Common Four Corners Plants

General overview: This is a partial list of some of the more familiar plants of the Four Corners region and is not intended to be exhaustive (i.e. there are over 200 documented plant species in Hawkins Preserve).

A word on taxonomy: Plants with many shared characteristics are organized into families. From there, plants within a family that share additional traits are further subdivided into a genus. Finally, a plant with unique characteristics within a genus have an individual or species name.

The scientific name (Latin binomial: Genus and species) is used by botanists rather than their common names because common names are usually specific to a single region, whereas the scientific name is recognizable worldwide and is a more reliable name. The Latin binomial usually refers to a characteristic of the plant, for example the plant Yucca angustissima where Yucca refers to the Genus of yucca plants within the Asparagus family and angustissima means narrow or narrowleaf. However, there are several common names for this plant depending on where you are: narrowleaf yucca, Kanab yucca, Toft’s yucca, or yucca. Another example is Rosa woodsii where Rosa is a rose and woodsii refers to the botanist Joseph Woods.

On the plant identification signs we provide the common name for our region, the scientific name in parentheses, the common family name, and the scientific family name in parentheses. We encourage the use of scientific names.

For more information click on the scientific name, which will open a window on the plant’s natural history as well as its common human uses. For a downloadable Hawkins plant list click Hawkins-Preserve-Plant-List.

For additional information go to http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com, a local source of in-depth information.

Four Corners Plants

Scientific nameCommon nameFamilyLocationPhotos ©Al Schneider, www.swcoloradowildflowers.com
Achillia millifoliumYarrowSunflower family
(Asteraceae)
Cortez Cultural Center
Artemesia tridentataBig sagebrushSunflower family
(Asteraceae)
Cortez Cultural Center & Hawkins Preserve
Bouteloua GracilisBlue grama grassGrass family
(Poaceae)
Cortez Cultural Center & Hawkins Preserve
Bouteloua curtipendulaSideoats grama grassGrass family
(Poaceae)
Hawkins Preserve
Chamaebatiaria millefoliumFernbushRose family
(Rosaceae)
Cortez Cultural Center
Cylindropuntia imbricataTree chollaCactus family
(Cactacea)
Cortez Cultural Center
Cylindropuntia whippleiWhipple's chollaCactus family
(Cactacea)
Hawkins Preserve
Echinocereus mojavensisClaretcup cactusCactus family
(Cactacea)
Hawkins Preserve
Ephedra viridisGreen Morman teaEphedra family
(Ephedraceae)
Cortez Cultural Center & Hawkins Preserve
Ericameria nauseosaRubber rabbitbrushSunflower family
(Asteraceae)
Cortez Cultural Center & Hawkins Preserve
Eriogonum umbellatumSulfurflowerBuckwheat family
(Polygonaceae)
Cortez Cultural Center
Fallugia paradoxaApache plumeRose family
(Rosaceae)
Cortez Cultural Center
Gutierrezia sarothraeBroom snakeweedSunflower family
(Asteraceae)
Cortez Cultural Center & Hawkins Preserve
Juniperus osteospermaUtah juniperCypress family
(Cupessaceae)
Cortez Cultural Center & Hawkins Preserve
Krascheninnikovia ceratoidesWinterfatAmaranth family
(Amaranthaceae)
Cortez Cultural Center
Hesperostipa comataNeedle and ThreadGrass family
(Poaceae)
Hawkins Preserve
Heterotheca villosaHairy Golden AsterSunflower Family
(Asteraceae)
Hawkins Preserve
Lycium pallidumWolfberryNightshade Family
(Solanaceae)
Hawkins Preserve
Opuntia phaeacanthaBrown-spined Prickly Pear Cactus family
(Cactacea)
Hawkins Preserve
Opuntia polyacanthaPlains PricklypearCactus family
(Cactacea)
Hawkins Preserve
Pinus edulisPinon pinePine family
(Pinaceae)
Cortez Cultural Center & Hawkins Preserve
Purshia tridentataAntelope bitterbrushRosaceae
(Rose family)
Hawkins Preserve
Robinia neomexicanaNew Mexico locustFabaceae
(Pea family)
Cortez Cultural Center
Rosa woodsiiWood's roseRose family
(Rosaceae)
Cortez Cultural Center
Rhus_aromaticaAromatic SumacSumac Family
(Anacardiacea)
Hawkins Preserve
Sarcobatus vermiculatusGreasewoodGoosefoot Family
(Chenopodiaceae)
Hawkins Preserve
Yucca angustissimaNarrowleaf yuccaAsparagus family
(Asparagaceae)
Cortez Cultural Center
Yucca beccataBanana yuccaAsparagus family
(Asparagaceae)
Cortez Cultural Center & Hawkins Preserve

Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Al Schneider, Dean Palmquist, and the City of Cortez for help acquiring the signs at Hawkins Preserve and the Cortez Cultural Center Plaza.