Monday, March 24, 2014

Crack Botany

Some of the most interesting botany is in the middle of the road. A couple of weeks ago, you might have seen me in a meridian or on my hands and knees in the middle of the street photographing plants that grow in cracks. Over thirty species were found growing in cracks in one block of our neighborhood in North Phoenix. These are the plants that will eventually take over. They can handle the extreme heat and aridity, poor nutrient soils (or no soil), and they can handle human abuse. How long would it take, I wonder, for the streets to be covered with vegetation if we just left them alone for a while?

Here are some of the specimens I documented on my most recent crack botany expedition:
African Mustard (Brassica tournefourtii)

Spurge (Chamaesyce ssp.)

Brittle Bush (Encelia farinosa)

Wild Buckwheat (Eriogonum deflexum)

Filaree (Erodium cicutarium)

Hairy Rupturewort (Herniaria hirsuta)

Hawkweed (Hieracium ssp.)

Stinkweed (Oncosiphon piluliferum)

Grass (Poa ssp.)

Common Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris)

Caltrops (Tribulis terrestris)

Cheeseweed (Malva parviflora)

Buffle Grass (Pennisetum ciliare)

Russian Thistle (Salsola tragus)

Ground Cherry (Solanum ssp.)
Whitlow Grass (Draba cuneiofolia)

1 comment:

Nora Miller said...

Kat, what a great post! Not only is it a fun obscure topic, but you have great pictures AND I learned names for some of the weeds in my yard! it's a good day when you learn the name of something, in my opinion. Thanks!