Friday, July 1, 2011

Desert Flora

(Our southwest trip started May 1. All of my posts were written as the trip went along but were not posted live until we returned. If you want to read all the posts related to the trip, click on "southwest" in the label section below).

I loved the flora we saw.








Most of it was in the wild so I had no way of knowing what the plant was called. This beautiful purple flower is growing in the gypsum sand at White Sands National Monument.







This is a yucca and is the New Mexico state flower. Also growing at White Sands National Monument, every part of the plant is usable.











I don't know the name of this plant but it is very unusual in that we saw it often but with different colored flowers. Some were yellow, some were orange, some, this this one, a burgundy red. Most of the time we saw it along roadsides.










Not only did we see lots of saguaro at both sections of Saquaro National Park, but we also saw many of them just along the roadsides as we drove through the area.




























This is a fishhook barrel cactus. If you click on the image and look carefully, you can see that the cacti spines are curved like a fishhook.












The cactus on the left is my favorite. In the right photo you can see a saguaro blossom. They appear on the end of the arms and, after several weeks, a very seedy fruit forms. The Native Americans collect the fruit and make jams and syrups. Some families still have 'camping' rights in the national park. They, literally, set up a camp for a few weeks to collect and cook down the fruit.








































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