Thursday, June 16, 2011

Salvia dorrii ssp. dorrii var. dorrii

Gilman's great basin sage

Prevalent in the east facing canyons of the Sierra nevada mountains, this species of sage brush is among the more widely distributed plants in the uplands of the Mojave. Forming large stands of silvery-white brush, and producing vibrant purple-blue flowers in the spring, this sage is a fragrant and beautiful representation of the woody mints found in the desert.

This plant's nectar is a major component of the honey gathered by bees in the region.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cymopterus ripleyi

Ripley's cymopterus

Like its cousin the Cymopterus deserticola, C. ripleyi is a rare plant listed by the BLM as a species of concern in the Mojave. It is visually distinct from its relative in that it is considerably smaller in size, and its leaves are fleshier, glossier and not as strongly palmately compound.

This plant is found near the northern edge of the Mojave range in California, usually near dune systems and blow sand. One of the largest documented concentrations of the species is at Haiwee Reservoir, where it can be found in small to medium sized patches during Feb to April. The plants will usually be in clusters of up to 15 individuals, spaced out over only a few meters of ground, which in turn are separated by a considerably larger area where the plants are completely absent.