Bladder Sage
Paper Bag Bush

Salazaria mexicana

Tarantula Hawk

Pepsis sp. (Pompilidae)

Watercolor  by Michael Plagens

This watercolor illustration was done from a specimen found near Castle Hot Springs, Arizona. Oct. 1992. The wasp is a male tarantula hawk; a large number such males were found visiting this plant in the the Big Horn Mountains, Arizona.

FRUIT: A wispy, papery, vase-shaped sack formed from the enlarged calyx is tinged with burgandy and quite attractive. This design serves to disperse the seeds by wind.
FLOWER: Strongly two-lipped, vivid purple and white.
LEAVES: Readily drought deciduous, small, opposite, elyptic. Often LEAFLESS.
SHRUB: A small to medium sized shrub with smooth, green and photosynthetic bark. Paired branches are disposed at alternating right angles. Usually less than 1.5 m tall with the weak branches often supported by other plants.
ARMED: The ends of twigs are drawn out into weak spines.
RANGE: Common in the washes of western Arizona mountains (Kofa, Eagletail, Big Horn), but occurs sporadically towards the east as far as northwest of Phoenix.

Family: Lamiaceae

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-07