Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates



Daggerpod plant

The other day. when we were hiking at the Virginia Highlands in the Virginia Range--southeast of Reno, NV--I found several daggerpod plants (Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides) growing on the rocky slopes. I had never seen a daggerpod before, so I was very excited! Daggerpod is a neat looking plant, they have a cluster of fuzzy gray-green leaves that look as if someone came along and folded them in half and are now they are unable to open back up.

Folded leaf of the daggerpod

Daggerpods belong to the mustard (Brassicaceae) family and have the typical four petaled flowers. The flowers are light pink, similar to the pink of a wild rose flower and they grow in a cluster (like most mustards) at the end of a long steam. The flowers tend to grow along the ground, out of the sides of the plant, forming a pretty purple halo around the cluster of leaves. The fruits, in contrast to the soft leaves, have sharp-edged blades that give it it's common name--daggerpod.

Daggerpod flower cluster

Daggerpods tend to grow on rocky slopes in the sagebrush steppe. They tend to like areas that are between 5,000 and 10,000 feet in elevation, just like the Virginia Range, and grow throughout the Great Basin.


Margery said...

They are so beautiful! Love, Mom

Kim said...

That's really interesting! Do you know why the leaves are folded like that? What sort of advantage does it provide? Thanks for the interesting posts!

Renee said...

You know, I don't know. It's interesting though isn't it.