Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Wildflower Holdout

Long after all other wildflowers have dried up from the heat; the Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata) just keeps on blooming until it wears out, or the temperature gets close to freezing. This lone holdout from last year’s spring wildflower season just keeps going and going, when all around it new seedlings are coming up for this season's showing.

The Desert Marigold, with its daisy-like flowers and fuzzy gray-green foliage, is a common sight in desert regions. It is extremely drought tolerant, but will bloom profusely after any rain. It grows fast, starts blooming in March, and usually finishes by November and then dies.

It is classified as a short-lived perennial. Some may argue that this wildflower is actually an annual, which I believe it is. It may appear to live for a couple of years, when in actuality, new plants have grown in to replace it because it so readily reseeds.


barbara said...

Arizona amazes me with its natural bounty. I am finally going to visit your lovely state in September, wish it would be wildflower season then, but I'll still ooh and aah over the cacti.

jodi said...

It's very pretty....reminds me of helenium, and all the other daisies too, but especially helenium. Mind you, I"m very fond of dandelions too (really!) for their bright cheery colour and their bee-attracting. Does this flower act like a bee-magnet too?

WiseAcre said...

My first thought too was of helenium. How nice to have that as a common wildflower.

Julie said...

More yellow, I see...but a very happy little thing!!!

No Rain said...

Be sure and see the Desert Botanical Garden if you are in the Phoenix area. You will see all the cacti you want. They have some spectacular specimens.
No, Desert Marigold doesn't attract bees, but it does attract desert-marigold moths (Schinia miniana) whose larvae cause the flower to form a ball.