Colorado Desert Wildflowers

Colorado Desert Wildflowers

Quick post today from a even shorter stop just outside of Mecca, California in the dry and arid Colorado Desert where I found some very beautiful trees in flower and an interesting flowering bush that brings in loads of hummingbirds!

Blue Palo Verde

Blue Palo Verde with Beans

This unusual tree found in California, Nevada, Arizona and parts of Mexico is named after its blue-green trunk and branches, and it’s name in Spanish means “green stick”. Historically, the dried beans were an important food source for both wildlife and local indigenous native American tribes, the wood of the tree was important for making cooking utensils It also happens to be the State Tree of Arizona. I found this one in full blossom in the Colorado Desert, and it was swarming with bees, flies and other insects on a hot, dry spring morning just outside of Mecca, California.

Blue Palo Verde

Blue Palo Verde


Hummingbird Bush

Hummingbird Bush

The hummingbird bush, also known in Spanish as the chuparosa or chiparosa (both meaning hummingbird) is a very attractive bright orange-red flowering bush found in the dry, arid parts of Southern California and Arizona where there is a lot of rocky terrain. This spring bloomer attracts not only a lot of hummingbirds, but also other wildlife attracted to the sweet, nectar-filled flowers. This one was photographed in a small canyon near Mecca, CA in the Colorado Desert.


Desert Willow

Desert Willow

This gorgeous desert bloomer with orchid-like flowers is actually a member of the bignonia family, and is interesting taxonomically because it is the sole species of its genus: Chilopsis . Found across much of the American Southwest (and also in the state of Georgia) it has become an important drought-tolerant landscape plant in many places where water is often scarce. This one was found by following the sound of buzzing bees in a canyon in the Colorado Desert near California’s Salton Sea.
Desert Willow

Desert Willow

                                                                                          

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Rich Leighton
May 21, 2015
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©2015 Leighton Photography & Imaging

About The Author

Pro photographer, writer, master naturalist, Florida native in the PNW, lucky husband, father of two boys, big hockey and soccer fan, and native orchid hunter.

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