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Spanish Needle

Palafoxia arida

Palafoxia arida

Color: Pink

Common name: Spanish needle

Latin name: Palafoxia arida

Family: ASTERACEAE

Height: 1-2 feet

Palafoxia arida

Description: Palafoxia arida is an annual herb producing an erect, branching, glandular stem. The inflorescence is an array of up to 40 flower heads. The cylindrical heads are about 2 to 3 centimeters long and bearing up to 40 pink or white tubular disc florets.

Leaf: The rough-haired leaves are linear or lance-shaped and may exceed 10 cm long.

Range: Desert

Habitat: Sandy places

Elevation: < 1000 m.

Flowering time: Mar-May

Notes: Palafoxia arida is a dicot that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. The top photo was taken on February 26, 2006 on a sandy bank next to the Amargosa River west of Dumont Dunes, Highway 127, Inyo County, California.

We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.

Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.

Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...

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