Sunday, March 9, 2008

Desert Lilies...

Generally I think of the desert lily (Hesperocallis undulata) as a relatively scarce plant – in the areas where I usually walk, I usually only spot a few plants in an hour of walking. Yesterday we were finding them at a much higher rate, even though most of them weren't in bloom (when they're much easier to spot). We found several in bloom, and many more with visible buds – it won't be long until they're out.

The best areas we found for desert lilies were the plains in the few miles south of the Carrizo Badlands (along S-2) and just north in the South Carrizo Creek Canyon, east of S-2 (4WD road).

In the photo at upper right you can see a flower bud popping up from the center of the plant, and you get a good view of the leaves with the wavy edges that give this plant its latin name. The entire plant is visible in the first photo below, and if you look closely you can see the characteristic circular “grooves” that the ends of the leaves make in the soft soil as the wind blows them around in different directions. These grooves are the surest way to spot the inconspicuous plant.

You can click on any of these photos (and the rest that I'm posting today) to get a larger version...

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