Desert Holly Card

December 19, 2004


Provided and copyright by: Judy A Mosby
Summary authors & editors: Judy A Mosby

Seasons Greeting from Death Valley, California -- the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. The jagged leaves of the Desert Holly (Atriplex hymenelytra), shown above, change color and texture with the desert’s seasons, which are not the same as the calendar’s. During the rainy season and in early spring, the leaves are pale green on the outside, succulent on the inside. By mid summer, they're silvery and quite brittle, and if you didn't know better, you might think that they were dead.

The photo above was shot in late November, just at the start of the rainy season, so these leaves were still rather silvery. My delight was to discover the eye catching burgundy colored buds that give the appearance of holly berries. However, I found the Desert Holly to be deceiving like many other desert plants, and the flower is not the color of the bud. The flowers are actually yellow and bloom from about January through April.

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