Desert Trumpet (Eriogonum inflatum)

(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: I found lots of these plants on a hike on the approach to the Bowl of Fire off Lake Mead's Northshore Drive, northeast of Las Vegas.

Description: Desert Trumpet (Eriogonum inflatum) a.k.a. Umbrella Plant, Bladder Stem, Indian Pipe Weed, or Guinagua. Its swollen stem makes this an unusual and easily remembered plant. The very tiny yellow flowers are often not even noticed except in years of unusually favorable rainfall when thousands of these tiny flowers give a yellow glow to the desert. It can grow up to about 3 feet tall. Its flowers are yellow with green or red midribs, 1/8 inch, densely hirsute with coarse curved hairs; perianth lobes monomorphic, narrowly ovoid to ovate. Stamens exserted, 1/16 - 1/8 inch; filaments sparsely pubescent to glabrous. Achenes lenticular to trigonous, light brown to brown, 1/8 - 3/16 inch, glabrous. It blooms between  March - June, and sometimes In September - October. Leaves basal; leaf-blades oblong-ovate to oblong or rounded to reniform, 1/2 - 3 inches × 1/2 - 2 1/2 inches, short-hirsute on both surfaces, sometimes less so to glabrous adaxially; margins occasionally undulate; petioles 1/4 - 2 1/2 inches, hirsute. Flowering stems erect, to 4 feet, often inflate , occasionally hirsute basally. Inflorescences cymose, open, 1/8 inch, occasionally with inflate branches; bracts 3, scalelike, 1/32 inch. Peduncles filiform to capillary, erect, straight, 1/32 - 1/16 inch. Involucres turbinate, 1/64 inch wide; teeth five, 1/64 inch. it grows in desert environs, where it occupies open, gravelly, rocky areas and roadsides, up to elevations of 6,600 feet.