Mojave Hole-in-the-Sand Plant
Color: Bright pink
Common name: Mojave hole-in-the-sand plant
Latin name: Nicolletia occidentalis
Height: Stem: 5-12 inches
Description: This is a desert-adapted perennial herb with a skeletonlike appearance. The plant grows from a deep taproot in the desert sand and the stem is sometimes surrounded by a depression in the sand, a trait that gives it its common name. This plant bears showy flowers with curving bright pink ray florets and yellow centers.
Leaf: The narrow, fleshy leaves each end in a bristle and have large oil glands which exude a strong unpleasant scent.
Range: Mojave Desert, s High Sierra Nevada
Habitat: Sandy desert soils, often dunes, washes
Elevation: 600–1400 m.
Flowering time: Apr–Jun
Notes: Nicolletia occidentalis, a dicot, is a perennial herb that is native to California and is endemic (limited) to California alone. This photo was taken north of Barstow, San Bernardino, California near Fort Irwin on April 6, 2008.
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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