Hop Sage, Hopsage, Spiny Hopsage

Grayia spinosa

Hop Sage

Color: Pink to Red

Common name: Hop Sage, Hopsage, Spiny Hopsage

Latin name:
Grayia spinosa

Family:
CHENOPODIACEAE

Height:
2-4 feet

Description:
The male and female flowers grow on separate plants and are very inconspicuous. What is noticeable on this plant are the showy, colourful bracts, which are leaflike or scalelike parts, located on the inflorescence.

Leaf:
5–35 mm, grey-green with a rounded apex and tapering base.

Range:
High Sierra Nevada (e slope), Tehachapi Mountain Area, s Inner South Coast Ranges, Western Transverse Ranges (n slope), Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert, nw Sonoran Desert. Distribution outside California: to Washington, Montana, New Mexico.

Habitat:
Sandy to gravelly, Creosote Bush Scrub, Pinyon-Juniper Woodland.

Elevation:
500–2800 m

Flowering time:
May–June

Notes:
A common shrub that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. Hop Sage is closely related to Desert Holly. Cattlemen considered this a valuable forage plant. It can be found along Kelbaker Road near Interstate 40 in the Mojave National Preserve as well as along Highway 395 where this plant was photographed on Haiwee Power Plant Road. Horticulture: Insufficiently tested, but worth pursuing, especially within its natural range. Especially good for stabilizing or restoring disturbed or degraded areas. May be less suitable for general garden use.

Photos 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.

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