Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More California Desert Wildflowers

We had thought that we would spend quite a bit of time in Death Valley, but then we learned that Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park got more rain then Death Valley, so they had more wildflowers. I got excited and so we decided to take the long way to San Diego. There wouldn't be as much time to linger, but I would get to see the wildflowers I came hoping to see.

If you are interested in learning more about Death Valley Area Plants, I found a site that was really helpful.

Here is a sampling of the wildflowers I found between Death Valley and Mojave National Preserve.Rock Nettle (Eucnide urens) A shrubby plant with bristles irritating to skin.
Rock Nettle has lovely flowers.

Desert Star (Monoptilon bellioides) has tinywhite dime sized flowers, as cute as a button.

Desert Pincushion (Chaenactis fremontii)is a hardly noticeable plant with white composite flowers.

It is also called Fremont's Pincushion, and seems to be pretty widespread.

I found Purple Mat (Nama Demissum) in Mojave National Preserve and in Joshua Tree National Park.It's tiny, low growing flowers often formed a mat of purple color over desert gravel.

Brown-eyed Evening Primrose (Camissonia claviformis)

Chia (Salvia Columbariae) an annual sage that commonly appears in disturbed areas of chaparral, such as following brush fires. The nourishing seeds are eaten and also germinated to make bushy "chia pets." This photo shows the dense, interrupted clusters of flowers called glomerules.
It really is a striking flower in a lovely color.

These teeny tiny blossoms are easy to overlook, but Forest Zoo didn't miss them.
Lilac Sunbonnet (Langloisia setosissima ssp. punctata) has pretty, detailed flowers. Setosissima means “very bristly-hairy”. Look closely and you will see why. The flowers are smaller then a dime, but don't step on it.

As we started driving south we found more and more flowers blooming by the road. Quite frequently I would call out and urgent "Stop!" so I could jump out and see what the new flower might be waiting for me. I was surprised to find that more flowers bloomed by the edge of the road, which worked out well for us, since we didn't have time to linger in any one place too long.
Desert Dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata) was a lovely sight, with large enough flowers to make a golden color splash.

I'll leave you with this single yellow wildflower, that I saw only once, and I haven't been able to identify. And even though it doesn't seem to be common, it isn't overlooked.

4 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

Anonymous said...

those chia flowers are so interesting.

West Bremerton florist

Hildegard said...

What treasures the flowers are!

Pamela said...

I wondered how many of those sustain the hummingbirds?

Anonymous said...

hey! I am so blessed by you! I would so love to communicate with you in the future. I am a photographer and we both have ALOT of the same favorites, hobbies etc.
i do have a website and would also love to have someone help me with identfying flowers/plants.
YOU certainly take excellent images of the beauty of the desert..