Tiny Flowers of the American Southwest


Lime bud

Springtime starts early in southern Arizona. We’re halfway to summer already, and there are tiny flowers everywhere. This first image is from a lime tree in my backyard. It took years to make up its mind as to whether it was going to live or die, but it finally decided to live and be 8 feet tall and make limes. Last year it made 3 limes. This year should be better; there are tons of flowers.

I took another picture where the tinier bud is more in focus. I might play with combining the 2 images, but this one is not retouched. None of these images are retouched.


Tomato buds

My husband’s ex is a professional grower of exceedingly large hydroponic tomatoes, so we often end up with her extra. Sometimes it’s tomatoes (her major customer is the food service at the local university, so she always has extra when school’s out) and sometimes it’s plants (since she only has room for a fixed number of starts). These plants seem pretty happy in the back yard. We’re keeping them in pots, because tomatoes are so sensitive to the heat. I have trouble keeping them alive in beds.


Santa Catalina prairie clover

Now we move out of my backyard and into the desert. I had a little trouble identifying this one at first, but I believe it is probably a Santa Catalina prairie clover. I was confused at first because there’s another type of prairie clover that doesn’t look at all like this one, but when I dug a little deeper, this seemed like a good match. The fact that I took the photograph in the Santa Catalina Mountains lends credence to this hypothesis.


Baja Fairy Duster

I could photograph these things all day. And every picture would be different. Different bits of the flower could come into focus. In different light, the colors would change. I like this image because you can see the tips of each petal-like structure. I assume there’s a name for the parts of this kind of flower, but I’m not finding it.


Common fiddleneck

I’m not 100% on my ID of this one, because you can’t see enough of the stalk to be certain, but I looked at a couple 100 pictures of yellow desert flowers and common fiddleneck seemed like the best match. This was the only tiny trumpet-shaped non-tree flower of the lot. And these things are tiny. They’re the tiniest flowers in this post, even tinier than the lime bud.


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