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The vegetation of the Mojave and Colorado deserts:

Desert Wash Woodland or Microphyll Woodland

Washes occur in canyons and drainages subject to infrequent but sometimes severe flooding. Assemblages of shrubs and trees that can successfully establish in these conditions are found in and along the washes. Many of these plants are winter-deciduous. Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis), catclaw (Acacia greggii), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), smoketree (Psorothamnus spinosus), and palo verde (Cercidium floridum) are examples of trees commonly found along desert washes. Wash shrubs include desert waterweed (Baccharis sergiloides), bladderpod (Isomeris arborea), chuparosa (Justicia californica), desert lavender (Hyptis emoryi), and indigo bush (Psorothamnus schottii). The desert wash community is better developed in the Colorado Desert and often goes by the name “Microphyll Woodland” due to the dominance of small-leaved trees in the legume family.


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