Desert Candle (Caulanthus inflatus)

Desert Candle (Caulanthus inflatus)

Caulanthus inflatus, the desert candle, is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae, native to the Mojave Desert of California and Nevada, and the southern Sierra Nevada and Transverse Ranges in the United States. It is also common in Central Asia. It is found at elevations between 490–4,920 ft.

It is an annual plant growing up to 70 cm in height, with a thick, swollen stem that looks like a yellow candle. The basal leaves are 2-7 cm long, smaller higher up the stem. The flowers are small, with four reddish-purple petals.

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.