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Joshua Trees in Full Bloom
Photo Location: Mojave Desert 
Posted By: Bob Harris, 04-03-2013, 08:03 AM

This year has been a banner year to view the Joshua in bloom as the moisture content was perfect and large blooms are now present in most of the Mojave Desert that we have visited. The Joshua Tree has bell-shaped blooms, 1.25 to 1.5 inches large, each with 6 creamy, yellow-green sepals, crowded into 12 to 18 inch, many-branched clusters with an unpleasant odor. The trees bloom mostly in the spring, although not all of them will flower annually. Joshua Trees (and most other yuccas) rely on the female Pronuba Moth for pollination. No other insect or animal visiting the blooms transfers the pollen from one flower to another. In fact, the female Yucca Moth has evolved special organs to collect and distribute the pollen onto the surface of the flower. She lays her eggs in the flowers' ovaries, and when the larvae hatch, they feed on the yucca seeds. Without the moth's pollination, the Joshua Tree could not reproduce, nor could the moth, whose larvae would have no seeds to eat. Although an old Joshua Trees can sprout new plants from its roots, only the seeds produced in pollinated flowers can scatter far enough to establish a new stand. The fruit is elliptical and green-brown and can be seen in photo 4, a photo taken at night to better show the fruit. Six-celled, 2.5 to 4 inches, and somewhat fleshy, it dries and falls soon after maturity in late spring revealing many flat seeds. The last photo is of the Joshua and Yucca plants before bloom.

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04-03-2013, 08:12 AM   #2
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Great shots Bob. Heading out to the desert this weekend for some wind sports, hope I get to see some Joshua trees.
04-03-2013, 08:21 AM   #3
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Very cool Bob...imaging that, furry trees have flowers... who knew?
04-03-2013, 08:29 AM   #4
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always appreciate being able to see something new .... have seen these trees in pics before, but never in bloom..
superb captures bob.... dave m

04-03-2013, 08:51 AM   #5
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Beautiful shots Bob. I'm very familiar with the Joshua Tree, but rarely see them in bloom like this. Enjoy your visit to the desert!
04-03-2013, 09:01 AM   #6
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Beautiful Bob and thanks for the knowledge transfer !
04-03-2013, 09:48 AM   #7
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Great shots & good to see - thanks - J
04-03-2013, 10:04 AM   #8
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Thank you for teaching me something new today.

04-03-2013, 11:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob Harris Quote
This year has been a banner year to view the Joshua in bloom as the moisture content was perfect and large blooms are now present in most of the Mojave Desert that we have visited. The Joshua Tree has bell-shaped blooms, 1.25 to 1.5 inches large, each with 6 creamy, yellow-green sepals, crowded into 12 to 18 inch, many-branched clusters with an unpleasant odor. The trees bloom mostly in the spring, although not all of them will flower annually. Joshua Trees (and most other yuccas) rely on the female Pronuba Moth for pollination. No other insect or animal visiting the blooms transfers the pollen from one flower to another. In fact, the female Yucca Moth has evolved special organs to collect and distribute the pollen onto the surface of the flower. She lays her eggs in the flowers' ovaries, and when the larvae hatch, they feed on the yucca seeds. Without the moth's pollination, the Joshua Tree could not reproduce, nor could the moth, whose larvae would have no seeds to eat. Although an old Joshua Trees can sprout new plants from its roots, only the seeds produced in pollinated flowers can scatter far enough to establish a new stand. The fruit is elliptical and green-brown and can be seen in photo 4, a photo taken at night to better show the fruit. Six-celled, 2.5 to 4 inches, and somewhat fleshy, it dries and falls soon after maturity in late spring revealing many flat seeds. The last photo is of the Joshua and Yucca plants before bloom.
Very nice images Bob and thanks for the lesson. I now know something that I didn't know when I got up this morning.
04-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #10
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Great series Bob, I like the night shot as it brings a different dimension the Joshua tree blooms. I have not seen any in bloom in my section of the high desert, no moisture this past winter. Gotta have water, rain or snow, for them to bloom. TFS Cliff
04-03-2013, 04:53 PM   #11
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lots of detail in these shots and the commentary, I think the first shot is outstanding and shows the rugged beauty in these plants, TFS
cheers
04-03-2013, 07:50 PM   #12
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Nice photos Bob and very informative, I'm thinking you missed your calling and should have been a teacher......... Bas
04-03-2013, 09:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Great shots Bob. Heading out to the desert this weekend for some wind sports, hope I get to see some Joshua trees.
Wind sports, Larry you know it never blows in the desert, it is always calm
04-03-2013, 11:09 PM   #14
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Nice Bob. That last one is a very good example of Joshua Tree National Park landscape. This seldom visited park (considering it's only 2-3 hours away from two major cities) is a real treasure.
04-04-2013, 01:08 AM   #15
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Those are the best shots of Joshua trees that I have ever seen. Thanks, Bob.
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