Pressed Flower Art

Nature Guides & Activities

PURPOSE: Learn what Mojave desert wildflowers look like and when they bloom. Create a piece of artwork from pressed flowers.


  • Learn what Mojave desert wildflowers look like and when they bloom.
  • Create a plant press from at-home items.
  • Create a piece of artwork from pressed flowers.


For the lesson

  • Flower or plant parts
  • 2 or more pieces of cardboard
  • 2 textbooks or bricks
  • Thinned white glue or Mod Podge (a water-based sealer, glue, and finish)
  • Newspaper sheets (or something similar)
  • 2 textbooks or bricks
  • Optional: Belt (or something to tighten with)

Downloadable PDFs

Summary Of Activities

The following information is presented so you can follow along with the images and information that is provided on the slides.

Slide 1-4. Introduce this activity by asking, When you think of the word “desert”, what comes to your mind? Let participants share. Remind them that desert is characterized by its high temperatures and low precipitation, however, that doesn’t mean a diverse set of plants can’t live there. Point out the many types of wildflowers found in the Mojave Desert.

Slide 5-10. Tell participants they are going to make a piece of artwork with a collection of flowers or any plant parts. Follow the steps on the slides to create a plant press at home. Once finished, place your art piece in a frame for all to see!

Flowers to Observe

Beavertail cactus

Beavertail Cactus

Opuntia basilaris
This prickly cactus’ magenta flowers bloom from spring to early summer.

Desert prickly pear

Desert Prickly Pear

Opuntia phaecantha
These flowers are usually bright yellow with reddish centers, but peach, pink or reddish flowers are also common.


Creosote Bush

Creosote Bush

Larrea tridentata
You might notice these tiny yellow flowers that are up to 25 mm in diameter and bloom in the spring.


Palmer’s Penstemon

Penstemon palmeri
These flowers’ unique shape attract many pollinators, including hummingbirds. You can catch these blooming in the spring.


Desert Aster

Desert Aster

Xylorhiza tortifolia
You can catch these beautiful purple flowers with yellow centers in the spring.



Encelia farinosa
This plant has green-white leaves and becomes covered with yellow daisy-like flowers in winter and spring.