Green and Yellow

Our incredible September-like weather just goes on…chilly mornings, then lukewarm afternoons in the shade…though the burning sun is a negative. But this may be one of my last early morning bike rides before work, as it’s a bit chilly and not light until 7.

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nothing here for you, so just move along?

Of course not! Though I’m moving, it’s on my mountain bike, to get back into my needed work-outs and get restored in a manner that only comes from being in natural areas.

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yellow flowers and cactus again?

Why yes!

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Thymophylla pentachaeta (bottom), Bahia absinthifolia (top), Opuntia macrocentra x camanchica (right)
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approaching something else?

Too bad I missed the stunning light on my bike rides since a month ago, as what I saw without a camera starting in late August is now gone. Next year…

Ocotillos are rarely in leaf long in April or May, when the lighting is similar. But thanks to the monsoon season – some rain and humidity, less heat – they often stay in leaf longer then.

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the rain really helped…ocotillos and other plants still so green…

The rain was so hard at times, it eroded hillsides and trail sections beyond my technical skills, too.

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a forest of Fouquieria?

Yes, an Ocotillo Forest. I always enjoy where this kind of forest grows, and I’m hoping to design a couple into a current project, with slopes and room for this effect.

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the best part is riding through this…plenty of elbow room is good, too…
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downhill is even better, but today I went the opposite way…
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groups of groups…ocotillos, desert bahias…one cactus clump…
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someone else lost a reflector, maybe blown away at such a huge flower like me…just a young Datura wrightii…
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maybe it’s too dry to get the sweet floral scent?

Ocotillos, creosote bushes, and even daturas are common. Yet, there’s almost always something rare, hiding on the trail.

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a Chihuahuan Desert native, Hibiscus denudatus

Do you ever note what grows and where, when on a hike or bike ride? Do you ever wish some of those plants were actually sold, instead of the same-old?

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4 Replies to “Green and Yellow”

  1. Just yesterday I was told by staff at the nursery that carries more native plants than most, that Frostweed just isn’t a profitable plant for them. I was happy to find Winecup however.

    Fortunately I’ve got passalong Frostweed babies. I’m told if even one of them survives that I’ll have plenty soon enough. Which will be fine by me. If I’ve got a native growing that most people don’t already use(or overuse), then hopefully I’m filling a needed niche in our little suburban lawn-centric desert.

    I can see that some plants are just not sellable or practical…here, so many great plants are never tried or grown skillfully to even know those exceptions. People used to want my seed from damianitas and mariolas, since they were not stocked…though the Home Depot started carrying the former! You’re probably right on even making a difference in one place.

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  2. Oh yes, and yes! I do sometimes get sick of seeing the same stuff at the nursery, rather than some of the interesting plants that grow in the wild. I don’t hike, but I do walk in my neighborhood. I grew some Daturas from seed this year, but they have been very slow-growing. I’m going to dig them and pot them up and see if I can overwinter them in the greenhouse.

    Here – I like lantana, but come on folks, there’s so much more! Neighborhood walks can really be good, even where I was in suburbia had some nice surprises. The way daturas root extensively, I would not dig up all of them, but leave some in the ground to see how they grow back next year.

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  3. Oh that I could grow ocotillos…(great photos)

    Thanks, Danger. I think you can grow ocotillos in containers or on a steep, hot slope…seems Sean Hogan or another should bring in some seed-grown ocotillos, as those are rooted and establish better. If they can take arid zone 7 in stride including the coldest winters, can they take wetter winters of z 8 ok?

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  4. I have a Datura just like that in the garden, it grows wild here too. The perfume is strongest just as the flower opens and during the night to attract moths, but by morning the scent has gone.

    I think you’re right on the timing to attract the critters…as at an old house, mine bloomed and were fragrant on even hot, dry June nights. I had no idea they grew wild there, too!

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