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Desert Starvine

Brandegea bigelovii

Brandegea bigelovii photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed near Cottonwood Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, California. 01 May 2010

VINE: Herbaceous perennial vine which may ascend into nearby shrubs with unbranched tendrils clinging to twigs. Many stems may grow together forming dense tangles. Apparent mid to late spring.

LEAVES: Leaves may have several lobes or else be merely ovate-triangular in shape.

RANGE: Sonoran Desert in Arizona, southeastern California, and Mexico mostly adjacent to washes.

FRUIT: A slightly prickly spherical capsule with one seed about ½ centemeter in diameter.

FLOWERS: Small white flowers with 5 or 6 lobes in loose clusters open in spring and can be very fragrant. Clusters of several flowers from one node are male and have stamens only. Singleton flowers are female and develope fruit.


Cucurbitaceae -- Gourd Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010