1. Arizona Poppy. Also known as “orange caltrop”, this abundant annual plant looks the California poppy so the untrained eye. This plant grows to about nine inches tall and is beautifully green with yellow flowers with an orange center. Visiting insects love this plant as it is a major supply of nectar.
2. Cactus. Cactus come in both flowering and non-flowering varieties, and all shapes and sizes. Some are pretty and some look downright scary. They are the easiest of all plants to take care of since they require so little water. If you get a lot of sunlight, anything in the cactus family is great. Be careful if you have kids or pets.
3. Yellow Daisy. This plant is beautiful and hearty. Blooming in the early spring, it will provide brightness to your garden for much of the year. The yellow daisy is also extremely resilient when it comes to grueling desert temperatures that would make most plant weep and die in record time.
4. Desert Spoon. The dependable plant, with the botanical name of dasylirion wheeleri, has light yellow flowers that resemble grain. They can grow up to six feet tall with an equally impressive spread. This plant was a source of food and fiber for native Americans. You never know when that fact could come in handy.
5. Joshua tree. This majestic tree is the largest in the yucca family. It can live to be two hundred years old and forty feet tall. Most don’t grow over 15 feet however due to less than optimal soil and weather conditions. The Joshua tree flowers are distinctive bell shapes of twelve to eighteen inches in length.
6. Brittle Brush. This common desert plant is a small deciduous bright yellow flowering shrub that looks wonderful in backyard gardens. They require very little water due to their ability to trap moisture in the air in their hair-like skin. Flowering from March to June this plant gives amazing depth of color to any garden.
7. Aloe Vera. Although I already included the wide category of cactus above, the aloe vera plant needs a special and well-earned distinction. The medicinal plant should be in every yard, especially if you or your neighbors have kids that scrape and cut their knees and arms in the course of everyday play. The soothing gel of natural aloe vera can not be beat. Forget about sending cookies to your neighbor, just break off an aloe leaf and actually help someone out.