Common name: Yerba mansa
Latin name: Anemopsis californica
Height: 6 to 20 inches tall.
Description: The horizontal plant stem (a rhizome with shoots above and roots below) is thick and woody. The flower consists of 1"-long, white bracts (a reduced or modified leaf) which are mistaken for petals and cone-shaped flower spikes above the bracts.
Leaf: Several, blade 5–15 cm, elliptic to oblong. Can be clasping.
Range: sw Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, South Coast, Channel Islands, Peninsular Ranges, White and Inyo Mountains, Mojave Desert.
Habitat: Saline or alkaline soil, wet or moist areas, seeps, springs.
Elevation: 75–1700 m.
Flowering time: Mar–Sep.
Notes: Photographed May 9, 2004 in a seep off a dirt road in the Mojave Desert east of Independence, Inyo County, Calif. A perennial herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. These plants have an interesting smell and were once used to treat diseases of the skin and blood. In Spanish, Yerba mansa means "gentle herb."
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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