|The sand verbena (Abronia villosa) reached its peak in mid-March this year,|
but there were still a few patches in the flats north of the urban pocket.
|Coming into the desert from the west, the mountains are colored yellow by the desert brittlebush, Encelia actoni (Asteraceae). We saw a similar, related species in the Santa Monica Mountains.|
|Encelia actoni, close up. Photo by Gretchen Craig.|
So it was in the winter of 2016-17. After years of drought, southern California was hit by one of the rainiest years ever, so much so that damaging floods occurred in many areas. The peak of the bloom comes earlier in the lower, warmer, Colorado Desert than in the Mojave and Antelope Valley to the north . So by timing our visit to hit the wildflower extravaganza in Antelope Valley, we
Phacelia minor was also in the mountains as we
came across from San Diego.
The desert chicory, Rafinesquia neomeicana (Asteraceae) is one of the many
wild relatives of lettuce and dandelion found in California.
|Krameria bicolor (Krameriacae) is a shrub that is inconspicuous most of the year.|
The chuparosa, Justicia californica (Acanthaceae) adds a rare
splash of red in the desert.
|Peritoma arborea (Capparaceae) is called bladder pod, for obvious reasons.|
|Cryptantha sp. (Boraginaceae)|
|Senna armata, a shrub in the legume family.|
|Emmenanthe penduliflora, another member of the|
|Nama demissa (Boraginaceae)|
|Monoptilon belloides, the desert star.|
|Desert sunflower, Geraea canescens, puts on a big display in the Anza Borrego flats, even though a bit past its prime here.|
|Allionia incarnata (Nyctaginaceae), trailing windmills|
Chylismia claviformis (Onagraceae), brown-eyed
primrose, is a member of the evening primrose
|The desert poppy, Eschscholtzia minutiflora, is a diminutive relative of the |
|The tiny desert monkeyflower, Mimulus bigelovii |
|Psorothamnus schottii (Fabaceae), a shrub with deep purple flowers.|