Saturday, May 9, 2020

Paleface or Rock Hibiscus

Today I visited the desert and it was forecast to be over 100 degrees. So I left home early and got there about 6:20 a.m. and it was in the low 70s. I found that many of the beautiful spring flowers were gone, or at least radically reduced. I saw only a few poppies and desert dandelions, most of the ocotillos were shedding their secondary leaves and red flower tips, the pima rhatany were drying out, I only saw a few spiny senna that looked good and the paperbag bushes were white and dried out. 
The full rock hibiscus bush.

However, I took a little side route up and over a hill and on the other side, close to the top, I saw a rock hibiscus, also known as a paleface, only the third time I've ever seen it, and that was ten years ago. The two previous times I've seen it there was only one flower on the bush and both had white petals. This bush had about five flowers on it and the petals were pale lavender or light pink. However, I saw it so early in the morning that it had not opened up as much as the ones I saw ten years ago. 

This may be my favorite desert flower and was the highlight of my trip today. Oddly enough, ten years ago, I also saw them as other flowers were drying up, so perhaps they are a little more hardy. I've also only seen them on the sides of hills. 

1 comment:

  1. Things that are rare have their own special kind of beauty, don't they?