BOX CANYON ROAD, MECCA HILLS, RIVERSIDE COUNTY
JANUARY 2012 PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




Thanks to some late season rainfall last year, the fairly localized area along Box Canyon Road through the Mecca Hills is currently exhibiting an unusually diverse though generally quite sparse bloom, nothing that would make anyone gasp, or anyone other than botanists even more than mildly excited, but nevertheless not typical for the month of January. Most of the photographs shown here were taken in an area between the Coachella Canal and Painted Canyon Road. In a year that is shaping up to be a pretty poor one, we wildflower photographers will have to be looking long and hard to find places that have much of a floristic display. An asterisk next to the common name indicates a non-native species, and an upside down V indicates a taxon I had never encountered before. Thanks much to RT Hawke for having located the bloom in this area, which in a good rainfall year is amazing, and thanks to Tommy Stoughton for the identification of the four-wing saltbush.


   
California sun cup
Eulobus californicus (= Camissonia
californica
)
Onagraceae
 
Rock daisy
Perityle emoryi
Asteraceae
 
Red-stem filaree *
Erodium cicutarium
Geraniaceae


 
Thomas's buckwheat
Eriogonum thomasii
Polygonaceae
 
Desert trumpet
Eriogonum inflatum
Polygonaceae


       
   
Desert mistletoe
Phoradendron californicum
Viscaceae
   
    Narrow-leaved cryptantha
Cryptantha angustifolia
Boraginaceae


   
Desert straw
Stephanomeria pauciflora var. pauciflora
Asteraceae
 



 
Desert lavender
Hyptis emoryi
Lamiaceae
   
Sand blazing star
Mentzelia involucrata
Loasaceae
     


 
Sweetbush
Bebbia juncea var. aspera
Asteraceae
 
   
Creosote bush
Larrea tridentata
Zygophyllaceae


   
Thick-leaved ground cherry
Physalis crassifolia
Solanaceae


 
Brandegea, Desert star-vine
Brandegea bigelovii
Cucurbitaceae
   



 
Guadalupe cryptantha
Cryptantha maritima
Boraginaceae
 
 
Notchleaf phacelia, Heliotrope phacelia
Phacelia crenulata var. ambigua
Boraginaceae
 
 
Brittlebush
Encelia farinosa
Asteraceae
 


 
 
New Mexico ditaxis
Ditaxis neomexicana
Euphorbiaceae