's goloa
  Gilia inconspicua Shy gilia
  Gilia latifolia Broad-leaf gilia
  Gilia scopulorum Rock gilia
  Ipomopsis polycladon Spreading gilia
  Langloisia setosissima var. setosissima Bristly langloisia
  Linanthus demissus Desert linanthus
  Linanthus jonesii Jones' linanthus
Plantain family Plantago major Common plantain
  Plantago ovata Desert plantain
Plumbago family Limonium californicum Sea lavender
Poppy family Arctomecon californica Las Vegas bearpoppy
  Eschscholzia californica California poppy
  Eschscholzia glyptosperma Desert poppy
  Eschscholzia minutiflora Miniature poppy
Purslane family Portulaca oleracea Common purslane
Ranunculus family Delphinium parishii Parish larkspur
Reseda family Oligomeris linifolia Mignonette
Spurge family Euphorbia micromeria Sonoran sand-mat
  Euphorbia prostrata Prostrate sandmat
Tamarisk family Tamarix ramosissima Salt cedar
Verbena family Vitex agnus-castus Chastetree, vitex
Waterleaf family Eucrypta micrantha Eucrypta
  Nama pusillum Nama
  Phacelia crenulata var. ambigua Purple phacelia
  Phacelia crenulata var. crenulata Purple phacelia
  Phacelia ivesiana Phacelia
  Phacelia neglecta Phacelia
  Phacelia palmeri Palmers phacelia
  Phacelia petrosa Talus phacelia
  Phacelia pulchella var. gooddingii Goodding's phacelia
  Phacelia rotundifolia Round-leaf phacelia
Willow family Populus fremontii Fremont cottonweed
  Salix exigua Narrow-leaved willow
  Salix gooddingii Goodding willow
  Salix laevigata Red willow
Las Vegas Wash Project Coordination Team • 100 City Parkway, Suite 700 • Las Vegas, NV 89106 • (702) 822-3300