Recently, I have been having a grand time driving around and hiking the hills of California looking for native wildflowers and photographing them. Then after spending hours trying to identify the plants in my photos, I use Google's Picasa to label them for posterity. These photos were taken in April several years ago when my husband and I hiked in the Alabama Hills just outside of Lone Pine, CA. That's Mt. Whitney in the photo above, the highest peak in the clouds. I have long been in the habit of taking a photo of any plant that interests me when I travel. Unfortunately, it has taken me four years to get around to identifying these particular photos. Because of the harsh climate and high altitude, they include some very interesting and very beautiful plants and I thought you might enjoy seeing them
The queen of plants.
These flowers have no petals either. It's the bracts that turn pink.
Yes, ephedra... These plants have no flowers at all. They are gymnosperms like pines and junipers. Those yellow things are cones that form at the joints of the stems.
And as usual, there is one plant that I just can't seem to identify. I think this is an Astragalus (Locoweed), but which one?