Mojave and Sonoran deserts of southeastern California to southern Nevada and western Arizona.
Desert washes and rocky slopes below 2,500 feet.
Translucent, cream-colored to yellowish flowers bloom February through April. The 1-1/2 inch flower has pink-to-purple dots on the inside surface of 5 ragged lobes which form a cup. Lower petal has a reddish-purple spot with 2 bright yellow stamens curving upward over it.
Like the snapdragon and penstemon, the ghost flower is a member of the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae). It is an erect annual which grows 4 to 16 inches high. It has long, hairy, light-green leaves that are elliptical to lanceolate, and grow up to 4 inches long.
The ghost flower derives its name from the ghostly translucency of its flowers.
-- A.R Royo
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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The Saguaro Video
The Saguaro often begins life in the shelter of a "nurse" tree or shrub which can provide a shaded, moister habitat for the germination of life. The Saguaro grows very slowly -- perhaps an inch a year -- but to a great height, 15 to 50 feet.
Desert Food Chain Video
A food chain constitutes a complex network of organisms, from plants to animals, through which energy, derived from the sun, flows in the form of organic matter and dissipates in the form of waste heat.
Prickly pear cactus Video
Prickly pear cactus are found in all of the deserts of the American Southwest. Most prickly pears have large spines on their stems and vary in height from less than a foot to 6 or 7 feet.
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