Arizona Desert Flowers

Just before we left Arizona, we got a couple of modest rainfalls and the flowers started popping out. Of course, I have a dozen bird books but nothing on desert flowers – and we haven’t been near a bookstore since. So I’ll identify the few I know and ask you to comment on the others. Here in New Mexico, it is drier and the plants are just dry and dusty.

This plant, which my friend, Heather Campbell identifies as Narrowleaf four-oclock *mirabilis linnearis*, was where I saw my first Costa’s hummingbird.

This yellow roadside plant was everywhere.

The creosote bush is all over the Southwest and while having no connection with the sticky black substance we use on fenceposts, it does have some interesting properties that cause it to grow apart from its kin. You can read more here.

This lovely plant is Pink Fairyduster – *callandria eriophylla*. (Thanks Heather)

The flowers of the Octillo cactus popped after the rain.

The Beavertail cactus blossoms are more subdued. (Thanks Heather)

Compass Barrel Cactus blossoms later – I think this is last season’s fruit.

Lastly, here’s a Say’s Phoebe on an Octillo with yellowed leaves. (Thanks Heather)

So, if you spot some corrections on plant ids, feel free to chime in.

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3 Responses to Arizona Desert Flowers

  1. Heather Campbell says:

    One for sure: the delicate pink one is callandria eriophylla, or pink fairyduster. The others I don’t know although have seen them in the past. I thinn the one with the phoebe is ocotillo with a lot of yellowed leaves, not flowers..?.

  2. Heather Campbell says:

    Just found my little desert wildflower book (Mojave Desert Wildflowers, Jon Mark Stewart). The cactus with the pink flower is actually beavertail, not prickly pear, which are shown with pale yellow flowers and pads with fewer but much longer spines.

    The pink spires I think are Narrowleaf four-o’clock, mirabilis linnearis. I found that one on this site:

    Your little yellow roadside plant is tough, as I cannot make out the flower form or leaves distinctly. A closeup of the leaves would be helpful.

  3. I’ve made some additions thanks to Heather’s sleuthing. Time to expand my naturalist library, after I spring for the new Sibley’s.

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