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California Dalea
Psorothamnus arborescens
About California Dalea (Psorothamnus arborescens) 1 Nurseries Carry This Plant Psorothamnus arborescens is a species of flowering plant in the legume family known by the common name Mojave indigo bush. Psorothamnus arborescens is native to southwestern North America, where it can be found in many types of desert and dry mountainous habitats. It grows at 100-1,900 metres (330-6,230 ft) in elevation. It is found in the Californian Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert, south into the Sonoran Desert in Northwest Mexico, east past the Sierra Nevada into the Nevada Great Basin desert, and west into the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. Psorothamnus arborescens is a shrub growing no more than 1 metre (3. 3 ft) tall, its highly branching stems sometimes with thorns. The leaves are each made up of a few pairs of green linear to oval leaflets up to a centimeter in length. The inflorescence is a long raceme of many flowers with reddish green calyces of sepals and bright purple pealike corollas up to a centimeter long. The fruit is a glandular legume pod up to a centimeter long containing one seed. Varieties: The varieties of this species are generally similar in appearance but more restricted in distribution:Psorothamnus arborescens var. arborescens (syn: Dalea fremontii var. saundersii (Parish) Munz) - southwestern Mojave Desert, 400-800 metres (1,300-2,600 ft) elevation. Psorothamnus arborescens var. minutifolius - White and Inyo Mountains, Mojave sky islands, east of Sierra Nevada, 150-1,900 metres (490-6,230 ft) elevation.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type

3.3 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color
Green, Purple, Red

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 confirmed , 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Full Sun


For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Desert s, slopes, canyons, flats, washes

Annual Precipitation: 2.3" - 26.0", Summer Precipitation: 0.16" - 3.44", Coldest Month: 33.5" - 59.5", Hottest Month: 59.8" - 88.8", Humidity: 2.20" - 43.94", Elevation: -149" - 7763"

Alternative Names
Common Names: California Indigobush, Mojave Dalea, Mojave Indigo Bush, Mojave Indigobush, Mojave Smokebush

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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