Not-so-mellow yellow.

1. Purple pricklypear (Opuntia macrocentra).

2. Lesser goldfinch (Spinus psaltria).

3. Foothills palo verde (Parkinsonia microphylla).

4. Yellow columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha).

At the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona. Please click any photo in the set to enlarge. 


Kalmia microphylla is in the blueberry family Ericaceae. Commonly known as bog laurel, it is native to the western United States and Canada. Bog laurel is found near streams and lakes throughout the North American mountain ranges at high elevations. Like other members of the blueberry family, the petals are fused together in the bog laurel, although the flowers more resemble a shallow cup instead of an urn like their blueberry relatives. The five petals have small indentations where the stamens push into as the flower develops. This puts the pollen bearing stamens under tension so that when a pollinator lands on the flower, the stamens bend inward and shower the insect with pollen, so that it can fertilize the next flower it visits.