Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Desert Wildflowers : Yellow

The desert is nothing if not yellow in the spring, and these photos don't include such common yellow beauties as brittlebush, desert sunflower, bladderpod, and yellowbells. Still, with 17 photos, I think we've got most others covered:




This is one of the many varieties of lantana, which is a great lure for bees and butterflies. This particular species grows into a high bush, reseeding and spreading more easily than this gardener, at least, would hope.



Detailed view of Santa Rita prickly pear flower. Enticing, no?



The ubiquitous desert marigold is one of my favorite desert wildflowers, in part because it's a simple yellow flower on a silver-green stem and filtered leaves, but in part also because it looks especially vibrant in rock gardens.



There's enough yellow in these admittedly white star jasmine flowers to include them here, I hope.



We have a hardy sundrop plant in our front yard. When we relandscaped a bit a few years ago, I pulled the plant out. Two years later, it came back! Anything that resilient, not to mention flashy, deserves to stay.



Another stretch for the "yellow" category, I agree. These honeysuckles (or similar) hang like lush curtains in our neighbor's courtyard.



A more distant view of the brilliant yellow flowers on a Santa Rita prickly pear. I'd say the javelinas have taken a bite out of one of the pads, too.



There's not much more exotic in the desert than the desert bird-of-paradise. We have three of these shrubs/small trees in our backyard, and I swear I could stare at them all afternoon.



The flower on this toothy prickly pear is fairly similar to that of the Santa Rita, though this particular cactus grows a bit faster and taller, I think.



The flowers on the common prickly pears around our neighborhood are displaying a great range of colors this year, changing color, it seems, through the day as the flowers wilt.



More cane---or perhaps staghorn---cholla flowers and buds. Is there, when they're blooming, a more beautiful cactus? Actually, there may be (torch and beavertail cacti come to mind), but these are still quite stunning.



A closer view of the cholla's yellow and red flower. What bee, I query, could resist?



A flower and a spent bloom. Both of these could be showy varieties of tulips, if not for the deliciously spiny stems.



Here's another cholla flower, much paler yellow. Some varieties of cholla stay purplish all year, but if they're generally green, the purple means they've had temperature extremes, either frost or high heat or both.



A macro shot of the cholla flowers, displaying an intricacy that provides a certain, enticing depth.



More Santa Rita prickly pear blooms.



Much to my wife's chagrin (because of her heavy allergies this season), the palo verdes---our stout, green-stemmed native tree that flourishes in the Tucson basin and beyond---have been flowering like crazy.

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Tomorrow brings us to orange, the color of Arizona sunsets, citrus, and a good host of desert flowers, too.

3 comments:

goodbear said...

beautiful flower shots!

Anonymous said...

my friend and i used your pictures to identify flowers we found for a biology project!!! A+!!!

Simmons B. Buntin said...

Glad to be of service!