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Thread: Blooming in the Sonoran Desert

  1. #9
    joe002's Avatar
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    Chris – thanks. I’m not familiar with Cosmos atrosangiunius, but we do really enjoy the chocolate aroma from the Berlandiera lyrata. Our plants typically bloom after we get some rain and the aroma is fairly strong – you don’t have to put your nose up to the flowers to smell them.

    joossa – thanks. It took a few years before our plant bloomed. The blooms always start in the evening, and by lunch they’re gone. I took a picture at night with a flash, and the one I posted I took early in the morning. The flowers are around 6” across and the flower stalks are around 8”.

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    joe002's Avatar
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    Only one cactus in this group, but like all of the plants in this thread they live in the same hot/dry environment with no artificial water.

    Viguiera deltoidea parishii - Desert Sunflower:


    Cercidium microphyllum - Littleleaf Palo Verde (it took about 10 years for this guy to bloom):


    Lophocereus schottii forma monstrosus - Totem Pole Cactus (Haven't noticed this one bloom yet):


    Psilostrophe cooperi - Paper Flower:

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    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    cyclopse

    Keep 'em coming. Do aloe blooms have a strong scent?
    -Joel from Southern California


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    joe002's Avatar
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    joossa - I think I'm more than half way through our desert plants - still waiting for some to bloom!

    I don’t recall a strong sent from our aloe. There are still a few Aloe saparonia blooming, and they only have a very slight hint of a vanilla. The Berlandiera lyrata has the strongest scent – when it’s blooming you can smell it without having to bend down to smell it.

    We used to live back East, and our desert blooms aren’t as fragrant as the flowers coming up in the Spring back there. As I recall you can walk by many types of flowers and smell the different fragrances. Out here you typically pick up aroma right after a rain storm. The air smells like the desert – it’s a mixture of the dirt being washed off things, the creosote bushes, and other shrubs and trees – slightly acrid – it’s actually a rather pleasant aroma that I look forward to after a good rain (the Sonoran Desert Toads also come out after we get some good rain – but that’s a different story).

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    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    I know what you mean by the post-desert rainstorm aroma. I live in the high desert east of LA and when it rains the area gets a distinctive smell. Unfortunately, we have had almost no rain this season(about 1in IIRC).
    -Joel from Southern California


  6. #14
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Awesome! I love the desert and all of the plants and animals that inhabit them.

    I think I've still got Gold and Silver Cholla spines stuck in the bottom of my shoe from my last trip. Thanks for sharing. :-)
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    Man! that Lophocereus schottii forma monstrosus looks to cool!

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    joe002's Avatar
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    Est – yeah – those spins really stick! A lot of them, like Cholla, have spines that look like simple needles, but actually have a barb on the tip, so they “stick”’ when then get stuck. A secret to removing them is to use a comb between your skin/clothes and the plant and comb them off. I’ve had to do it a number of times.

    nepenthes ak – yeah, that one of my favorites too! It’s about 12’ x 4’ now (it was about 4’ x 2’ when we bought it 10 or so years ago). It’s virtually spineless, and the “bumps’ in it are very distinctive. The secret to getting it to grow bumpy is to not water it - tt grows slower but gets more bumps. It’s grown so well that I’ve had to cut off a couple of branches, which I let scale over, then re-plant around our house, so now we have four of them.

    Here are some more that are blooming now.

    Encelia farinosa – Brittlebush:


    Penstemon baccharifolius – RockPenstemon (just started blooming):


    Dyssodia acerosa – Shrubby Dogweed (we have a few patches of these – the seeds just blew in during storms and make themselves at home):


    Carnegiea gigantean – Saguaro (what Sonoran desert garden wouldn’t be complete without one of these? I got a picture with a bee happily starting to dig down into the flower on the right):

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