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Author Topic: Joshua Tree National Park Early Spring Flowers  (Read 4090 times)
Rich
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« on: March 20, 2008, 07:52:27 PM »

I've been slow to post this due to a lot of work travel and then getting sick, but thought I would offer this information to folks who may like to check out the deserts some day.

I had to travel to southern California for work a couple of weeks ago and had a little extra time to swing through Joshua Tree National Park.  The Colorado Desert (which is the northernmost extension of the Sonoran Desert) in the southeastern part of the park was in spectacular bloom.   I was informed by one of the rangers that this part of the park is always a nice show in the first week of March.

The remainder of the park is in the Mojave Desert.  There is a distinct floral shift and there was much less blooming in the cooler and higher Mojave Desert.  The most noticeable change in the flora as you drive up (latitude and elevation) is the replacement of Ocotilla and various species of cholla with Joshua trees and other large yuccas.

If you want to see the Mojave in bloom, you would have to go a little later, but I was overwhelmed by what I saw in the Colorado Desert in the piece of a day I had to drive through.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 01:25:36 PM by Rich » Logged

Rich Reaves
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 07:27:23 PM »

First in a series of 4 pictures.  Anita (my wife) informed me that my topic creates the impression that one would see a flower or a few flowers.  Here is the beginning of my effort to correct that.  This plant is commonly known as blazing star (Mentzelia involucrata), in the Loasaceae family.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2008, 07:32:53 PM by Rich » Logged

Rich Reaves
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 07:32:06 PM »

Flower Number 2.  The desert bell (Phacelia campanulata), in the Hydrophyllaceae family.
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Rich Reaves
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 07:36:05 PM »

Flower Number 3.  The desert poppy (Eschschozia glyptosperma), in the Papaveraceae family.
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Rich Reaves
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 07:39:05 PM »

Flower 4, the final one.  My apologies for not including any from the get-go.  This is Cooper's broomrape (Orobanche cooperi latiloba), a parasitic plant in the Orobanchaceae.
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Rich Reaves
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I'm no botanist, and I don't even play one on TV.


« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008, 11:06:01 PM »

Great pics, Rich!
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sanguinaria
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2008, 07:18:04 AM »

Rich - these are wonderful photos!  Really makes me want to visit the desert next spring.  Thanks for posting.  Linda
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