The Sonoran Desert Florilegium

plants of the florilegium

Marina parryi
parry's false prairie clover

FAMILY:  Fabaceae — Legume family

SYNONYMS:  Dalea parryi

ETYMOLOGY:  The genus Marina was named by the Danish botanist Frederik Michael Liebmann (1813-1856) who made several botanical collecting trips to Mexico and the Caribbean. In 1853, Liebmann published the first description of the genus Marina, which he named for Doña Marina, the Aztec woman who served as interpreter to the conquistador Hernán Cortés.

The species name honors Charles Christopher Parry (1823-1890), a physician and botanist who served as a member of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary Survey and the Pacific Railroad Survey along the 35th parallel. He was one of the most respected botanists of his time.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE:  deserts of AZ, CA, and NV into Baja California and northern Mexico

HABITAT:  desert washes, rocky slopes, and roadsides below 4,000'

BLOOMING SEASON:  March to June, occasionally with a second flowering in the fall

DESCRIPTION:  A perennial shrub that grows to roughly 30" on fragile green woody stems

The 2" compound leaves have several pairs of 1/4" green leaflets with reddish margins and are dotted with glands. Half-inch flowers grow in spike-like clusters to 4" long. Petals are purple or dark blue above and white below. The seed pod has two rows of glands on each side.