Winter 2011
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Chia
March 27, 2011

      This is a close up view of the lower part of a chia flower. As you can see, it has three dark blue spots that are arranged in such a manner as to suggest a pair of eyes and a mouth. Further, it appears as if the eyes and the mouth are wide open suggesting the facial expression of a scary ghost. At any rate, chia is a common annual found throughout the Death Valley area and beyond. It's a member of the Mint Family and you can click here to read more about it! (Click here for more info!)

Desert Dandelion
March 13, 2011

      The desert dandelion is so common that it is often considered a weed, but unlike common dandelion, it is a native to North America. Despite the fact that common dandelion and desert dandelion share a similar common name, they aren't as closely related as their common names imply, although they both are members of the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae). The scientific name for desert dandelion is Malacothrix glabrata and the scientific name for common dandelion is Taraxacum officinale. (Click here for more info!)

Lilac Sunbonnet
February 27, 2011

      This annual stays pretty close to the ground, but the flowers will catch your attention! At only four inches in height you'll have to lean over or sit down to get a close look at the intricately decorated petals, but they are worth the effort. Lilac Sunbonnet (Langloisia setosissima) blooms from late April through June and is generally found below 5500 feet in elevation throughout the Mojave Desert and surrounding areas. (Click here for more info!)

Valentine Plant
February 13, 2011

      Pterostegia drymarioides has a few common names. Sometimes it's called threadstem. Sometimes it is referred to as botanist's friend. However, the most festive of its common names is valentine plant. The name is quite appropriate, of course, because its leaves sometimes look like little hearts and on top of that the leaves are also sometimes tinted red. The specimen shown on this page was found in the southern part of the Argus Range just above Pioneer Point near the county line between San Bernardino County and Inyo County. (Click here for more info!)

Desert Holly
January 09, 2011

      With leaves of pale green, or even sometimes white, desert holly is a fairly easy plant to identify. It is a small shrub that stays under three feet in height. It's leaves are toothed and the most interesting thing about the plant is the flowers that it produces. Under most conditions the plants are dioecious, which means that a given plant normally either produces male or female flowers. The female flowers are succulent, disk-shaped structures while the male flowers are scale-like and an almost cranberry red in color. (Click here for more info!)


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