Johnson Valley, January 31, 2006
Winter images of some plants of the Mojave Desert

Above:  Wait-a-minute bush (Acacia greggii) on basalt; close-up of spines, infested with mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum).  The Acacia will only leaf out after rain, while this Phoradendron species is always green but leafless.
Above left to right:  Dried flower heads of California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), remains of the flower heads of Cottonthorn (Tetradymia stenolepis), Mojave yucca (Yucca shidigera), and small fruits of Turpentine broom (Thamnosma montana)
Above left to right:  A cottony fruit of Cottontop cactus (Echinocactus polycephalus) is hidden beneath the pink spines; Pencil cholla (Opuntia ramosissima) in fruit; the Beavertail (Opuntia basilaris) is wrinkled from lack of water, yet still green; a few fruits of the Paper bag bush (Salazaria mexicana) still cling on.
Above left:  Green ephedra (Ephedra viridis) stays green throughout the year.  Some petroglyphs can be seen on the basalt in the background.  Above right:  A close-up of the fruit that still clings to the dormant, leafless Pima rhatany (Krameria erecta).
Above left:  The gummy, black bands of creosote stems are from the Creosote lac scale insect (Tachardiella larrea).  Middle:  Desert almond (Prunus fasciculata) is now dormant, but you can see old leaves clinging on, as well as swollen buds that will give rise to the next season's leaves.  Right:  The fruits of the Four-winged saltbush (Atriplex canescens).