a-plant-a-day-17

Mojave aster: Xylorhiza tortifolia, Asteraceae (sunflower family)

Another purple flowering plant. A poised beauty with lanky stems, clusters of near-whitebut still detectably lavender petals circle and protect a glowing orange center of disc flowers. And even though I generally despise the color purple, I did gasp when I first encountered such a gentle but showy array mingling amidst the sword-like leaves belonging to a family of yuccas. The flower heads are a couple inches across, sizeable when compared to other blossoms in this area. Kind of like a wild gerber daisy.

And still they hang on, mostly in the shade it seems; everything is starting to crisp, the moisture of the last rain (has it been over two months?) has seeped beyond reach and leeches out in minute increments as the plants push through their fruiting phases before dropping leaves and pigments fade.