Burro Bush, Cattle Spinach, Dye Weed, Four-Winged Saltbush, Sandpaper Bush… Oh, My!
Okay, all of these desert bushes are pale green in color and to the untrained eye have similar leaves.
Way back in October when Jeff and I first arrived on the Preserve, Harlan took me on a mini plant hike. He showed me Indigo, Brittle Bush, Cattle Spinach, Alkali Golden Bush, Four-Winged Saltbush, Cheesebush, and Dye Weed. I remember Dye Weed the most because when I squished my fingers on the dried flower bloom, my fingers turned yellow-orange.
So…. as Jeff and I become increasingly obsessed with correctly identifying desert plants and blooming wildflowers, I wonder where Dye Weed is. I know Burro Bush leaves a lemony scent on my fingers and Sandpaper Bush is REALLY scratchy. Cattle Spinach can be a little scratchy and Four-Winged Saltbush is still a mystery to me. But where is the finger-staining Dye Weed?
Finally, we ask Harlan and he sends us to the pink boarded up “jack-rabbit house” on the McCallum Trail…
Eureka… We found it!
We continue hiking through Moon Country. Just look at the lush fields of yellow Desert Sunflowers!
It’s January. Wildflowers usually start blooming in March!
Below, I capture Brown-Eyed Primrose blooming and Desert Sunflowers getting ready to burst open in yellow splashes.
Here is Four-Winged Saltbush in the wash below the ridge to Moon Country. It’s all about the dried flowers that resemble the Star Wars X-Wing Fighter.
As we return to the Visitor Center we follow a trail that loops from Moon Country back onto the McCallum Trail.
We discover some California Croton.
And some kind of grass growing in the wash.
Dye Weed or not, these delightful desert wildflowers are to die for!