Summer 2012
Ground Cherry
September 23, 2012

      Although the flowering season for Ground Cherry (Physalis crassifolia) is said to be from March to May, it also produces some flowers during late summer and fall. In fact, the neat thing about this time of year is that it is possible to see both the flowers and the unusual fruits of this plant. The fruits are most often compared to miniature lanterns due to their inflated and angular structure. BTW, I observed some very nice ground cherry specimens in Knight Canyon (located in the Argus Range) this last week. (Click here for more info!)

Yellow Monkey Flower
September 09, 2012

      Yellow Monkey Flower is one of those plants that you are likely to encounter in a lot of different locations. It grows in wet areas in Death Valley, the Sierra Nevada range, thoughout the Great Basin, the Rocky Mountains, and a few other areas in North America. It can also grow at a wide range of altitudes, all the way from sea level to 10,000 feet above sea level. Formerly listed as a member of the Scrophulariaceae (Figwort/Snapdragon Family), it is now considered to be a member of the Phrymaceae (Lopseed Family). (Click here for more info!)

August 26, 2012

      Although there are members of the Gentian Family which can be found in the Death Valley area, no members of the genera Gentiana or Gentianopsis are native to the Death Valley area. However, members of these two genera are found throughout the Great Basin, Sierra Nevada range, and the Rocky Mountains. Four such plants can be seen by visiting the following links:
Alpine Gentian Artic Gentian
Mountain Bog Gentian Sierra Gentian

August 12, 2012

      There are now four plants contained in the online collection at that share the common name of dandelion in one way or the other: Common Dandelion, Desert Dandelion, Mountain Dandelion, and Orange Mountain Dandelion. Although they are all members of the Sunflower Family, as would be expected, they are not members of the same genus. While the two Mountain Dandelions belong to the genus Agoseris, Common Dandelion is a member of the genus Taraxacum and Desert Dandelion is included in the genus Malacothrix. Compare these different dandelions by visiting the following links:
Common Dandelion Desert Dandelion
Mountain Dandelion Orange Mountain Dandelion

Scarlet Monkeyflower
July 29, 2012

      There aren't a lot of plants that bloom in the middle of the summer, but Scarlet Monkey Flower produces blooms from April straight through to October. Of course, Scarlet Monkey Flower needs water and so it normally grows near a water source such as a spring. It frequently grows in association with Nightshade and Nettle. The flower shown to the left was shot in Bruce Canyon just a couple weeks ago. (Click here for more info!)

July 15, 2012

      This member of the Mint Family is well-known for making tasty tea, but it is important not to drink too much of the delicious brew since doing so may cause an unpleasant sensation in the intestines! Pennyroyal is found throughout the Great Basin, but in the Death Valley area it only grows in the Inyo and Grapevine ranges. The attractive flowers appear during the summer months and you are most likely to encounter this plant on dry slopes at higher elevations. (Click here for more info!)

Pink Elephant's Head
July 01, 2012

      The common names given to most flowers are usually not all that descriptive, but every once in a while there's a flower with a common name that is just perfect for it. Bull Elephant's Head is such a flower! Also known by its scientific name Pedicularis groenlandica, this flower grows in mountainous areas throughout the western United States. The specimen shown on this page was found growing at an elevation slightly above 10,000 feet in the Cottonwood Lakes area of the Sierra Nevada Range. Formerly considered to be a member of the Figwort/Snapdragon Family, this plant is now included in the Broomrape Family. (Click here for more info!)


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