Sunday, February 14, 2010

Langloisia setosissima subsp. punctata

Bristly calico - Langloisia setosissima subsp. punctata

Found in the Death Valley region and the adjoining Panamint Valley, bristly calico is another of the tiny desert annuals that can be easily missed by the casual observer. This species is the sole member of its genus, which contains two sub-species. In the other sub-species, L. setosissima subsp. setosissima has fainter speckling on its petals, but is otherwise indistinct. These plants can be anywhere from 4-20 cm tall, with the flowers being 1.5-2cm in diameter. They are typically found on rocky slopes and washes of the eastern California deserts and up into Oregon and Idaho, and east into Nevada and Arizona.

Like most desert annuals and smaller plants, this species has very little in the way of documentation for this plant.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Forestiera pubescens

Desert olive or stretchberry - Forestiera pubescens

A member of the olive family, F. pubescens is a low growing to tall shrub from the swampprivet genus. These trees are found, as their name genus name would indicate, near water. In the Mojave area, that means they're found near streams and creeks in the eastern Sierra Nevadas. These shrubs are winter deciduous, and can be found either singly or in large stands.

Like most members of this genus, F. pubesces is dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants. Flowering occurred in March to April. When mature, the fruits resemble small, black olives, which were found in tight clumps at the branch nodes.