|Desert Holly is a
of the Goosefoot Family. The compact, rounded shrub grows to a height of
about 3.5 feet and has silver colored leaves which are adapted to the
desert to reflect sunlight and are turned on edge to reduce exposure.
The plant typically grows in alkaline soils as well on hilly rocky areas
and in canyon washes at elevations below 4500 feet.
The Desert Holly which appears on
this page was photographed in Death Valley.
Dormant in the extremes of summer, the plant grows
and flowers in winter, relying on wind to pollinate it. Wind is
abundant in the desert, but insect pollinators are less reliable,
appearing when rare rainstorms cause spring wildflowers to sprout and
bloom. Desert Holly typically blooms between January and April and
produces small yellowish flowers followed by a small round fruit.