Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Great Basin Plants part 1

I have had the opportunity to spend some time out in eastern Nevada this spring. It was quite a crash course in new plants, but I wanted to share some. On new plants, I at least tried to keep their genus in my memory.

Scarlet Gilia was a car-stopper kind of flower. Driving across the valley towards the cedar swamps, we spotted this flower growing in the playa/wetlands. I think I took a picture of every clump I came across. Now it is considered to be Ipomopsis aggregata instead of Gilia.

Here is our target plant in all of its glory, Phacelia parishii. This annual grows in dry, crumbly-soil lake beds. We got to see it at two sites. Where the conditions were right, it was abundant this year. Some years it never comes up.

A view of a playa covered with the phacelia. A very tall plant might have been 3" tall.

Allenrolfea occidentalis is a shrub from the Chenopodiaceae family. Named Iodine Bush, it grows in saline playas. We found this shrub everywhere we found Parish's Phacelia. I was curious about the genus, apparently it was named for an English botanist by the name of Robert Allen Rolfe.

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