ELEPHANT TREES, ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK
MARCH 2010 PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




I made a return trip to the same area I had visited in February for two reasons, first because it is the most floristic area in Anza-Borrego right now, and because of the presence of two uncommon taxa, the elephant trees that give this locality its name, and a rare monotypic species in the sunflower family called Malperia tenuis or brown turbans. Edward Palmer collected type material of this taxon and Sereno Watson published the name in his honor in 1889 by making an anagram of his name. Although we found a lot of the Malperia, its buds were still not open any further than they had been when Tom Chester observed it a week earlier. For this outing I joined Tom and Mike Crouse. Our original intent was to check out the Malperia, then go quickly to the mouth of Alma Canyon, seen in the middle background of the above picture, and start a plant list from there, but we stopped so many times to look at various blooming species that we just made it to the mouth of the canyon when we had to turn around, making it back to the cars just at dark. Tom counted 98 species that we saw, of which 90 were in bloom! I hope to go back in a couple of weeks and find some better blooming Malperia and also possibly the Carlowrightia in Palm Canyon. The symbol ^ next to the common name indicates a taxon that was new to me when I photographed it on this field trip.


   
Ghost flower
Mohavea confertiflora
Plantaginaceae
 
Fishhook cactus
Mammillaria dioica
Cactaceae
 
Coulter's lyrepod
Lyrocarpa coulteri var. palmeri
Brassicaceae


 
Beetle spurge
Euphorbia eriantha
Euphorbiaceae


   
California draba
Draba cuneifolia
Brassicaceae


 
Peirson's brown-eyed primrose
Camissonia claviformis ssp. peirsonii
Onagraceae
 
   
Arrowleaf
Pleurocoronis pluriseta
Asteraceae


 
Small-seeded spurge
Chamaesyce polycarpa
Euphorbiaceae
 
Yuma spurge
Chamaesyce setiloba
Euphorbiaceae
 


   
White tackstem
Calycoseris wrightii
Asteraceae


   
Gander's cholla
Cylindropuntia ganderi
Cactaceae
 



 
 
Desert pincushion
Chaenactis stevioides
Asteraceae
 
 


 
Desert star
Monoptilon bellioides
Asteraceae
 
Guadalupe cryptantha
Cryptantha maritima
Boraginaceae
 


 
 
Narrow-leaf ditaxis
Ditaxis lanceolata
Euphorbiaceae
 
 
 
 
Mojave ragwort
Senecio mohavensis
Asteraceae
Rock daisy
Perityle emoryi
Asteraceae