Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) is almost as ubiquitous as Creosote in the Colorado/Sonoran Desert. Their silvery leaves are instantly recognizable and, in the spring, fragrant golden yellow flowers emerge filling out the round, bushy plant.
Encelia farinosa was an interesting flower design to conceptualize. First, most people recognize Brittlebush by the shape of the plant and the color of its leaves. But it’s hard to depict on a, say, small logo. Plus, it was a great opportunity to illustrate a compound flower with ray and disc flowers!
The third botanical illustration features Indigo Bush, Psorothamnus schottii. This design was tricky in terms of color. It’s difficult to capture the blue-purple of the Indigo Bush flower. It’s even more difficult to print the color in CMYK! And depending on the paper, the colors appear either too dark or muddied.
It’s hard to see or describe what’s going on inside an Indigo Bush (Psorothamnus schottii) flower. Probably because it’s hidden inside the keel of the flower. But you’ll definitely notice the bright orange anthers sticking out against the deep blue/purple of the petals.
Detailed technical description of Indigo Bush
The online Jepson Herbarium provides a cursorial description. Surprisingly, the New York Botanic Garden website contains an article with a fantastic and technical description of Psorothamnus schottii. Though I, personally, still can’t make heads or tails of it—at least, not without a glossary nearby! And even then…
According to Barneby, the androecium contains filaments (the long stalk part of the stamen under then anther) free for half their length. This suggests that the filaments fuse for half their length (at the bottom, if my pictures are accurate). Which is in line with other flowers in the Fabaceae family.
A botanical geometry, by a maniacal geoffrey. Fagonia laevis (California fagonbush) has this awesome branching method with two leaves on the outside, followed inwardly by two sub-stalks, and then a bud/inflorescence/infructescence. Some of the pictures I’ve taken show two anthers out of eight being smooth, and the others all bumpy (for lack of a more scientific term). I’m not sure if this is a maturity issue or an anatomy issue.
Speaking of anatomy, let’s get technical. The Jepson Herbarium lists some information for Fagonia laevis, such as leaflet size (3-9 mm), petiole size (1-4 mm), flower size (1 cm), and information about the fruit. However, if you view the descriptions of the Higher Taxonomy, i.e., for the Genus: Fagonia and Family: Zygophyllaceae, there are more descriptions. (Get your glossary ready!)
The stem is spreading and angled.
There seems to be some mention of Fagonia in Ayurvedic medicine, but probably not the same species. Oh where, oh where is my DIY chromatography kit? Oh where, oh where can it be?
And, for good measure, here’s the wiki page for peppermint! Very interesting stuff. Peppermint’s a hybrid, it’s near impossible to pin down the exact nature of this voracious mint. It’s been used by everyone, everywhere, since antiquity. And, most importantly, don’t plant it in the ground.