Belly Daisies

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desert star; Mojave desertstar
Monoptilon bellioides

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rock daisy; Emory’s rockdaisy
Perityle emoryi

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woolly daisy; easterbonnets
Eriophyllum wallacei
(formerly Antheropeas wallacei)

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false woolly daisy; yellowray Fremont’s gold
Syntrichopappus fremontii

 

 

These four Death Valley belly flowers are in the Asteraceae, of course. All are native to the desert Southwest. All are itty-bitty (note the penny in the first photo above).

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I found desert star to be especially charming.

 

young blossoms just opening

 

 

 

mature blossom

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rock daisy is about the size of a pinky-nail

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woolly daisy is about the same size

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yellowray Fremont’s-gold is a smidge larger (that’s a forefinger nail)

 

 

And a special bonus bellyflower: can you see the purple blossom in the upper right of the above photo? The whole thing is about the size of one of the yellow rays. It’s called salt sandspurry (Spergularia salina; Caryophyllaceae). I didn’t even know it was there until I looked at the picture!

 

Belly Flowers

In a few recent posts I’ve used the phrase “belly flowers”, regional slang for plants that you need to be on the ground to see. That’s a bit of an exaggeration (knees will do in most cases), but it makes the point. There’s no official definition, of course, but offhand I’d say about a dozen or so of my Death Valley finds could be called belly flowers.

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desert star and a Cryptantha species, with 77mm lens cap

Since I’m enamored of tiny flowers, I was charmed to find these plants. I’ve written about a few already (the two gilias and Fremont’s phacelia). Over the next few days I’ll write about a few more.

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purplemat, broad-leaved gilia, desert star, and Cryptantha species, with dime for scale