Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Looking the other way in a different way

with 15 comments


Along the lines of yesterday’s post, when I was at the Grand Canyon on October 19th I did my share of looking down. I also did a little looking away from the canyon, and that’s when I found a native plant I’d never even heard of: Chamaebatiaria millefolium. It goes by the common names desert sweet and fernbush, and you can see that its leaves do look ferny. Chamaebatiaria is a monotypic genus; that means it includes only one species, which is therefore this one. If the white flower looks a little like a rose, it’s because this genus is in the rose family.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 13, 2016 at 4:59 AM

15 Responses

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  1. This picture (of a “monotype”) is unique – in more than one sense. 😉


    December 13, 2016 at 7:00 AM

  2. That’s an unusual combination – like a blackberry bush dressed up for a wedding.


    December 13, 2016 at 2:08 PM

  3. What a beauty!


    December 13, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    • It is. From a distance I thought maybe I was seeing apache plume, which I did see a lot of on this trip, but of course the leaves were wrong for that. I had no clue until an expert from Arizona told me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 14, 2016 at 6:56 AM

  4. What an unusual plant. It looks like someone wired a trio of Macartney roses to some Ashe juniper branches. The fern-like leaves have a different form than the juniper’s, of course, but the leaflets remind me of the scale-like leaves on the juniper. The reddish stems are pretty, too. I’ll bet it really dresses up the landscape where it’s abundant.


    December 14, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    • This is the only fernbush I encountered on the trip. While I got to see the ferny leaves, my nose never got close enough for me to confirm that desert sweet is also an accurate name. What I can confirm is that no one else I saw in the crowd at the Grand Canyon paid any attention to wildflowers there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 15, 2016 at 3:04 AM

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