March Wildflowers, Part 3
Wow, I’m really getting behind! But to be honest, April & May haven’t been spectacular, so I’m sticking with the March flowers.
The remaining March wildflower crop are all visible to the naked eye, unlike most of the ones I’ve presented previously.
First up: the Desert Zinnia (Zinnia acerosa)!
This is a pretty little plant, smaller than a soccer ball, that is scattered throughout the scrub. I like to see them when I walk up the road. They seem to be on a twice-a-year blooming schedule — after the winter rains, then after the summer rains. They’re pretty enough from a distance, but if you look really close up, you can see structures as intricate as those visible on the Slender Poreleaf in the last post. Here’s the zinnia’s close-up.
Now I have a couple more of those DYCs (Dratted Yellow Composites). Here is the long view of Greenstem Paperflower (Psilostrophe sparsiflora).
This plant is about the size of a basketball. They bloom several times a year, probably on the same schedule as the sages — which, by the way, are doing poorly at blooming this year. Anyway, I’m not talking about sages today. The Paperflowers themselves have fewer flowers than usual this year, probably wishing they had more rain. Here’s a close-up of the Paperflower, which is very nice.
That leaves the last DYC I found this year, Smooth Threadleaf Ragwort (Senecio flaccidus var. monoensis). Here’s the plant:
This one only blooms in the spring, and is less common than those above, but still fairly plentiful in the scrub. Have a close-up:
And you see why the DYCs get an acronym just for themselves. There are SO many aster-related, many-rayed yellow flowers here that the guide books have page after page of these, and differentiating among them is a chore. On the other hand, who doesn’t like yellow flowers?
I saved my favorite for last. Here are the Caliche Globemallows (Sphaeralcea laxa)!
Shown here surrounded by actual lichen-covered caliche rocks, even.
Amidst all the drab green and brown and various shades of yellow, the Globemallow is visible from quite a ways off because of its cheery orange color. I only have 3 or 4 of these plants on the property, and they’re all small and leggy like this one, but every time I see them I encourage them to grow big and spread as far as they can, just because I want to see more of them!
That’s my favorite spring flower. 🙂