On a hike with my son on the very solitary Loma Alta Trail in the southern part of the Rincon Mountains we encountered a patch of New Mexico Thistle growing in the wild grasses and partial shade of a sandy wash bed. The constant hum of the bees filled our ears as we made our way across the six-mile hike, while pollen collection was in full force in the abundance of wildflowers.
The New Mexico Thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum) is a member of the sunflower family. It blooms in the Sonoran desert in March and April on plants three to seven inches tall. According to Richard Spellenberg’s Sonoran Desert Wildflowers the creamy-white flower heads are more common in the west than the lavender ones we saw.
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