One the most frequent comments that I receive from readers is that some of the plants that grow in the desert are so strange and unusual. This is especially true for those of us who are not desert natives.
Although I have lived here in the desert for over 24 years, I still find many of the plants unique and strange to my eyes.
As promised, this is a continuation of our visit to “The Living Desert” in Palm Desert, California. Yesterday we looked at many of the beautiful flowering plants. Today, I thought we would focus on some of the unusual yet beautiful plants that we saw.
While we were walking, my sister (Daisy Mom) asked me if I knew what all the plants were. The horticulturist in me would have loved to have said yes, but that would have been a lie. Many of the plants we saw were collected from dry regions from around the world, including parts of Africa.
The truth is is that you do not need to know a plant’s name to be able to enjoy it’s beauty, like the one above.
Kokerboom (Aloe dichotoma)
Would you believe that the plant above is an aloe?
Here is a beautiful aloe flower that we encountered.
Mexican Blue Fan Palm (Brahea armata) This is a slow growing palm and this is a very tall specimen. My nephew is 6 ft. tall.
My nephew (Monkey Boy) was a great companion. Many times when I went to venture off of the main path, he offered to come along with me and was always excited about what strange plants we would find. How many teenage boys would offer to hang out with their aunt? I am truly blessed.
A collection of various kinds of columnar cacti that are native to Baja California were very interesting to see.
The cacti in the middle looks like the tentacles of a squid reaching out to catch something.
Brightly colored barrel cactus.
My son idolizes his older cousin Mr. Green Jeans.
I enjoy spending time with my oldest nephew, Mr. Green Jeans, who also loves to take photographs as much as I do. We were constantly walking behind everyone because we were so busy taking pictures of the beauty surrounding us.
Beavertail Prickly Pear (Opuntia basilaris) starting to form flower buds. In April they produce beautiful magenta flowers.
A Boojum Tree (Fouquieria columnaris)
The Boojum tree is closely related to the Ocotillo, which is not a type of cactus as many people believe.
Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens)
This beautiful specimen of an Ocotillo towered above my husband and son. This time of year, Ocotillo are leafing out and beginning to produce their orange colored flowers.
California Fan Palms (Washingtonia filifera)
California Fan Palms, not surprisingly are native to this area of the desert. They had very old and beautiful palms that dwarfed my nephew and daughter as they walked by.
Not surprisingly, there are those plants that you would do well to keep your distance from.
My nephew (Monkey Boy) and my daughter taking a break.
I realize that it may look as if my daughter has a rattlesnake around her neck….and she does. But, she didn’t pick it up out of the desert…it is a plastic one. She has an affinity for toy snakes. We are not sure why, but I am happy to give her all of the toy snakes she wants if it keeps her from wanting a real one.
We had a wonderful day. I believe that my sister thought that we would spend 2 – 3 hours walking around. But it was 5 hours before we finally headed back to our cars. The fault lies with me….I had such a great time enjoying all of the beautiful plants and taking 500+ pictures. My entire family was so patient and understanding, although next time I may need to bring my own car so I can stay late.
Soon, I will post about what we saw up above and was easily missed if we had just kept our eyes to the ground.