Sunday, April 4, 2010

Desert Marigold

The desert marigold
has an annual flower that is yellow to yellow-orange, up to 1 1/2 inches across
and can bloom twice a year: first in spring to early summer, then in the fall if conditions are right.
The underlying leaves can grow to 5 or 6 inches tall and the leaves are short, to about an inch, and narrow. The leaves are hairy, which increases light reflection, resulting in lower leaf temperature and blocks ultraviolet light.
There is one flower per stem and they can grow another foot above the leaves, to about 20 inches in height.
As the flower ages, the petals may become bleached and take on the texture of tissue paper.
 It is found along roadsides and in washes in the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts from southern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah to west Texas and northern Mexico.

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