Sonoran Desert Nightshades

Shrubs, one small tree, many perennial herbs. Tubular flowers with five points. Fruit often a berry with several to many seeds. Leaves simple, alternate. Many species.

Desert Thorn-apple

Datura discolor

Sacred Datura

Datura wrightii

Annual with large dark green leaves and large white, purple-centered flowers. Grows along washes of lower deserts. Calyx strongly angled or winged.   Detailed Description

Photo by Mike Plagens

Large perennial with striking, very large, white flowers. Dark green leaves. Common especially near riparian habitats in the Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description

Purple Nighshade

Solanum xanti

Silver-leaf Nighshade

Solanum eleagnifolium

Upper Sonoran Desert spring perennial with numerous, showy purple flowers. Lance or ovate dark green leaves. Detailed Description

Weedy annual mostly in urban and agricultural settings in the Sonoran Desert. Stems often prickly. Purple flowers and yellow berries. Detailed Description

Hind's Nighshade

Solanum hindsianum

Small shrub, or sometimes with a single trunk 2 m tall. Rare north of Sonora, Mexico. Detailed Description

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Douglas' Nighshade

Solanum douglasii

Thick-leaved Ground Cherry

Physalis crassifolia

Annual or perennial found in or near mesquite bosques or other part-shade habitats at middle and upper elevations of the Sonoran Desert. Petals white with prominent yellow stamens. Fruit a dark berry.     Detailed Description

Low growing perennial may be found near washes or in partial shade of cliffs. Late spring to fall blooming with yellow flowers. Berry is enclosed inside a papery bract. Photo by Wikimedia User: Stan Shebs. Detailed Description

Seaside Petunia

Calibrachoa parviflora

Lobed Ground Cherry

Quincula lobata

Low spring annual found in moist soil along riparian streams. Leaves spatulate and sticky. Flowers small.   Detailed Description

Perennial found near damp or riparian areas. Dark green leaves. No spines. Dark purple flowers and a fruit enclosed in lantern-like calyx.     Detailed Description

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Sonoran Desert Places


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 19 Feb. 2013,
updated 28 Feb. 2017.