Color: Yellow and white
Common name: Cream Cups
Latin name: Platystemon californicus
Height: 4-12 inches
Description: The annual herb is quite variable in appearance. The plant is hairy in texture, sometimes with very long hairs. The inflorescence is a single flower on a tall stem up to 20 centimeters high. The flower has six petals which may be pure white or golden or white with large gold spots or gold tips. The center of the flower is filled with a tuftlike cluster of many thick, flattened stamens. The fruit is a capsule with several one-seeded sections that break apart.
Leaf: The oppositely arranged leaves are 2-8 cm long, and in shape linear, lanceolate, or oblong.
Range: w Desert, California Floristic Province
Habitat: Open grasslands, sandy soils, burns
Elevation: < 1000 m.
Flowering time: Mar–May
Notes: Platystemon is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the poppy family containing the single species Platystemon californicus. Platystemon californicus, a dicot, is an annual herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. This photo was taken on April 15, 2005 south of Barstow, San Bernardino 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...
What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports
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The Desert Environment
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