Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Oleaceae

Sonoran Desert Olives

Medium sized shrubs to trees. Opposite leaves. Flowers sometimes v. small without a showy perianth.

Desert Olive

Forestiera pubescens


Menodora scabra

Pen & Ink by Mike Plagens

Non-descript shrub of shady canyons and rocky bajadas. Non-showy blooms in very early spring. Widespread in the Sonoran Desert, but rarely common. Spatulate leaves. No thorns. Attractive smooth gray bark. Detailed Description

Watercolor © by Mike Plagens

Medium to small shrub of rocky slopes with butter-yellow flowers. Fruit a pair of capsules with caps that break open at maturity. Common in the Sonoran Desert, but rare if area is heavily grazed by cattle or goats. Detailed Description

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Velvet Ash

Fraxinus velutina



Pen & Ink by Mike Plagens

Vibrant green tree of riparian habitat in the Sonoran Desert mostly in deep canyons. Compound leaves are opposite on the stems. Seeds are winged samaras. Dark gray, furroughed bark. Detailed Description

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009