Coleogyne ramosissima Torr.
Blackbrush is a nondescript (except when flowering!) aromatic shrub that can form extensive colonies. It is native to deserts of the southwestern North America, including parts of the Mojave, Great Basin, and Sonoran deserts. The common name refers to its branches, gray when dry, turning black with rain, or as the shrub ages.
Plants: Densely branched shrubs are 12-79" (30-200 cm) in height. Branches have spiny tips.
Leaves: Plants are technically evergreen, but they are drought deciduous—they drop many of their leaves in the summer in order to reduce water loss. Leaves are simple (smooth-edged), ⅛-½" (5-15 mm) long, gray-green, and linear to oblanceolate.
Flowers: Each flower has four thick, fuzzy sepals, yellow inside, and reddish or orange outside; 20-40 yellow stamens; one pistil, and either no petals or up to four. The overall effect is that the flowers look yellowish. Buds are reddish brown. Flowering is triggered by heavy rains.
Fruits: Dry, leathery achenes, ¹/₁₆-⅛" (3-4 mm) long, crescent-shaped, and red-brown.
Coleogyne ramosissima on Wildflowers, Ferns & Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah (great photos)
Coleogyne ramosissima on calscape.org
Coleogyne ramosissima on Wikipedia
Coleogyne ramosissima on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Coleogyne ramosissima on www.americansouthwest.net
Coleogyne ramosissima from the Jepson Manual
Coleogyne ramosissima description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 1 Jan 2021.