Since we've got so many flowers blooming right now, we thought it would be a good investment to buy a plant identification guide from the BBNP bookstore (instead of spending hours on the Lady Bird Johnson website and getting mixed results). Of course, the real books are several hundred pages long and cost over $20, so we cheaped-out and got the laminated pamphlet version.
We already own the "Snakes of the Trans-Pecos" pamphlet and we love it, so this little "Plants of the Chihuahuan Desert" field guide seemed like a good alternative to the more expensive, full length book.
It's really amazing how many plants we assumed were just scrubby brush that are now showing some beautiful flowers. There are also so many flowers that we've enjoyed for years now, that we hadn't previously been able to identify. Here are some new IDs we've been able to make, thanks to our new field guide (plus a little help from wildflower.org).
- Black dalea (Dalea frutescens)
- Skeleton-leaf goldeneye (Viguiera stenoloba)
- Trailing windmills (Allionia incarnata)
- Bristly nama (Nama hispidum)
- Mock vervain (Glandularia bipinnatifida)
- Desert evening primrose (Oenothera primiveris)
But there are still a number of flowers and plants that are a complete mystery. Since we had such good luck with Botaniker helping us ID the Lindheimer's Senna, we thought we might post the mystery plants too, and hope that someone out there savvier than us can ID them.
Here are the mystery plants:
This dark plant is a total mystery, especially since there weren't any open blooms to help. The purple/gray color is so unusual, and we haven't seen any more since these photos were taken.
This thistley, prickly plant is very common, but is not in our booklet. We'd love to know more about it, since it is all over.
Yellow is the most common color for flowers out here, but even the ones that look the same are often different species. At first we thought this flower was skeleton-leaf goldeneye, but on closer inspection it doesn't match at all.
This creeping succulent is beautiful even when it's not flowering, but the tiny pink/purple flowers make the plant seem even more delicate and lovely.
This strange flower is one we have never seen before or since. What in the heck is it?
The dark vine pictured above had several tiny, rose-like blooms along its length, but only the one pictured was open and ready for a close-up.
But here's the real star of this blog entry (I know, I know ... too many flower photos): Pectis angustifolia. More commonly known in these parts as 'limoncillo,' this wild herb has an amazingly strong lemony fragrance and it is often dried to be used for tea or flavoring.
|Not a horse.|
The first time someone told us about limoncillo, we thought he had said 'lemonsilla,' and when we Googled it, we found lots of pictures of horses, but no flowers. Another case where wildflower.org helped point us in the correct direction!