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The spring flowers resembled busy airports this week.

The desert marigolds were abuzz with insects, including this photo-bombing honey bee.

The red and black bug is a charcoal seed bug, Melacoryphus lateralis.

The brittlebush flowers were also teeming with insect life.

 

Many of the flowers harbored false chinch bugs.

Some were hiding underneath.

Along with numerous honey bees, the flies were active. This is the black flower fly, Copestylum mexicana.

Is it a bee or a fly?

This one is another kind of flower fly that mimics a bee.

This plant bug's spring finery matched the flower.

It's an exciting time of year in nature.

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Lynne recognized our mystery seeds from last week as desert marigolds, Baileya multiradiata.

desert-marigold

As you can see, despite their common name desert marigolds do not look much like marigolds and in fact are not closely related to true marigolds.

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They are short-lived perennial wildflowers with gray-green foliage. They form clumps or mounds and reseed readily in the western U.S. and Mexico where they are native.

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They can go somewhat dormant without water, but with water desert marigolds will bloom for long periods.

desert-marigod-flower-fly

Desert marigolds are a good source of nectar for pollinators like this flower fly.

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They would be good additions to any butterfly or moth garden.

Do desert marigolds grow where you live?