Native Plants

Native plants are important to sustain the healthy desert environment that is at the heart of MBCA's conservation mission. At the landscape level it is important to preserve the desert's iconic native plants such as the Joshua tree, but also to nurture native plants in our desert home environments. Native plants are naturally drought-tolerant and need far less water than non-natives. 

News Updates below provide information about recent threats to the desert's native plants, including the Joshua tree and the Dudleya ("liveforever"), pictured below. 
Dudleya bloom photo by Laraine Turk
 


Learn more about choosing, planting, and nurturing native plants at home through these resources:

Check your local water district website for helpful links.

View MBCA's 2020 Virtual Desert-Wise Landscape Tour to see and hear the experience of local residents in emphasizing native plants in their gardens and landscape. The 2021 Landscape Tour is also online. 

City of Palm Desert Landscape Maintenance Guide (includes but not exclusively related to natives)

Chris Clarke's KCET article The Joshua Tree: Myth, Mutualism and Survival.
Shop for native plants via businesses featured on our Native Plants Nurseries page
  • Featured post

    Desert Plants Lost to Heat and Drought

    Posted by · June 26, 2021 4:30 PM
    A recently-published research project by UC Irvine scientists reviewed 34 years of satellite data to analyze vegetation changes in the Sonoran Desert and nearby southern California mountains. They found a "widespread decline in perennial vegetation cover," that is, a significant reduction in even the hardiest desert plants. Researcher Stijn Hantson commented that "They're (desert plants) already so badly beaten by drought or heat that they're at the brink of existence." Read more in the Desert Sun article or view the research study, which includes a "Plain Language Summary." 
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  • Featured post

    MBCA Supports Plant Poaching Bill AB 223

    Posted by · April 07, 2021 2:35 PM
    MBCA is among 34 organizations signing a letter in support of AB 223 which would make it illegal to harvest Dudleya plants in California without a permit or landowner permission. Poaching of this native plant has increased greatly in recent years, and it needs protection against possible extinction. The plants are commonly known as "liveforevers" in California. Learn more at the Dudleya Protection page on the California Native Plant Society website.  
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  • Featured post

    EBlast January 16, 2021

    Posted by · January 16, 2021 11:03 AM
    MBCA_Sticker_Final_Transparent.png
    • Joshua Tree Candidacy as Threatened Status
    • Draft EIS for Amendment to DRECP Issued
    • Federal Energy Policy in Southern California
    • Check the MBCA Calendar for Online Events
     
     
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  • Featured post

    EBlast December 1, 2020

    Posted by · December 01, 2020 10:36 AM
    MBCA_Sticker_Final_Transparent.png
    • Joshua Tree Candidacy for Threatened Status
    • Desert Tortoise Candidacy for Endangered Status
    • Countywide Plan / Repeal of Community Plans
    • Stagecoach Solar
    • XPressWest Wildlife Crossings
    • Stinknet Invasive Plant!
    • Virtually Attend MBCA Board Meetings
    • Check the MBCA Calendar for Online Events
    • Support MBCA through Amazon Smile
     
     
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  • Featured post

    EBlast August 3, 2020

    Posted by · August 04, 2020 8:01 AM
    MBCA_Sticker_Final_Transparent.png
    • Desert Wise Living Landscape Desert Tour 2020 goes virtual!
    • Petition to list yucca brevifolia as a threatened species
    • Opposition to Eagle Crest pumped storage project
    • Reject nomination of William Pendley to head BLM
    • Daggett Solar Energy project update
    • Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease in the Morongo Basin
    • Complete the 2020 Census
    • Support MBCA through Amazon Smile
     
     
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  • Featured post

    More News on the Proposed Joshua Tree Listing

    Posted by · July 06, 2020 1:30 PM
    This Los Angeles Times article highlights and summarizes the conflict locally and at the state level about listing the Joshua Tree as a threatened species in California. Assemblymember Chad Mayes is reported to have filed a "hastily crafted emergency bill" to make it easier to "take" threatened or endangered species when economic development or infrastructure is at issue.
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  • Featured post

    EBlast June 8, 2020

    Posted by · June 08, 2020 5:23 PM
    MBCA_Sticker_Final_Transparent.png
    • Desert Wise Living Landscape Tour 2020 goes virtual !
    • Petition to list Yucca brevifolia as a threatened species.
    • A week of Invasive Species Lunchtime Webinars.
    • Opposition to Yellow Pine Solar Project
    • Action on Eagle Crest Pumping Opposition.
    • Funding Mojave Trails Acquisition
    • Environmental Justice in Lucerne Valley.
    • Opposition to Habitat Conservation Fund Budget Trailer Bill.
    • Support for AB3030 For Land and Water Conservation.
    • Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease found in the Morongo Basin.
    • Ruth Denison 2020 Environmental scholarship recipient.
     
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  • Featured post

    EBlast April 20, 2020

    Posted by · April 20, 2020 6:31 PM
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    • Earth Day
    • 50th Anniversary Commemorative book distribution
    • Desert Wise Living Landscape Tour 2020 postponed
    • MBCA and social media initiative
    • Ruth Denison Environmental Scholarship: 2020 recipient
    • OHV enforcement in the Basin: the Sheriff’s report
    • Protecting our dark night sky
    • Advancing protection for Joshua trees
    • Mountain lions to be considered for protection
    • Eagle Crest pumped storage update
    • Morongo Basin health care capability vs COVID-19

     

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  • Featured post

    EBlast December 8, 2019

    Posted by · December 08, 2019 4:14 PM
    MBCA_Sticker_Final_Transparent.png
    • Appeal of Daggett Solar Power Facility to be heard by Board of Supervisors Tuesday December 10
    • Fish and Game Commission to consider listing of Joshua Tree as a threatened or endangered species
    • MBCA monthly Board Meeting venue change
    • Hold the date for or annual meeting January 25, 2020
     
     
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  • Featured post

    New Petition Filed for Joshua Tree Protection

    Posted by · October 16, 2019 8:18 AM
    Joshua_Trees___snowy_Mt.SanG.jpgThe Desert Sun reports that the Center for Biological Diversity recently filed a petition with the state's Fish and Game Commission for protection of the Western Joshua Tree from climate change by listing it as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act. The news article provides scientific and political background on the issue. The Commission has 10 days to certify the petition and send it to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which then has 90 days to provide an initial recommendation. Here is the LA Times story on this topic.
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  • Laraine Turk
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