In some areas of Death Valley National Park, Geraea canescens can cover the valley floor or small hills. Hairy desert-sunflower and desert gold are used as common names.
Perhaps I should have waited until my birthday to post something from this genus. Geraea is derived from the Greek geraios, meaning “old”, while canescens is from the Latin canescere, meaning “to become grey or white”. The Jepson eFlora account for Geraea canescens notes the generic name is specifically in reference to the white hairs of the involucre, perhaps best shown in this photograph by Keir Morse. However, most parts of these plants are covered in white hairs, including the fruits.
Native to southwest USA and northwest Mexico, Geraea canescens grows in sandy desert soils. It is typically associated with Larrea tridentata, or creosote bush, as shown in the fourth photograph. For additional photographs, see CalPhoto: Geraea canescens.
In news about BPotD, maybe we’ve made some progress on the image issue? I’ve had to seek help from others in the university to tackle it, but I think we’ve taken some steps. I’m testing it out by making an image-heavy posting.