Plant Talk #9
December 5, 2010
Hello there plant enthusiasts! Happy late Fall!!!â€¦Wow, already most of the way through the seasonâ€¦time is of the essenceâ€¦carpe diemâ€¦
Follow the links on the scientific names of most plants to find much more information from the USDA site http://plants.usda.gov However, you may notice that the USDA family and order level classification tends to follow the older patterns reflected in Botany in a Day 5th ed. rather than recent research vastly redefining many of the families below.
A photo album of plants related to this class can also be found by clicking the link below.
i finally made it out to the Western U.S. On the way i took note of the huge cotton (Gossypium sp.) Malvaceae, harvest in Texas and New Mexico. The scale of cultivation was awe inspiring! However, it pained me to think of the toxic chemistry related to that industry.
i fulfilled a life-long dream to visit White Sands National Park and would highly recommend the Cloud Croft Hostel www.cloudcrofthostel.com where i stayed fairly close by. The plants of White Sands have undergone some big adaptations in order to survive such a shifting nutrient poor environment. The main members i met and spent time with included.
Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata) Agavaceae,
Datil Yucca (Yucca baccata) Agavaceae,
Hoary Rose Mint (Poliomintha incana) Lamiaceae
Skunkbush Sumac (Rhus trilobata) Anacardiaceae
Subsequently, i visited the Phoenix Botanical Gardens www.dbg.org probably one of the most renowned botanical gardens in the country. i was tickled to see the blown glass plant art of Dale Chihuly www.chihuly.com He has displayed in gardens all over the country and world. i have previously viewed his work in the Missouri Botanical Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, PA, and the Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago, IL.
The Phoenix garden has a rather comprehensive collection of Southwestern desert plants. However, due to the time of the year few plants had remarkable displays. One of the best things about the garden is an ethnobotanical trail with some really thorough and inspiring signage. The garden also stays open after dark with lighting throughout the main trail, which was rather novel and sweet. Some major plants of the garden following from Socolofsky and Greenhouse (2010)
Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata) Zygophyllaceae,
Foothill Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphylla syn Cercidium microphyllum) Fabaceae
Ocotillo (Fouquieria sp