Ethnobotany of southern California native plants:

Desert Lavender (Condea emoryi)

desert lavender plant

credit: Stan Shebs, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Tiny purple flowers adorn the desert lavender.

Yucca schidigera

Desert lavender in the winter.

Desert Lavender (Condea emoryi)

Desert lavender is an aromatic shrub from the mint family. This plant is fairly common throughout desert areas in southeastern California. The plant is a dicot shrub and can also be found in Arizona, Nevada and Baja, Mexico.

Like other lavenders, this plant produces small, attractive, purple flowers. These tiny flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.

Uses for desert lavender

The seeds of the desert lavender flower are small but they are edible. In fact, the Cahuilla people used these purple flowers for medicinal purposes.

The Cahuilla created an infusion of the petals to serve as a remedy for hemorrhages.

desert lavender plant

credit:Stan Shebs GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0

A full-sized desert lavender shrub.

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Bean, Lowell John and Katherine Siva Saubel 1972 Temalpakh (From the Earth); Cahuilla Indian Knowledge and Usage of Plants. Banning, CA. Malki Museum Press (p. 79)

Please return to our main Ethnobotany of southern California page.

On our main ethnobotany page, we present a clickable list of the southern California native plants that became a part of the culture of Native Americans and early European settlers. These plants were used for medicine, food, shelter, drink, tools and art.


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