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August 27, 2007

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Yeah, once I was going thru a tourist brochure on Gobi which had dozens of brights flowers listed under flora and thought: "yeah, right". My bad

The first of your six flower pictures looks exactly like the Mystery Flower that is growing in my front garden! Whatever it is, it sure is pretty...but I didn't plant it. We've been blaming the squirrels. :)

I am SO not a botanist, but the first one looks like a kind of morning glory to me. Makes sense; they grow and flower very quickly even when there is plenty of water. Beautiful photos!

CT: Here are my total guesses based on some research and squinting at web-optimized photos:

#1: Something in the morning glory family (Convolvulus)
#2: Almost looks like rosemary in the background. Plant in foreground looks really familiar but I can't place it.
#3: Not enough detail.
#4: This one is definitely in the aster family. Maybe Eriophyllum lanosum?
#5: This one looks a lot like what's commonly called ice plant if I'm reading the photo right. Did it have kind of squishy, succulent leaves? If so, probably a Dorotheanus of some kind.
#6: This one's got me stumped. It looks like a Bergenia with begonia flowers or a Begonia with bergenia flowers. But I doubt if either plant would survive an hour in the Gobi.

Again, these are total guesses and if any of your readers are real botanists--please don't laugh too hard. ;-)

TMK

Well, I'll try to see what I can add to TMK's inimitable information, though I make no claims to being a botanist, either. I'm pretty sure that #2 is something in the lily family, and the leaves are much like some type of wild garlic or chives, as are the flowers, for that matter, though I wouldn't want to place bets on edibility. #3 is a bit too hard to make out, but the general shape and what I can see of the flowers makes me think a vetch or something similar in the legume family. #5 makes me think a euphorb of some sort, but they're such a highly varied group of plants that I would in no way feel comfortable pushing the case for that. #6 - are you sure you didn't just stick somebody's houseplant in the dirt?

I don't have any expertise, but that first, morning-glory-like one looks similar to this noxious weed we get out in Colorado. The common name is bindweed, but my mom calls it the Weed from Hell, because once it shows up in your yard, it's almost impossible to eradicate. Ours has broader leaves than that one, but I'm willing to bet they're related. (Because, in the desert 'weed' can just mean 'something that actually grows without help from humans'.)

Thanks! Great responses! I searched the web and can't come up with any resource on Gobi plants. But you know what I really got out of hearing from y'all? That my new favorite word is "euphorb." I can imagine exactly the kind of person to whom such an epithet would be attached. "Fer cryin' out loud, wouldja quit acting like a total euphorb?!" "I think there's a euphorb in my abbatoir." What? Why is everyone staring at me like that?

CT: I forgot to mention how much I like the photo you took of all the different plants in the foreground with the red "hill" in the background. And Mel's "euphorb" is actually short for "euphorbia." Play with that one for a while. BTW, I couldn't find any info about Gobi flora online either. ;-)

Does this help?

http://raise.suiri.tsukuba.ac.jp/new/plant_album/index.html

Euphorbia! Thanks, cuz. That site helped, as did this one, though both assume a pretty deep botanical knowledge and familiarity with scientific classification. Wish they had some arranged just by color. I'm going to check local bookstores. Nonetheless, with a little sleuthing, here are my guesses for three:

#1: Convolvula arvensis
#2: Allium mongolica
#6: Rheum nanum

More later. No idea why I'm so obsessed with this.

Score! If that top one IS Convolvulus arvensis, then it IS our bindweed from back home. (Which would make sense, since it's apparently native to Asia. I'm willing to bet it's not even a weed out there. We really do plants a disservice by translocating them.)

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Mongolia Bird List: "L" = Lifer

