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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rock Midgets and Arroyo's part III

Desert Gold and White Tidy Tips
This is what most people came to see when Death Valley got over 6" of rain in the winter of 2005. Averaging under 2" of rain per year, the deluge unlocked the masses of annuals stored in the seed banks of the sandy washes almost right down to the salt flats. Miles and miles of gold and white covered the valley floor that year.

Argemone munita
The Desert Prickly poppy
This is on the wall of Hanupah Canyon where I spent the day looking for my rock midget.

Encelia farinosa
I've always had a thing for silvery leaved plants. This one ranks among the best of them. I did get cuttings to root but unfortunately this one is not adapted to a life at the 45th parallel.

Cheilanthes parryi
I have a thing for silver leaved plants and even more of a thing for silver leaved ferns. This is by far the most silvery one I have ever encountered and I spent a good deal of time trying to find one to best it. I had this species growing in a greenhouse for many years after this trip, but I lost it in the shuffle of moving. Dave Peterson, the excellent Portland fern grower kept one alive for longer and may still have it.

Monoptilon belliodes
Mohave Desert Daisy
I absolutely love Townsendia's and this is Death Valley's version.

Spheralcea ambigua
Desert Mallow
I'm rarely a harsh critic of any plant, but there is something just god awful about the color of this flower. It's leaves are very silvery though so it does get points for that. The var. rosea is said to range from violet to rose to carmine, although I only ever encountered the straight species with it's weird orange-persimmon colored flowers.

End Part III

I may have one more part to this saga to peice together so stay tuned but I do promise there will be more bulbs coming soon.

Weather: Rain showers all day, some wicked wind fields moved through this afternoon, sun breaks this evening for the kiddo's softball game, a chilly 39 degrees outside now. Forecast is for every day this weekend to get warmer and drier!

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