We have had a wonderful monsoon season in this part of Arizona. The cloudscapes have been very impressive and ever-changing.
Clouds 2015



An attractive plant in the Catalina mountains is: Phytolacca icosandra,
Pokeberry. I have seen only two examples in all my years of looking. Recently I went to find one of the two, and the space where it used to be was completely empty of vegetation.

Then I stopped to check in on the other one and found it was still there though smaller than in the past. I was able to get a close-up picture of the flower and of the fruits. When the fruits drop what remains looks a lot like a flower. I noticed that the remnants of the anthers were still there, long after the rest of the flower had fallen off.

Phytolacca icosandra 3

Phytolacca icosandra 5

Phytolacca icosandra 6

Phytolacca icosandra 7b

Phytolacca icosandra 8 recept

The first picture shows the plant in its setting. The next a closer look where you can see an inflorescence in the upper left, and a fruit stalk with deep red fruits in the lower center.

Then there is a close up of part of the inflorescence, and next an individual flower. The last picture shows the place where the fruit was, leaving behind the anthers.

This is a poisonous plant, with deep wine-colored fruit used for dyes and inks.  The leaves can be eaten only after much preparation to remove the toxins.

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