Trees and Shrubs

Trees and Shrubs - A Bristlecone Pine (not the oldest) located in the White Mountains, CA
A Bristlecone Pine (not the oldest) located in the White Mountains, CA

Trees and shrubs and other types of vegetation serve an important in the world. Not only to they provide the obvious beauty to the landscape, they are the sole organism which adds energy into the environmental system via photosynthesis. This energy is then transferred to the animal kingdom when the animals eat the vegetation. Not only do they produce the energy which drives the animal kingdom, trees and shrubs also produce the oxygen which the animals need, but they clean the exhausted carbon dioxide the animals produce.

Trees and shrubs occupy almost every ecosystem on the planet. Beyond the biology, these plants allow us to appreciate the planet on another level. They take the edge off of a harsh geographic feature and can exemplify the diversity and perseverance of life. Plants and trees are the largest, tallest and oldest living thing on the planet. Bristle cone pine trees are know to live up to five thousands of years and the mighty redwood will grow over 350 feet tall.

Plant life does more than supply a food source and oxygen for the planet. They provide shelter and homes to a variety of animals, including humans.

A Bristlecone Pine (not the oldest) located in the White Mountains, CA - Photo by James L Rathbun

Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva)

Blown by wind, and ravaged by time, the Bristlecone pine tree is a silent sentinel of the White Mountains in eastern central California.  Only growing…
A Juniper bush decorates the Mid Hills Campground in the Mojave National Preserve.

California Juniper ( Juniperus californica )

The California Juniper ( Juniperus californica ) is a common tree found in California, western Arizona and southern Nevada at medium elevations between 2,460 – 5,250 ft.  Commonly…
Coyote Melon (Cucurbita palmata)

Coyote Melon (Cucurbita palmata)

Coyote Melon (Cucurbita palmata) Coyote Melon (Cucurbita palmata), also known as Coyote Gourd, is a flowering plant common in the desert southwest and known to…
Desert Mistletoe ( Phoradendron californicum ) - Photo by James L Rathbun

Desert Mistletoe ( Phoradendron californicum )

Desert Mistletoe ( Phoradendron californicum ) or mesquite mistletoe, is a leafless parasitic plant which attaches itself to a host plant. The host plant is…
Joshua Tree from Nipton Road. - Photo by James L Rathbun

Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia)

The Joshua Tree was named for the biblical character by the Mormon Setters as they crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid 19th century.  It…
Mojave Yucca guarding the Ring Trail, Mojave National Preserve.

Mojave Yucca (Yucca schidigera)

The Mojave Yucca is a small evergreen tree which flourishes in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of California, Arizona and Nevada. The Yucca's most noticeable…
Southern Cattail (Typha domingensis)

Southern Cattail (Typha domingensis)

Commonly found in the southern half of the United Stats, the Southern Cattail ( Typha domingensis ) is a a wetland plant which may be…