  • Amur Falcon -- L
  • Arctic (Hoary) Redpoll -- L
  • Arctic Warbler -- L
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher -- L
  • Asian Dowitcher -- L
  • Asian Short-toed Lark -- L
  • Azure Tit -- L
  • Bank Swallow
  • Bar-headed Goose -- L
  • Barn Swallow
  • Bean Goose -- L
  • Black Grouse -- L
  • Black Stork -- L
  • Black Woodpecker -- L
  • Black-billed Magpie
  • Black-eared Kite -- L
  • Black-headed Gull -- L
  • Black-tailed Godwit -- L
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Blyth's Pipit -- L
  • Bohemian Waxwing -- L
  • Booted Eagle -- L
  • Brown Shrike -- L
  • Carrion Crow
  • Chinese Penduline Tit -- L
  • Chukar -- L
  • Cinereous Vulture
  • Citrine Wagtail -- L
  • Coal Tit
  • Common Cuckoo
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Common Greenshank -- L
  • Common Kestrel
  • Common Merganser
  • Common Pochard -- L
  • Common Raven
  • Common Redpoll
  • Common Redshank -- L
  • Common Rosefinch -- L
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Common Shelduck -- L
  • Common Snipe -- L
  • Common Starling
  • Common Swift
  • Common Tern
  • Crested Lark -- L
  • Curlew Sandpiper -- L
  • Dark-throated Thrush -- L
  • Daurian Jackdaw -- L
  • Daurian Partridge -- L
  • Daurian Redstart -- L
  • Demoiselle Crane -- L
  • Desert Warbler -- L
  • Desert Wheatear -- L
  • Dusky Thrush -- L
  • Dusky Warbler -- L
  • Eared Grebe
  • Eurasian Bullfinch -- L
  • Eurasian Coot -- L
  • Eurasian Curlew -- L
  • Eurasian Griffon
  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Eurasian Jay
  • Eurasian Nutcracker -- L
  • Eurasian Nuthatch -- L
  • Eurasian Skylark
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  • Eurasian Spoonbill -- L
  • Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker -- L
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  • Eurasian Treecreeper -- L
  • Eurasian Wigeon -- L
  • Eurasian Wryneck -- L
  • Eyebrowed Thrush -- L
  • Falcated Duck -- L
  • Fork-tailed Swift -- L
  • Gadwall
  • Garganey -- L
  • Godlewski's Bunting -- L
  • Goldcrest -- L
  • Golden Eagle
  • Gray Heron
  • Gray Wagtail -- L
  • Great Cormorant
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Great Gray Shrike -- L
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Great Tit
  • Greater Short-toed Lark -- L
  • Greater Spotted Eagle -- L
  • Green Sandpiper -- L
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Greenish Warbler -- L
  • Hawfinch -- L
  • Hazel Grouse -- L
  • Hen/Northern Harrier
  • Herring Gull
  • Hill Pigeon -- L
  • Hoopoe
  • Horned Grebe
  • Horned Lark
  • House Sparrow
  • Isabelline Shrike -- L
  • Isabelline Wheatear -- L
  • Kentish (Snowy) Plover -- L
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker -- L
  • Lesser Whitethroat -- L
  • Little Bunting -- L
  • Little Owl -- L
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Long-tailed Rosefinch
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Long-toed Stint -- L
  • Mallard
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Meadow Bunting -- L
  • Mew Gull -- L
  • Mongolian Finch -- L
  • Mongolian Ground-jay -- L
  • Mongolian Lark -- L
  • Northern Lapwing -- L
  • Northern Pintail
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Wheatear
  • Olive-backed Pipit -- L
  • Oriental Plover -- L
  • Oriental Reed Warbler -- L
  • Oriental Turtle Dove
  • Pacific Golden-plover -- L
  • Paddyfield Warbler -- L
  • Pallas' Reed Bunting -- L
  • Pallas's Leaf Warbler -- L
  • Pallas's Sandgrouse -- L
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Pied Avocet -- L
  • Pied Wheatear -- L
  • Pine Bunting -- L
  • Pine Grosbeak -- L
  • Pintail Snipe -- L
  • Red (Common) Crossbill
  • Red-billed Chough -- L
  • Red-crested Pochard -- L
  • Red-flanked Bluetail -- L
  • Red-necked Grebe
  • Red-throated Flycatcher -- L
  • Richard's Pipit -- L
  • Rock Dove
  • Rock Sparrow -- L
  • Rook -- L
  • Ruddy Shelduck -- L
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Ruff -- L
  • Rufous-tailed Robin -- L
  • Saker Falcon -- L
  • Scaly Thrush -- L
  • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper -- L
  • Siberian Accentor -- L
  • Siberian Rubythroat -- L
  • Smew -- L
  • Spotted Flycatcher -- L
  • Spotted Redshank -- L
  • Steppe Eagle -- L
  • Swan Goose -- L
  • Temminck's Stint -- L
  • Thick-billed Warbler -- L
  • Tree Pipit -- L
  • Tufted Duck -- L
  • Twite -- L
  • Upland Buzzard -- L
  • Ural Owl -- L
  • Water Pipit -- L
  • White Wagtail
  • White-cheeked Starling -- L
  • White-naped Crane -- L
  • White-winged (Two-barred) Crossbill -- L
  • White-winged Scoter
  • White-winged Tern -- L
  • Whooper Swan -- L
  • Willow Tit -- L
  • Wood Sandpiper -- L
  • Yellow-billed Grosbeak -- L
  • Yellow-browed (Inornate) Warbler -- L