Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spiny Senna

Spiny senna, senna or desert senna (Senna armata)
is an uncommon shrub, a member of the legume family,
with yellow-green striped stems
that are leafless and dead looking most of the year
until March to July when it has yellow to salmon-red flowers
with five petals.
It has spines, but they are soft and bend to the touch.
Leaves will have two to four pairs of distantly-spaced, opposing, oval leaflets.
The fruit is a cylindrical pod, a little over 3/4" long, which falls off and contains few seeds. It is found in the deserts of southeastern California, Nevada, Arizona and Baja California. I found these plants on the bajada south of the Eagle Mountains off the Hayfield Road exit of the I-10.
The photos above were taken on April 17th. I went back out on May 1st and was blown away by the difference as the shrubs had fully flowered.
They were shockingly beautiful. In the early morning light they glowed.
The two photos above and the next one were taken with my digital point and shoot.
This final photo was taken with my digital SLR and came out much more orange.

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