Ruth is again responsible for today’s write-up:
My mother, Melinde Sanborn, submitted today’s awesome photo. She recently went to Mongolia on a group tour and took pictures of anything green for me to identify and use for Botany Photo of the Day. Thanks mom!
Potentilla is a large genus of approximately 330 species. Many species are common garden weeds and invaders of disturbed habitats, though some are also used as garden ornamentals. We’ve had to abandon attempts at identifying this particular plant, as references for the plants of Mongolia are hard to come by, to say the least. The Flora of China has a key to Potentilla that might be helpful, but the list of taxa is long, and these are very difficult to identify from photographs (assuming the species is distributed in China as well as Mongolia).
This picture is taken in the Gobi. It is redundant to call it the Gobi Desert, as gobi means “desert” or (more literally) “gravel-covered plain”. The Gobi covers 1,295,000 square km (500,002 mi2) and is Asia’s largest desert and the fourth largest in the world. Despite its large size, it is spread across only two countries: Mongolia and China. The area of the Gobi in Mongolia is called the Nemegt Basin, known locally as the Valley of Dragons. It is rich in fossils, including fossilized dinosaur eggs.