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This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Herp Holiday 2016 plants

Back in August I shared some pictures of the herps we saw on our Herp Holiday Extravaganza 2016. I'll share a few pictures of some of the plants and flowers we saw on our trip.

The downside to waiting so long to post photos, especially of plants is that I have forgotten most of the IDs and all that hard work of keying out IDs back in May have gone to waste. Oh who am I kidding, keying out plants on the desert trip almost always consists of asking Randomtruth "Hey man, what's this?" and "I know I asked you an hour ago, but what is this again?"

So I am going to do my best to re-ID these flowers, but I am not going to let a couple of unknown plants hold this post up for another 6 months.

Please feel to correct any IDs. [Thanks for the ID help Christopher Moore and Randomtruth]

Desert Willow
Chilopsis linearis

Desert Willow
Chilopsis linearis
The Desert Willow flower has strong scent and and when trees are in full bloom like this one, the desert smells like a glorious perfume. Some say like the gentle scent of a high class lady in nearby Vegas.

Apricot Mallow
Sphaeralcea ambigua
Apricot Mallow is probably my favorite of the regular desert flowers we see. I really need to get some seeds and see if I can grow it in the backyard.

Desert Senna
Senna armata

Yes, you can make a tea with Mormon Tea, and its natural ephedra will have you champing at the bit and hiking a little bit faster than your friends. This plant may or may not be a certain friend's favorite part of visiting the Mojave. Although as Christopher in the comments pointed out this isn't Mormon Tea which has cone shaped flowers.

Brown-eyes Suncup
Chylismia claviformis

Barrel Cactus
Ferocactus cylindcaceus

Barrel Cactus
Ferocactus cylindcaceus

Common Fishhook Cactus
Mammillaria tetrancistra 

Wild Canterbury-bell
Phacelia campanularia

Palmer's Penstemon
Penstemon palmeri

Palmer's Penstemon
Penstemon palmeri

Desert Thistle
Cirsium neomexicanum
I have found a few images online of these same insects in this thistle. Not sure what the are, but maybe they specialize on this particular flower?

Xylorhiza tortifolia

Desert Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja chromosa


Buckhorn Cholla
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa

Buckhorn Cholla
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa

Beavertail Cactus
Opuntia basilaris

Silver Cholla
Cylindropuntia echinocarpa

Hedgehog cactus
Echinocereus engelmannii

When RandomTruth saw the below flower we were walking along a dirt road listening to group of young coyotes go apeshit at the scene of mom or dad returning with an early dinner. These young 'yotes were howling, squealing, and making the kind of ruckus that made all the rabbits nervous.

RandomTruth was so excited to see this mound of dirt flower that at first I thought his screams of joy meant he's found a Heloderma. Imagine my disappointment when it was just a plant. Oh, but wait, this wasn't just a plant! Look at this glorious little turd flower!

Scaly-stemmed Sand Plant
Pholisma arenarium

Scaly-stemmed Sand Plant
Pholisma arenarium