Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Flower Photos

paintbrushJust a few more flower photos from recent hikes for weekend enjoyment. First, one of my favorite flowers on the hill so far, above, the same bright red Indian paintbrush seen a few days ago. Photo: April 20th.
cans1Above, some of the tiny yellow flowers, April 20th, growing around the rusted cans of an archaeological site near some old mine dumps (date of cans unknown). These yellow flowers are the same ones, seen in an earlier post, that were in full bloom lower on the hill on April 12th.
cans2 Two days later, on April 22nd, these flowers have faded with time and the graying of a cloudy day, and are starting to go to seed.


Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

There's something about the paintbrush flowers against the rocks that I really like. Maybe it's the contrast of textures? The yellow flowers are pretty, too.

David B. Williams said...

Great photos of desert plants. Like, you I am a big fan of paintbrush. In part because they are such deceptive little buggers. The brilliant colors come not from the flower but the bracts and calyx. The inconspicuous green corolla forms a narrow tube (3/4- to 1-inch long) that protrudes out from between the colorful bracts.

Furthermore, plants in the Castilleja genus are partially parasitic. Although they can survive on their own, paintbrush are healthier when obtaining water and other nutrients from a host. The underground portion of the plant has special conducting tubes, known as haustoria, that attach to the roots of other plants (often sagebrush or buckwheat). This relationship does not appear to harm the host.

Desert Survivor said...

I think your little yellow flowers are bur buttercup, Ceratocephala testiculata. They are pretty, but once the seeds dry out they stick in your feet!

Nice photos!

Silver Fox said...

The paintbrush is one of my favorites, also - it's very bright, fairly large, and I can identify it properly.

Amanda, I think you've got something there about the texture contrast - it's kind of like a natural rock garden.

David, I had read about the parasitic aspect of Castilleja - I have noticed several growing up through bushes, will have to pay attention more carefully.

Desert Survivor, I think you're right about the ID on the yellow flowers, thanks!

Silver Fox said...

Desert Survivor: Oh, and the yellow flowers where going to seed, have started to look rather pointed and stickery - just like you said!