Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Desert Lavender

Desert lavender (Hyptis emoryi Torrey)
is a member of the mint family
and is found in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of southeastern California, the southeast tip of Nevada and western and southern Arizona and down into northwestern Mexico.
It has violet to blue flowers with an upper lip, with two lobes and a lower lip with three lobes. However, the flowers are so small that they are difficult to see, individually, and even to get good close-up photographs of.
The leaves are gray, up to 2 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide.
The stems are green to white and covered in woolly hairs.
The flowers smell like lavender and the leaves have a mint flavor.
These were photographed on the bajada south of the Eagle Mountains off the I-10 freeway. They have a wonderful lavender, sagey smell that fills the air around them.

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