Spring Blossoms in Phoenix, Arizona, III

Late March 2020

Globe Mallow:

The Firestick remains pale red all year long. I have yet to see it flower during my first year here in Phoenix:

I have yet to identify this. Note the subtle green buds that grow into small white flowers:

A Penstemon. It’s tubular flowers attract hummingbirds. The ubiquitous Brittlebush appears at the bottom of the picture:

I have yet to identify the wildflower in the foreground. A Lantana peeks out in the lower righthand corner:

I have yet to identify the following shrub:

Spring Blossoms in Phoenix, Arizona, II

Late March 2020

Desert Bluebells and Mexican Poppies under a Palo Verde tree which is just beginning to leaf out:

The same landscape from a different angle:

The young tree on the left is a Fig tree just leafing out.

Mexican Poppies:

Bluebells along a wall, shown below. The trees in the background are a Lemon (right) and an Orange. Some of last year’s crop remain on the trees just as they’re beginning to flower.

Desert Bluebells among the river rocks:

Prickly Pear cactus in Phoenix – first flowers

Late March 2020

The first flowers that I’ve seen this season:

These Prickly Pears are probably Engelmann’s Prickly Pear. Their flowers produce fruit —  purple “pears.” At times, some of these edible fruits are still on the pad as the flowers open (not shown). I’ve harvested these fruits a couple of times. They are juicy with hard seeds that can’t be chewed.  Perhaps I should call these small pips. The skin of the fruit is leathery and inedible. The wild fruits are only mildly sweet.

The fruits and the pads are a source of water for javalinas (peccaries) during the dry summer months despite the thorns and prickles. The fine prickles readily adhere to skin, then detach from the plant. These hairlike prickles pierce ordinary garden gloves. The fruit’s prickles are rendered harmless by rolling each fruit in sand.

A Prickly Pear full of buds is shown below. You can also see the proliferation of buds in the previous photos. Desert Bluebells are laid out along the river stones, below. A Bird of Paradise appears behind the Prickly Pear. Its new leaves are reddish-purple. Zoey is looking expectantly from the garage door. I have yet to identify the white flowering plant in front of the Prickly Pear:

A similar view with my 2004 Dodge Neon parked in the driveway:

Spring Blossoms in Phoenix, Arizona, I

Early March 2020

Brittlebush — The most ubiquitous shrub in this area. It lines the highway between Phoenix and Tucson, overhanging the roadway’s shoulders.

Brittlebushes with a many-armed saguaro cactus in the background — pronounced SWAH roe:

Lupine — pronounced LOO pin:

Trailing Rosemary — spreads like a groundcover:

Non-native clover is in the foreground.