Panorama: Mojave Desert vegetation

Title Info
Common name Cholla, silver; Joshua Tree; creosote bush
Scientific name Opuntia echinocarpa; Yucca brevifolia; Larrea tridentata
Source Dan L. Perlman
Ecosystems Deserts
Selection and adaptations Extreme environments; Selection
Selection Morphology
Lessons Panoramas
Date October 22, 2009
Location Joshua Tree,Mojave Desert,California,USA,North America
Panorama of Mojave Desert vegetation, Caliornia
Related materials: Panoramas;Deserts
You may want to discuss with your students the different types of adaptations that the different desert plants shown here demonstrate. The cactus lacks leaves to avoid water loss, and its light-colored spines help reflect sunlight and prevent overheating; the creosote bush has tiny leaves that can be dropped during droughts (also to prevent water loss) and regrown soon after rains; and the Joshua Trees have thick succulent leaves to help store water. In addition, these plants can have very long lives, with some Joshua Trees living over 300 years, and some creosote bushes living for thousands of years.

Panorama Viewing: Click the "View Panorama" button to see an interactive panorama. Click and drag your mouse in any direction to view other parts of the scene; press the Shift key to zoom in to see details and press Ctrl to zoom out.
We recommend using the Deval VR viewer for seeing panoramas that do NOT have sound and the QuickTime viewer for panoramas WITH sound.

This scene contains several species that are typical of the Mojave Desert: the branched cactus in the foreground is a silver cholla, and the spreading yellowish-green shrub to the right of the cactus is a creosote bush. Further in the distance are several spiky-topped Joshua Trees, which are endemic to the Mojave.