A Glory of Gold

We have had a good monsoon season this year, and nowhere is that more evident than in the spectacular arrival of desert poppies along the roadsides.  


Kallstroemia grandiflora has been noticeably absent during the last two very dry summers, but this year it is creating swathes and splotches of brilliance in the ditches and moist spots around and about.

Kallstroemia grandiflora is not, of course, a true poppy.  It is more closely related to another desert denizen, the ubiquitous Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata). But the summer flowers of Kallstroemia play the role of a poppy with the semi-translucent brilliance of their rounded cups.  The centers, however, give them away - a slender spray of stamens in bright tangerine-scarlet, not at all poppy-like...

...but adored by bees.

Well, it is still summer here in the desert, as you can see, but late summer at that, still brilliant as the angle of the sun drops lower and the days shorten a little.  The hummingbirds are coming back, and I am hoping for a pleasant autumn in the garden.

Weather Diary: Sunny; High: 104 F (40 C)/Low: 82 F (28 C); Humidity: 12%-38%

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Comments: 4
  • #1

    Kris P (Friday, 07 September 2018 14:25)

    How pretty that poppy-that's-not-a-poppy is! I see by your weather stats that it's still toasty out your way - I hope you get a cool-down soon.

  • #2

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Saturday, 08 September 2018 01:24)

    Kris - They are just so beautiful - I need to get some seed and try them in the garden somehow, though I'm not sure how easily they germinate. I'm definitely looking forward to autumn weather! ;-)

  • #3

    David C. (Saturday, 08 September 2018 18:25)

    Great pics! I remember an August trip to Tucson years ago, and seeing those growing on the roadsides beyond town. The range map shows they are native in my county in NM, so I'll need to find where. I did see relative Kallstroemia parviflora last weekend, and of course we have plenty of it's other relatives: creosotes everywhere and goatheads in town!

  • #4

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 09 September 2018 19:29)

    David C - Thanks! I checked the range map too and was surprised at how widely these are distributed. Same here on the creosotes and goatheads...