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Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Shrubs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) habitat
Extensive stand of nearly pure blackbrush (spring)

General: Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) is a common, often dominating component of middle-elevation slopes and upper bajadas in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zone. Blackbrush is most common at the interface of the Mojave Desert Scrub and Pinyon-Juniper Woodland habitat types.

At these middle elevations, when you look out across the landscape, the low, blackish shrub covering the ground is blackbrush. Often it is easier to identify blackbrush at a distance on a hillside than it is to identify it in the hand. Blackbrush, Joshua Trees, and Mojave Yuccas form a vegetation association (Blackbrush Shrublands) unique to the Mojave Desert that helps define the boundary of the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin desert when Creosote bush is absent.

Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush-Joshua Tree vegetation association (winter)

Family: Rose (Rosaceae).

Other Names: Coleogyne.

Plant Form: Low growing, rounded shrub with a dense crown. Blackish color.

Height: Usually about knee-high, to 5 feet.

Bark: Dark gray to blackish; light gray fissures. Bark becomes darker with age and when wet.

Stems: Stiff, opposite and widely divergent, often sharp and spine-like at the tip.

Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush in bloom

Leaves: Small, gray-green, and aromatic. Leaves in fasciculated, opposite clusters; linear, usually about 1/2 inch long, edges entire and rolled under. Leaf surface hairy. Drought deciduous.

Flowers: Small, yellow, single at the ends of twigs; appears to have four petals, but they are actually sepals. Many stamens.

Seeds: Crescent shaped, brown, about 1/4 inch long.

Habitat: Dry, well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils on upper bajadas and moderate slopes in the lower mountains.

Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush flowers (typical wildrose flowers)

Elevation: 2,000 to 5,000 feet.

Distribution: Southwestern U.S.

Comments:

Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima)
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 140923

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