2008
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Matted Lupine
January/February

      Approximately eighty-two species of lupine grow naturally in the state of California. At least twenty-four of these species grow in, or in reasonably close proximity to, Death Valley. Like other members of the Pea Family (Fabaceae), lupines produce flowers which are different from the typical flower produced by most plants. In fact, there are special terms used to describe the parts of a pea flower: banner, wing, and keel. The lupine shown here is known as Matted Lupine and it is prevalent in the southern Sierra Nevada range. (Click here for more info!)

Sand Wash Groundsel
March/April

      Common names can be confusing and there is a list containing a total of fifteen common names for this plant. This underscores the importance of having scientific names for plants. This one is called Senecio flaccidus and it is a member of the Sunflower Family. A particularly interesting characteristic of sand wash groundsel is that it sometimes blooms in the fall following adequate summer rain. By the way, the genus Senecio includes quite a few species which all produce yellow, daisy-like flowers. (Click here for more info!)

Bigelow's Monkeyflower
May/June

      Likely to be found anywhere from the valley floor to darn near the mountain top, this flower grows pretty much all over the place throughout the southwestern states. To be more precise the elevation range at which this plant grows is from 400 feet to about 9000 feet. Not only is it likely to pop up in diverse locations, it also may be in bloom anytime from February until November. Due to its small stature it is often cited as an example of what is called a belly flower. (Click here for more info!)

Tiger Lily
July/August

      The summer is a great time to get out and to visit locations at higher elevations, and the majority of mountain ranges present a multitude of wildflowers in bloom during this time of year. One of the most spectacular flowers to happen across while out hiking is the Tiger Lily. More frequently than not, this flower is encountered growing along a streambank under the shade of tall trees. Although the plants may grow up to six feet tall, most often they are considerably shorter. The spectular yellow-orange flowers are the main attraction and they are easily conspicuously gorgeous enough to capture the attention of nearly any hiker! (Click here for more info!)

Buckskin Keckiella
September/October

      If you do much hiking at upper elevations during the summer in the Death Valley area, you might happen to notice this rather interesting little flower. Ranging in color from brownish yellow to cream, hundreds of these small flowers may be displayed on a single plant at any given time. You will discover that these small, tubular flowers are rather attractive if you take a close look at them. Besides an interesting shape, they have stripes which may be brown or purple or some shade in between. (Click here for more info!)

Golden Eardrops
November/December

      The seeds of certain plants will not germinate unless exposed to fire. Golden Eardrops is one such plant and for this reason it is likely to be found growing in locations that have been hit by wildfires in the recent past. The unusual flowers of Golden Eardrops make it easy to recognize. Another plant producing similar flowers is known as Steer's Head. By the way, both plants are members of the Poppy Family.

MORE INFO:
Golden Eardrops
Steer's Head


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