Natural Resources Used in the Southern Deserts Region


Agaves Cacti and succulents Agave Food; cordage; footwear; weapons 356
California barrel cactus Cacti and succulents Ferocactus cylindraceus Food; tools 357
Chollas Cacti and succulents Cylindropuntia Food; medicine 357
Hedgehog cacti Cacti and succulents Echinocereus Food; poison 357
Mojave yucca Cacti and succulents Yucca schidegera Food; cordage; footwear; soap 358
Our Lord’s Candle Cacti and succulents Yucca whipplei Food; cordage; footwear; soap 358
Prickly-pears Cacti and succulents Opuntia Food; needles; medicine 357
Spanish bayonet Cacti and succulents Yucca baccata Food; cordage; footwear; soap 358
Chia Herbaceous Plants Salvia columbariae Food; medicine 346
Deergrass Herbaceous Plants Muhlenbergia rigens Baskets 346
Goosefoots Herbaceous Plants Chenopodium Food
Pigweed or amaranths Herbaceous Plants Amaranthus Food 346
Rushes Herbaceous Plants Juncus Baskets 347
Saltbushes Herbaceous Plants Atriplex Food; medicine 347
Stinging nettle Herbaceous Plants Urtica dioica Medicine; basketry; cordage; food 347
Toloache or jimson weed Herbaceous Plants Datura wrightii Intoxicant; medicine 347
Tules or bulrushes Herbaceous Plants Schoenoplectus Food; boats; building material 348
Wild tobaccos Herbaceous Plants Nicotiana Intoxicant; medicine 348
Yerba mansa or lizard’s tail Herbaceous Plants Anemopsis californica Medicine; food 348
Arrowweed Trees and shrubs Pluchea sericea Building material; weapons; tools; adhesives 349
Black oak Trees and shrubs Quercus kelloggii Food 352
California fan palm Trees and shrubs Washingtonia filifera Food; building material 349
California juniper Trees and shrubs Juniperus california Building material; food; medicine 349
Canyon live oak Trees and shrubs Quercus chrysolepis Food 353
Chamise or greasewood Trees and shrubs Adenostoma fasciculatum Building material; weapons; musical instruments; adhesives; medicine 350
Coast live oak Trees and shrubs Quercus agrifolia Food; weapons 353
Creosote bush Trees and shrubs Larrea tridentata Medicine 350
Desert-Willow Trees and shrubs Chilopsis linearis Building material 350
Elderberries Trees and shrubs Sambucus Food; medicine; pigment 348
Fremont cottonwood Trees and shrubs Populus fremontii Utensils; building materials; medicine 350
Holly-leafed cherry or Islay Trees and shrubs Prunus illicifolia Food; medicine 350
Honey mesquite Trees and shrubs Prosopis glandulosa Food; utensils; building material; tools; weapons; cordage; clothing; adhesive; soap; medicine 351
Jojoba Trees and shrubs Simmondsia chinensis Food; medicine 351
Manzanitas Trees and shrubs Arctostaphylos Food; fuel; medicine 352
Mormon teas Trees and shrubs Ephedra Medicine; food 352
Mule fat or seep-willow Trees and shrubs Baccharis salicifolia Medicine; building material; tools 352
Parry pinyon Trees and shrubs Pinus quadrifolia Food; baskets; adhesives; medicine 354
Sagebrushes Trees and shrubs Artemisia Medicine; building material; weapons 354
Screwbean Trees and shrubs Prosopis pubescens Food; weapons 355
Scrub oaks Trees and shrubs Quercus dumosa and turbinella Food; medicine 353
Singleleaf pinyon Trees and shrubs Pinus monophylla Food; baskets; adhesives; medicine 354
Skunkbush Trees and shrubs Rhus trilobata Baskets; food 355
Sumacs Trees and shrubs Rhus Food 355
Western choke-cherry Trees and shrubs Prunus virginiana var. demissa Food 355
White sage Trees and shrubs Salvia apiana Medicine; deodorant; food 355
Willows Trees and shrubs Salix Baskets; building material; weapons; clothing; cordage 356
Yerba santa or mountain balm Trees and shrubs Eriodictyon californicum Medicine 356


Western rattlesnake Amphibians and Reptiles Crotalus viridis Food; poison; medicine 359
Honeybee Insects and other terrestrial invertebrates Apis mellifera Food 358
Golden eagle Terrestrial birds Aquila chrysaetos Regalia 360
Hawks Terrestrial birds Accipitridae Weapons; regalia 360
Quails Terrestrial birds Odontophoridae Food 360
Bears Terrestrial mammals Ursus Food; hides; regalia 361
Black-tailed deer or mule deer Terrestrial mammals Odocoileus hemionus columbianus Food; cordage; clothing; tools; musical instruments 362
Coyote and foxes Terrestrial mammals Canidae Hides; containers 361
Hares and rabbits Terrestrial mammals Leporidae Food; blankets; clothing 361
Pronghorn Terrestrial mammals Antilocapra americana Food 362
Squirrels Terrestrial mammals Sciuridae Food 362
Woodrats Terrestrial mammals Neotoma Food 362


Clay Rocks and minerals Clay Ceramics; cosmetics 363
Obsidian Rocks and minerals Obsidian Weapons; tools 363
Salt Rocks and minerals Sodium chloride Not given 363


*Page refers to LP2009 (Kent Lightfoot and Otis Parrish, California Indians and Their Environment. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2009.)