Cryptantha pectocarya Forray
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Cryptantha pterocarya Expedition: Anza-Borrego Desert
  © W.P. Armstrong 27 March 2012
Images Taken With Sony DSC-T9, Sony DSC-HX9v, and Nikon D-90.

Agua Caliente Springs & Moonlight Canyon

Fremont's desert thorn (Lycium fremontii) at Agua Caliente.

Desert dodder (Cuscuta denticulata). Photo from dead, desiccated plant removed from host indigo bush (Psorothamnus schottii). Plant estimated to be from 2005 growth season. After 7 years it was hydrated to bring out important characteristics for ID.

  Hydrated Cuscuta californica var. papillosa from Bisnaga Wash.  

Wing-nut cryptantha (Cryptantha pterocarya var. cycloptera).

Winged nutlets of wing-nut cryptantha (Cryptantha pterocarya var. cycloptera).

Note: Some nutlets in above image appear to have a narrower wing at the basal end. This is caused by folding of the wing where it was attached to gynobase inside the flower. Cryptantha pterocarya var. pterocarya also occurs in the Anza-Borrego region, typically in the desert transition zone at higher elevations. It clearly lacks a marginal wing at the base of nutlet body. It is a heteromorphic species, with three winged nutlets and one persistent, unwinged nutlet.

Scented cryptantha (Cryptantha utahensis)

Gravel cryptantha (Cryptantha decipiens).

See The Wayne's Word Cryptantha Page
  Index Of Cryptantha Images On Wayne's Word  

Catclaw acacia (Acacia = Senegalia greggii).

Simplified, computer-generated cladogram of Acacia sensu lato (in the broad sense) showing five major monophyletic lineages (genera) in red. The group containing Mariosousa, Acaciella and Faidherbia is Polytomous. I.e. It doesn't resolve into dichotomies. Faidherbia (shown in blue) is a monotypic genus that was formerly classified as Acacia albida. Original cladogram published in: Maslin, Miller & Seigler (2003), Australian Systematic Botany 16 (1): 1-18. Updated generic names follow B.R. Maslin (2006)

  Seach Acacia, Acaciella, Vachellia, Senegalia & Mariosousa in Kew Plant List  
Senegalia senegal (formerly Acacia senegal), is the source of gum arabic.
Read about acacias and gum arabic in the Wayne's Word Acacia Article

Desert mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) on jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis).

Bigelow's monkey flower (Mimulus bigelovii var. bigelovii).

Desert nemacladus or threadplant (Nemacladus rubescens).

Magnified view of translucent, glistening cells attached at base of filaments on upper side of gynoecium. The function of these cells is unknown at this time. Magnification 60x. Image taken with Bausch & Lomb Stereomicroscope and Sony W-300.

Explanation For Glistening Cells Of Nemacladus
According to Peter K. Endress (Diversity and Evolutionary Biology of Tropical Flowers, Cambridge University Press, 1994), some flowers display glistening bodies to attract insects. They are interpreted as mimicking nectar drops. They are best known in the temperate genus Parnassia (Saxafragaceae), where they have been termed "pseudonactaries." Similar structures also occur in genera of tropical and subtropical regions, such as Solanum (Solanaceae), Lopezia (Onagraceae) and Nemacladus (Campanulaceae). They are completely dry, and there is no sign of secretory activity; however, they are often situated near the real nectaries, which are in a more hidden position. Pollinators may be led to the nectar source by these pseudonectaries. "The gadgets of Nemacladus are bizarre. Two stamens have a protruding socket at the filament base. Each socket bears three or more reflexed clavate giant cells, which cause the glistening effect."

Aaron Schusteff (personal communication, 2012) photographed insects from three different families (two bee flies and a wasp) on three different species of Nemacladus. See thumbnail images at the following link: Schusteff Images. Two of the visitors (the bee fly Lepidanthrax and a chalcid wasp) were apparently taking nectar. A second bee fly (Mythicomya) spent most of its time probing the anthers and stigma of N. rubescens. According to Schusteff: "It seems plausible to me that they all may have been attracted by glistening of the rods...simulating well-charged nectaries."

  More Images Of Nemacladus rubescens Taken With Nikon D-90  

Hairy stick-leaf (Mentzelia hirsutissima).

Bow Willow Creek (Overland Stage Route)

Peninsular pectocarya (Pectocarya peninsularis).

Note: The following hitchhiker scorpion may have crawled onto my pants at this site!

Carrizo Creek

Common desert scorpion (Paruroctonus, possibly P. becki).

Note: This scorpion was clinging to my pants as I walked from Tom's vehicle. I probably picked up the tenacious hitchhiker from our previous stop since I was crawling on my knees photographing minute wildflowers. If my hypothesis is correct, this creature was on my leg while I rode in Tom's car from the previous stop. Luckily it remained on my clothing and no one sat on it!

  More Images Of Scorpions On Wayne's Word  

Silver cholla (Cylindropuntia echinocarpa).

Compare With The Flower Of Cylindropuntia wolfii
  Compare With Flower Of Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa  

Fossil Canyon, Imperial County

Fossil Canyon showing sedimentary fossiliferous canyon walls..

Desert Bird-of-paradise Caesalpinia virgata = Hoffmannseggia microphylla

Family Fabaceae: Subfamily Caesalpinioideae
  Fabulous Caesalpinia Drift Seeds Of The Caribbean  

The Original Author Must Not Have Been A Botanist!

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