BUTLER CANYON, ANZA-BORREGO JANUARY 2009
Photographs by Michael Charters




This was my first botanical excursion of the year and I was quite excited to be getting back into Southern California flora after a couple of months of dealing with the flora of the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The road into Clark Valley to Butler and Rockhouse Canyons goes from the S-22 near Pegleg Smith Monument, crosses Clark Dry Lake and then winds back along the general course of the San Jacinto Fault for about eight miles, passing the trailhead for the Alcoholic Pass Trail which comes over the Coyote Mountains. Built by the U.S. Army in the 1940's, the road is normally quite passable for 2WD vehicles, but is sandy in places. Thanks to some good Nov/Dec rains, there are perennials blooming and annuals germinating, but unless there is more rain soon, this year's display here will be minimal. The first three species below were at the Visitor Center where there is irrigation, and the next three were at Clark Dry Lake. All the others were either in Butler Canyon or along the road leading up to the mouth of the canyon. Some of these pictures are intended to show what the species look like at the very beginning of their lives. An asterisk next to the common name indicates a non-native species.


   
Brittlebush
Encelia farinosa
Asteraceae
 
Orcutt's woody-aster
Xylorhiza orcuttii
Asteraceae
 
cf. Curvenut pectocarya
Pectocarya recurvata
Boraginaceae

 
Rush seepweed
Suaeda moquinii
Chenopodiaceae

   
Desert thorn
Lycium brevipes var. brevipes
Solanaceae

 
Rush milkweed
Asclepias subulata
Asclepiadaceae
 
 
Bladderpod
Isomeris arborea
Capparaceae
 
 
 
 
Saharan mustard *
Brassica tournefourtii
Brassicaceae

Chuparosa
Justicia californica
Acanthaceae

 
 

 
Thick-leaved ground cherry
Physalis crassifolia
Solanaceae

 
 
Sweetbush
Bebbia juncea var. aspera
Asteraceae
 
 
Arizona lupine
Lupinus arizonicus
Fabaceae
Rock daisy
Perityle emoryi
Asteraceae
Peirson's brown-eyed primrose
Camissonia claviformis var. peirsonii
Onagraceae
California suncup
Camissonia californica
Onagraceae

 
Desert lavender
Hyptis emoryi
Lamiaceae

 
 
Gander's cholla
Cylindropuntia ganderi
Cactaceae
 
Jumping cholla
Cylindropuntia bigelovii
Cactaceae
Beavertail cactus
Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris
Cactaceae