Manybristle cinchweed flowers
We’d barely driven inside the boundary of Joshua Tree National Park on November 5th when I stopped and got out to walk around a bit. Almost immediately I began to see little low-growing plants scattered about. Their bright yellow flowers made them stand out against the dull desert floor more than their diminutive size would otherwise have done. Some formed small clusters:
Neil Frakes, Vegetation Branch Chief at the park, later identified (thanks) the flowers as Pectis papposa, known as manybristle cinchweed (or chinchweed). Of this species he wrote: “It doesn’t get any larger than this. One of our more common summer/fall bloomers. When we get a good monsoon, we get yellow carpets of this plant.” No monsoon for me this time, no yellow magic carpet.
© 2016 Steven Schwartzman