Sunday, January 23, 2011
You wouldn't think there was such a diversity of plants in the desert, but on a short hike I saw so many different plants. Jojoba, the small green leaf plant is well liked by both small rodents and Mountain Sheep alike. Its seeds are oily and is being used commercially now.
The cactus is Beaver Tail and there wasn't a lot of it around. The dark gray trunk is Desert Willow, a plant that lives in the washes and low areas to get water by sending its roots deep into the ground. The Yucca is a very interesting plant. It is pollinated by a moth that only lives in the flowers and it's larvae bore into the seeds. Pencil Cactus seems to come in two colors, a red tinged one and a light green variety. Another cactus variety is the Chola, stay well away, it latches on and wont come off. Some of the plants are pretty even dormant or dead. The rusty red plant is very strange. Its dead but looks more like a vine that draped itself over a plant.