Common name: Desert Holly
Latin name: Atriplex hymenelytra
Height: 1.5-3 feet
Description: It is generally a rounded bush covered in distinctive reflective leaves growing from thickened, gnarly, woody bases. The fruits are enclosed in disc-shaped bracteoles — a bract that protects the early floral bud — after flowering.
Leaf: The leaves are egg-shaped to round, silver-gray, twisted, thick, irregularly and sharply toothed.
Range: se Peninsular Ranges, East of Sierra Nevada, Desert
Habitat: Slopes, washes, scrub
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Flowering time: Jan–Apr
Notes: Atriplex hymenelytra is a species of saltbush known by the common name desert holly. The toothed leaves and the small reddish fruits borne on the plant give it a passing resemblance to the unrelated European holly. This attractive shrub's leaves are often used in decorations for the home.
Fowler, Catherine S. Tule Technology: Northern Paiute Uses of Marsh Resources in Western Nevada. Smithsonian Folklife Studies, number 6.
The Theodore Payne Foundation: www.theodorepayne.org
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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