Sunday, January 08, 2012

Grand Canyon plants in winter

Last month I visited the Grand Canyon. Even amid the snow I found several botanical treasures.

Mormon tea, of which I saw quite a bit of in Utah in 2010, is a member of the ephedra genus. Mormons, who abstain from caffeine, used leaves from the shrub to make tea.

Sunset gives the Mormon tea a different hue. This photograph was taken at Yaki Point. Until it was banned by the FDA in 2004, ephedra was used as an athletic performance enhancement.

A prickly pear manages to poke through the snow.

The Utah agave is a member of the lily family. After 20 to 30 years it blooms once.

...and then it dies. The blooms can grow as high as 6 feet.

Related posts:

Grand Canyon in Winter: Junipers and agave in the snow
Elk and I at the Grand Canyon in the snow
Video: Two elk in the snow at the Grand Canyon visitors center
Video: Mule deer running in the snow at Grand Canyon National Park
Mule deer in Grand Canyon National Park in winter
Grand Canyon day for Marathon Pundit
Obama stimulus sign blemishes Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon east entrance Obama stimulus sign
Four Corners Furtherance: More trees

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