bush is a spinescent, much-branched, hoary-tomentose shrub growing typically
3'-4' tall. The pinnate leaves are about an inch long with several
pairs of oblanceolate leaflets generally continuous with the axis. The
flowers are in an open raceme about 2" long. There is a puberulent
calyx with ± equal lobes, and a deep violet-blue to purple corolla.
The fruit is a pod that is villous, dotted with large glands,
and having a beak 1/4" long. California indigo bush may be found
on the lower desert mountains slopes, canyons, flats and washes to about
3000' especially in the southern part of the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino
County, blooming from April to May. There are other variants such
as the more uncommon arborescens of the western Mojave and minutifolius
which may be found in the northern and central Mojave Desert. These pictures are from Mission Creek Preserve in Morongo Valley.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Psorothamnus
Pronunciation: soar-oh-THAM-nus ar-bore-ES-ens
Click here for Botanical