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Joshua Trees, Nevada


One of the most distinctive plants of the Mojave desert is the Joshua Tree.  Not really a tree, and long considered to be a member of the Lily family, recent studies have confirmed they are actually in the Agave family.

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The name "Joshua Tree" was bestowed by Mormon pioneers in the 19th century after the Old Testament warrior.  They are tall plants -- up to 40 feet high -- with oddly shaped spiky branches that add interesting contrast to the stark scenery of the desert.  It is thought they live an average of 150 years, although individual plants may be much older.  They can survive the dry climate and temperature extremes of the desert.

02 Joshua trees

Natives used the Joshua tree to make baskets and sandals.  European settlers used them for fencing and as a fuel source.

These photos were taken just outside the old Nevada mining town of Goldfield, located a mile above sea level and at the upper altitude growth limit of the Joshua trees.

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Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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