Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Jean Louis and our friend BJ went to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park this past weekend to photograph the desert wild flowers. It was a great learning experience and we were really lucky to find the famous desert lily. BJ let me use his fancy camera with his macro lens to get this great shot. Thanks BJ!
The desert lily (Hesperocallis undulata) is one of the most beautiful of the desert wildflowers indigenous to the deserts of California, Arizona and Nevada.
Desert Lily Identification
To positively identify the desert lily, look for characteristic long, thin, narrow leaves that appear wavy or undulating (hence the scientific name undulata). While the leaves usually present as such, it is possible for an individual specimen to display thicker leaves with straight edges. The stem of the desert lily may be one to three feet in height, and as many as 20 buds may be present with only a few open at any one time. The flower itself looks a lot like an Easter lily. Look for six petals—three interior and three exterior.
The desert lily was used as a food source by the indigenous people. It was eaten raw or oven pit baked. The Spanish called it ajo, since the taste is said to be similar to garlic.