Thursday, March 20, 2008

Botanizing at Ironwood Forest National Monument

My friend Beth and I went botanizing in the Ironwood Forest National Monument northwest of Tucson today. We aimed first for the peak known as Ragged Top and ended up in the nearby Waterman Mountains. Wildflower diversity was high – I identified about 20 species, but the peak bloom was a bit past already, and it wasn't a grand display. But it was great fun. Here is a sampling of the plants we found (ID on some is a bit shaky, as I was keying them out using the 48-year-old Kearny & Peebles with no pictures; new names are from

Mirabilis laevis
, Wishbone-bush

Chorizanthe rigida
, Devil's Spineflower

Chorizanthe brevicornu
, Brittle Spineflower

Eriastrum diffusum
, Miniature Woolystar

Cryptantha maritima
, Guadalupe Cryptantha

Amsinckia menziesii, Common Fiddleneck

Phacelia crenulata
, Cleftleaf Wildheliotrope

Calliandra eriophylla
, Fairyduster

Eschscholzia californica
, California Poppy

Sphaeralcea laxa
, Caliche Globemallow

Castilleja exserta
, Exserted Indian Paintbrush

Lepidium lasiocarpum
, Shaggyfruit Pepperweed

Lesquerella gordoni
, Gordon's Bladderpod

Thelypodium lasiophyllum
, California Mustard

Rafinesquia neomexicana
, New Mexico Plumeseed

Antheropeas lanosum
, White Easterbonnets

Monoptilon bellioides
, Mojave Desertstar

Chaenactis stevioides
, Esteve's Pincushion

Chaenactis carphoclinia
, Pebble Pincushion

Finally, I digi-binned this Elegant Earless Lizard (I held my digital camera up to my binoculars).


  1. I've never heard of digi-binned before but it is clever. I love the Indian Paintbrush.

  2. Nice Photos! I have been trying to identify the same plants...Your Gilia sinuata, is actually Eriastrum diffusum I think!

  3. Cool, thanks for the correction on the Eriastrum!