Dune Evening Primrose (Oenothera deltoides)

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(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: Although I don’t remember where all of the pictures shown here were taken, my latest encounter with this plant (Fig. 01), was captured on 04/25/13 while hiking the Calico Tanks trail in the Red Rock National Conservation Area. After the trail crosses a wash just past the Sandstone Quarry, it turns up a major side canyon that leads into the heart of the Calico Hills. These Primrose were in the lower part of the canyon where the trail is wide and sandy and at times is surrounded by Singleleaf Pinyon Pine and other bushes, plants, cactus and shrubs.
Description: Dune Evening Primrose (Oenothera deltoides) is member of the Onagraceae (Evening Primrose) Family and has many varieties and subspecies, accounting for its numerous common names. a.k.a. White Desert Primrose, Birdcage Evening Primrose, Devil's Lantern, Lion-in-a-Cage, Basket Evening Primrose. This bushlike, sweet-scented annual is most often a grayish green, creeping dune plant growing 2 to 18 inches high and spreading as wide as 40 inches. Sparse, pale green, hairy leaves grow as long as 4 inches, mostly on the ends of stalks emerging from a dense basal rosette. The long, oval leaves are often lobed, toothed, grooved or cleft. The flowers are preceded by large nodding buds that are rosy pink & very attractive. Its diaphanous flowers are about one inch long white, 4-petaled flowers, forming a saucer, turn yellow toward the center where they support yellow stamens. They bloom 1-1/2 to 3 inches wide, January through May. Flowers open in the early evening and close in mid-morning. They turn pinkish with age. When some of these some varieties die, the outer stems curl upward and inward, forming a cage-like shape. This plant is pollinated by the long-tongued, White-lined Sphynx Moth (Hyles lineata). They can be found growing in sandy places below 3,500 feet; creosote bush scrub, joshua tree woodland, and sand dunes. Their range is the Mojave, Sonoran and Great Basin deserts of southern California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)