African Daisies in Arizona

This spring wildflower is native to South Africa. It is an introduced species to the desert southwest.  You will find it growing in yards in Waddell and all throughout Maricopa County.  Seventeen years ago, when I first moved out to Waddell, AZ from Peoria, AZ I had but a couple of these beauties pop up in my yard in the spring.  The seeds have spread throughout my front yard and now I have my own wildflower show every year.  I do not know a lot regarding this species.  I would love to know how it was introduced into North America, and in what year?  Who brought it here? Please share if you have any knowledge it would be much appreciated.

AFRICAN DAISY (Dimorphotheca sinuata)

  • Also known as “Cape Marigold”
  • Member of the Aster Family
  • Herbaceous annuals
  • Colors include white, orange, yellow and apricot
  • Close at night or during cloud cover
  • Each bloom produces tons of seeds
  • Referred to as Goddess of the Sun

Mount Ord Wildflowers

8:30 AM Saturday morning and only 85 degrees, time to go find some wildflowers.  Headed north on 87 towards Payson, and ended up turning right on FR626 for Mount Ord. Mount Ord is in the Tonto National Forest, in the Mazatzal mountain range. Dirt road lies ahead but not a bad road. Mount Ord is named after Major General Edward Ord https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Ord. Along the way to the top I came across New Mexico Thistle, Desert Wild Buckwheat, Wild Bergamot, and Golden Columbine just to name a few.  Beautiful flowers and an overwhelming view.  Wispy clouds and a clear blue sky made for some magnificent photos.  Saw some Arizona Thistle getting ready to bloom, Century plants blooming in all stages, and squirrels galore.  The road dead ends before you can get to the top where the towers call home.  The top of the mountain is 7,129 feet.  You do get an excellent view of Roosevelt Lake and the back of the four peaks.  There are a few side roads on the way to the top. Not sure where they go but will return someday with my ATV for more exploring.  Great website regarding history of Mount Ord is https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1640. (Photos taken June 10, 2017)

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April splendor in the desert

Today’s travel took me to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) area north of Vulture Mine Peak.  Great area that calls out to Jeeps, and ATVs. Chia, Poppies, Owl’s Clover, and Desert Pincushion were scatted all over the desert floor.  A little overcast made for some great photos.  The desert is extremely green from all the recent rain.  Hard to believe that in just a couple of months this beauty will fade away, the heat of the summer will dry everything up, but the seeds of these flowers will return next year. Going out to the desert today was very therapeutic to me, it was the 40th Anniversary of losing my Mother.  This is my safe place, a place where I feel a connection to the earth.  (Photos taken April 01, 2017)

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