Wildflower Photos #4
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California Wildflowers #4  
Coyote Creek & Hellhole Canyon December 1 & 6, 2005

More Cholla Images At Wildflowers 4b
More Cholla Images At Wildflowers 4c

Sand mat (Chamaesyce micromera), a member of the diverse euphorbia family (Euphorbiaceae). The slender taproot of this species indicates that it is an annual herb. Another native sand mat in Coyote Creek (C. polycarpa var. hirtella) is a perennial.

Squaw Spurge (Chamaesyce melanadenia) in Culp Valley.

Squaw Spurge (Chamaesyce melanadenia) in Culp Valley.

See Other Members Of The Euphorbia Family

Pigmy cedar (Peucephyllum schotii) on the rocky slopes of Coyote Mountain.

Sunset view from Coyote Creek.

Left: Cholla cactus at the Anza-Borrego State Park Visitor Center. This appears to be Cylindropuntia ganderi (C. acanthocarpa ssp. ganderi). The riblike tubercles are more than 3x longer than broad and the spine clusters are farther apart than silver cholla (C. echinocarpa). Right: Another cholla along the trail to Hellhole Canyon. Although the spine clusters are more closely spaced, the riblike tubercles are variable in length. This latter species may also be Gander's cholla (C. ganderi). Unfortunately, the length/width ratio of tubercles is not sufficient to positively identify these species. Other characters, such as filament color, are necessary. See images of cholla flowers at the following URL.

See Images of Cholla Flowers

Sand mat (Chamaesyce polycarpa var. hirtella) along trail to Hellhole Canyon. The leaf size and degree of pubescence are variable in plants along this trail. In fact, some ovaries of female flowers were glabrous. In the Jepson Manual (1996) the varieties of this perennial have been removed. The pubescent desert var. hirtella and glabrous coastal var. polycarpa are both listed as C. polycarpa.

Dead jumping cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) along the trail to Hellhole Canyon. Note the lignified (woody) vascular tissue that remains after the outer, spine-bearing fleshy layer separates from the stem.

Desert sunflower bush (Viguiera parishii) along the California Riding & Hiking Trail above Hellhole Canyon. This shrub is different from the common brittle bush (Encelia farinosa).

See Brittle Bush In Full Bloom

Broom twinberry (Menodora scoparia) along the California Riding & Hiking Trail above Hellhole Canyon. This interesting little shrub belongs to the olive family (Oleaceae). It produces flowers in pairs, followed by a pair of circumscissile capsules. In the left plant you can see a faint transverse line of dehiscence along the middle of the capsule. The upper half of the capsule separates leaving the persistent cup-shaped lower half shown in the middle and right plants.

See The Circumscissile Capsule Of Purslane

View toward Hellhole Canyon with jumping cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) in foreground.

Asclepiadaceae: Matelea parviflora (Spearleaf)

Two species of Matelea (Asclepiadaceae). Left: M. parvifolia, a rare desert species native to rocky areas of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The small purplish flower gives rise to an elongate seed pod (follicle) up to 7 cm long. The common name "spearleaf" refers to the sagittate leaf blades. Right: The tubercled follicle of a tropical species (M. maritima) hanging from a tree along the shore of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

See The Structure Of Milkweed Flowers

Asclepiadaceae: Cynanchum utahense (Utah Cynanchum)

Members of the milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae) are now placed in the dogbane family
(Apocynaceae). Cynanchium photographed 21 August 2008 along road to Cool Canyon.

Smoke tree flower (Psorothamnus spinosus) showing glands.

Calyx and ripened ovary of indigo bush (Psorothamnus schottii) showing glands.

Lake Henshaw on Tuesday morning (27 December 2005).

Phacelia minor in Borrego Palm Canyon

Phacelia minor in Borrego Palm Canyon (6 February 2008).

Phacelia minor in Coastal San Diego County burned area.

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