Sunday, July 29, 2012


Photo by Matt Ball

Range Ratany (Krameria erecta) is also blooming in Sabino Canyon. It's a low shrubby plant and the flowers are smaller than they appear here. Actually, much smaller. The hot pink 'petals' are really the sepals. (Sepals are the - usually green - parts that protect the bud before the flower opens.) The flower is the greenish-yellow part in the middle. Three petals above, 2 below. Ratany photosynthesizes, as plants do, but it also taps into the tissues of nearby plants and steals water and nutrients. Like Desert Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum), Range Ratany is a hemi-parasite.

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