On November 22nd I noticed this densely flowering plant in a wash* not far from Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park, so I pulled over at the first opportunity and walked back to take pictures. I sent one of them to Dr. Michael Powell at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, who suggested three species the plant might be. With those possibilities in mind, I looked closely at some of my other photographs and concluded this was probably broom snakeweed, Gutierrezia sarothrae. Later, while preparing today’s post, I realized that I’d seen broom snakeweed in New Mexico last fall. This is clearly a plant that thrives in arid places.
* In the western United States, a wash is the dry bed of a creek or stream.