Nicotiana and Encelia

We think Nicotiana Obtusifolia, and Encelia Farinosa… Hmm. Notice the clasped leaf structure. An early flower-er.

Nicotiana obtusifolia M. Martens & Galeotti
Habit: Perennial herb 2–8 dm, glandular-hairy, base often +- woody. Leaf: 2–10 cm; lower short-petioled, (ob)ovate; upper +- narrowly ovate, clasping. Inflorescence: bracts < 20 mm, linear to lanceolate. Flower: calyx 10–15 mm, lobes +- = tube, +- equal, narrowly triangular; corolla +- funnel-shaped, green-white or dull white, tube + throat 15–26 mm, limb 8–10 mm wide; stamens unequal, attached near tube base. Fruit: 8–10 mm.
Ecology: Gravelly or rocky washes, slopes; Elevation: < 1600 m. Bioregional Distribution: s SNE, D; Distribution Outside California: to Utah, Texas, Mexico. Flowering Time: Mar–Jun
Synonyms: Nicotiana trigonophylla Dunal
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael H. Nee
and some definitions from wikipedia: petiole,
By |2018-08-20T16:49:46-08:00February 8th, 2017|Categories: Botanical Identification|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Nicotiana and Encelia

Eucrypta? No way, You crypt-huh!

All joking aside, we’re pretty sure this lovliest of lovlies is from the family Eucrypta, but is it Eucrypta micrantha, or Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia? Hopefully, some avid botanist could help us out with this problem…? The detail below has a leaf in it, maybe helpful, maybe not… oh well…

When we first spotted this little guy (or gal), we thought it was one of the gilias that we’d been seeing. It’s leaves are kinda similar and they are all very tiny with pale purple flowers. They also have little hairs along the stem. The little hairs actually remind us of another tiny plant in Maine known as Sundew (Drosera — a carnivorous plant). Of course, this little lovely is far from carnivorous.




By |2018-08-20T16:49:49-08:00November 18th, 2016|Categories: Botanical Identification|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Eucrypta? No way, You crypt-huh!

The princess and the bee…

When we found this little bee cozily snoozing in this ghost flower (Mohavea confertiflora), we wondered how it got there. After a while, we posited that the ghost flower and bee may have similar nocturnal/diurnal rhythms. At night, we thought, the bee would go to sleep (in the flower) as the flower closed, and when the sun came up in the morning to warm them both, the flower would open and the bee would start its day. Wonderful.

By |2018-08-20T16:49:50-08:00October 22nd, 2016|Categories: Botanical Identification|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on The princess and the bee…

Lesser Yellow Throated Gilia

This is one of my favorite flowers! It’s about 3 mm in diameter and doesn’t open until after 10 am. There are a few flowers in the gilia family. This one is star shaped with petals that slowly transform from a bluish-purple to pink at the tips. The inside of the flower is white, then inside the throat is an unmistakable yellow—hence, yellow-throated. The anthers (or pom-poms as I like to call them), of which there are five, are a light blue. How can something so tiny contain so much color?!

They are everywhere on our hikes, but you have to look for them (because they are so delicate and tiny). That’s another thing, how can something so delicate withstand the heat and not wilt? The desert is a constant source of amazement! Well, many of the ones we find grow in the lee of a rock—those tend to stick around longer and are taller than their counterparts that grow in the open.

Some lesser yellow throated gilia have more pink, some a little more blue, and yet others a little more purple. This one is a gorgeous example of all three colors prominently featured. I particularly love the outline of the petals in that bright pink. Simply stunning!

I wonder how long these little guys and gals will last…

By |2018-08-20T16:50:29-08:00April 6th, 2016|Categories: Botanical Identification|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Lesser Yellow Throated Gilia

Little White Desert Flowers

Karla and I are at it again! This time, at the Randall Henderson Trail in the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Today, we’re going for 32 bit HDR… I’m not even sure what that stands for, but WE LOVE IT!!! The image file is HUGE.

We found this delicate little white desert flower along the trail. Thanks to our friend at Friends of the Desert Mountains, we now know this is little flower is Ditaxis lanceolata. It appears that Ditaxis doesn’t have a common name…

Pointed, star-shaped, five-petaled flower with fuzzy silvery, green leaves. It was so bright that the flowers were almost invisible (plus, they’re tiny). It’s amazing that we continue to spot new species of wildflowers every time we go hiking.

Also, on the trail today, we tried our first mammalaria fruits. They were reddish-orange… small… and seedy… but yummy (though Karla asked, are they supposed to be “slightly slimy?”).

Updated on October 22, 2016

By |2019-07-19T09:43:33-08:00April 4th, 2016|Categories: Botanical Identification, Flowers of San Jacinto|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Little White Desert Flowers

Prickly Pear Cactus Flower

The most collaboration we’ve put into a picture yet! I’m working the camera, and Karla’s working the Ipad remote, checking the focus and exposure, so that we could combine multiple images into this interpretive HDR. Our new Sony a6000 rocks… seriously.

For months, G and I hiked up the mountains looking at flowers and identifying ‘new’ species (new to us). Each hike took a few hours…with the backpack…the camera…camera equipment…snacks…and water…lots of water. We would set our at dawn and, sometimes, return home in the afternoon. No, we are not crazy; but we are, dedicated.

So imagine our surprise when we spotted this beauty in the Sculpture Garden at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert. Since we were in picture taking mode, we brought our camera and equipment everywhere.


Apricot globe mallow

We found this beautiful little flower along the drainage ditch on the way to the sculpture garden, and had to stop for a look! It’s hard to get the light right when the sun is directly overhead, without blowing out the highlights, or a mass of specular highlights. I like the color, it reminds me of this sunny day.

By |2018-08-20T16:50:30-08:00March 30th, 2016|Categories: Botanical Identification|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Apricot globe mallow