PALEN PASS ROAD, RIVERSIDE COUNTY MARCH 2009 PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




Thanks to a tip from John Marquis, who originally alerted me to the above-normal rainfall situation of the Corn Springs area, and who had found a species of milkvetch that is rare in California, A. insularis var. harwoodii, and following a lead from Bill Truesdell out in the Twentynine Palms vicinity about Androstephium breviflorum, I headed out there a few days ago to look for them. The recent heat has taken a toll on desert wildflowers; many have finished their bloom and most of the others will not last much longer. I was not able to find the funnel lily and the fields of Saharan mustard along the eastern end of CA-62 were very disheartening, however the Palen Pass Road location was still good, and I found not one, not two, but three species of Astragalus all in bloom within about 50' of each other, including the insularis! This was the sixth new Astragalus species I've seen so far this year, adding to the six new ones I saw last year. The junction of Palen Pass Road, called on some maps Coxcomb Monument Road, and CA-177, is about 10 miles south of the 62 and about 17 miles north of Desert Center, and is marked on the east side by a BLM informational kiosk. The road itself is quite sandy and not to be attempted by 2WD vehicles. As always, an upside-down V next to the common name indicates a taxon that was new to me when I photographed it on this field trip.


   
Desert chicory
Rafinesquia neomexicana
Asteraceae


 
Desert dandelion
Malacothrix glabrata
Asteraceae

 
 
Checker fiddleneck
Amsinckia tessellata var. tessellata
Boraginaceae
 
 
Spanish needles
Palafoxia arida var. arida
Asteraceae
Dune primrose
Oenothera deltoides ssp. deltoides
Onagraceae
Desert lily
Hesperocallis undulata
Liliaceae
Arizona lupine
Lupinus arizonicus
Fabaceae


 
Fremont's pincushion
Chaenactis fremontii
Asteraceae

 
 
Harwood's milkvetch ^
Astragalus insularis var. harwoodii
Fabaceae
 
 
   



 
Painted lady
Vanessa cardui
Nymphalidae
 
White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar
Hyles lineata
Sphingidae


       
   
Schott's calico
Loeseliastrum schottii
Polemoniaceae
   
    Frostmat
Achyronychia cooperi
Caryophyllaceae


   
Fanleaf crinklemat
Tiquilia plicata
Boragniaceae
 
 
Desert sunflower
Geraea canescens
Asteraceae