Monday morning, March 13, 2017. Farther Afield. I began my visit to the park with a morning hike directly from my campsite up the Borrego Palm Canyon trail to the palm grove. The campground and Palm Canyon were prime wildflower spots when I was there. I spent lots of time exploring and botanizing. This was all wondrously flowery ... and wondrously different from home. About a 4-1/2 mile round trip. Next gallery.
Prosopis velutina (velvet mesquite) above the floral carpet in the campground as I start my day in the warm early morning light. It's half an hour after sunrise.
Prosopis velutina (velvet mesquite) is the mesquite from Arizona. It''s not native here in the park. I'm in a campground. The tree was planted.
More desert views. I'm still in the flat, sandy campground area. This is the fan of the wash at the bottom of Palm Canyon. So what's is in that carpet?
Chylismia claviformis (brown-eyed evening-primrose, or just brown-eyes). This was the most common white in the campground area flats.
Malacothrix glabrata (desert dandelion) represent most of the yellows. (The leaves and bud are from a different plant.) This one taken on the return.
Condea emoryi (desert lavender) -- left. Ambrosia salsola var. salsola (cheesebush) to the right. A pair of common shrubs in the campground area.
Condea emoryi (desert lavender) up close.
Cylindropuntia ganderi (Gander's cholla). I'm now out of the campground, past the trailhead parking lot, and onto the Palm Canyon Trail, but there's still plenty of that floral carpet. This picture has a broader mix.
Rafinesquia neomexicana (desert chicory). At least that's my best guess for the big white daisy ... largely because others have reported it. Calycoseris wrightii (white tack stem) looks very similar from above, however, and I didn't get a picture of the back.
Chaenactis fremontii (Fremont's pincushion) is another white in the mix. This photo is from later in this morning's hike, but they were all over camp and Palm Canyon. While there's no question on the genus, the less common C. carphoclinia (pebble pincushion) is certainly possible too.
Phacelia distans (common phacelia). I can't quite rule out P. cicutaria var. hispida (caterpillar phacelia) but several things argue for the former: the sort-of purple spots -- the distinguishing feature for P. distans using the Jepson key if they were stronger -- the general "feel", and reports that P. distans is more common here.
Eulobus californicus (California suncup) is in the mix too. These were all over as well. This was actually taken at my campsite. Formerly Camissonia californica. The basal spots on the petals drive the identification.
As I head farther along, the terrain gets a little rockier and shrubbier. The trail continues to follow the bottom the canyon. There's a stream bed but here the flow is underground except in storms. There's less of a floral carpet, but in and around all those rocky nooks live lots and lots of interesting plants ...
Encelia farinosa (brittlebush). Shapely, if a bit odd, when not quite yet in bloom.
Encelia farinosa (brittlebush). Just a yellow daisy up close.
Encelia farinosa (brittlebush). A mound of yellow when in full bloom.
Amsinckia intermedia (common fiddleneck). I think it's this rather than A. tessellata because the long separated calyx lobes.
Phacelia minor (California bluebells).
Western side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana elegans) perhaps.
Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo). There are a few of these in the canyon, but I'll see more in other parts of the park. As for that red shrub ...