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Woolly Bluestar

Amsonia tomentosa

Amsonia tomentosa, Photo by Lara Hartley

Color: White with a green or blue tint

Common name: Woolly Bluestar

Latin name: Amsonia tomentosa

Family: APOCYNACEAE

Height: up to 24 inches

Description: This is a woody plant with many erect stems. The plant has two forms, a green glabrous (hairless) form, and a gray woolly form. The flowers are about an inch in diameter, are tubular at the base and have flat faces with five petals in clusters up to a dozen.

Leaf: The leaves are oval but pointed, and about 3 centimeters long.

Range: San Bernardino Mountains (n slope), s Desert Mountains, Sonoran Desert

Habitat: Desert plains, canyons

Elevation: 300–1800 m.

Flowering time: Mar–May

Notes: Amsonia tomentosa, a dicot, is a perennial herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. "Tomentosa" is Latin for "dense hairs." This plant was photographed April 11, 2004 in the Mojave National Preserve, San Bernardino County, California. Distribution outside California: to Utah.

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...

What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports


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Mojave Desert Wildflowers Book
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