Oct. 30, 2018

granite prickly phlox, Linanthus pungens

Granite prickly phlox was one of the best discoveries at this particular site. Not just a new species, but a new genus too. And looking it up led to a new word. Ecotone. That's the zone between different habitats. Granite prickly is flexible enough to inhabit those transitional areas. Interesting for a plant that has something of a Goldilocks reputation among gardeners. This shrubby knee-high likes gardens as long as they're not too wet, not too cold, and not too hot. It's also helped in the wild by stiff little leaves that are prickly enough to send herbivores looking for something else. And gray-green, like their frequent bitterly yucky neighbor, sagebrush. It grows in AZ, CA, CO, ID, MD, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY, and BC. Lake Co CO, 6/20/13.