Monday, August 4, 2014

The Setting: a Little Bit of Desert

Though I am waiting for cooler weather to begin planting, I have been watching the wild plants around here for some months, watching and photographing.  Here are some of the local natives.

 Surely the most ubiquitous plant in this area is Creosote (Larrea tridentata).  Depending on proximity to water, and perhaps other factors I am not aware of, this woody shrub can grow small or large, dense or open.  The dark leaves give off a strong, sharp fragrance after rain; this is the underlying scent of the region.  The flowers appear off and on through the year; they are small, bright yellow (almost sulphur yellow), single blooms.  Although fairly showy in person, they are difficult to photograph well... at least for me...

The blossoms give way to small puffballs of white. 

The branches and leaves form a strong pattern, especially against the clear Arizona skies.

And it has one great advantage for the friendly gardener: it is not prickly, as so many desert plants are! 

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