Pholisma sonorae (sand food) is a rare plant found in the deserts of southeastern California, Arizona, and El Gran Diesierto in Sonora, Mexico.
This parasitic plant has a long stem that reaches about 6 feet below the surface where it attaches to the root of a nearby host plant such as desert buckwheat. Photo by USFWS/Jim A. Bartel (CC BY 2.0)

The Most Bizarre Wildflower In The United States: “One of the most interesting of all dune plants, and certainly one of the most bizarre wildflowers in North America is ‘sand food’ (Pholisma sonorae). This amazing parasitic flowering plant grows in the Algodones Dunes of southeastern California and adjacent Arizona, and in the sand dunes of El Gran Desierto in Sonora, Mexico (north of Bahia Adair in the Gulf of California). Within this area, the plants grow on sand dunes produced by wind transport of sand from the beaches of ancient Lake Cahuilla and the Colorado River delta.”

L.A. is park poor. So why is one of the most beautiful green spaces in the city locked behind a fence?:  “DWP isn’t in the parks business,” Adams points out. “But we are open to opportunities to use our properties in different ways.” In other words, the Rowena Reservoir isn’t a lost cause. City Council District 4, which contains it, could take it on. So could the Los Feliz and Silver Lake neighborhood councils. And if study and retrofitting are what’s required, why not consider larger possibilities as well?

How Driverless Cars Could Be a Big Problem for Cities: “To assess how vulnerable cities’ budgets could be, Governing conducted the first national analysis of how city revenues might be affected by autonomous vehicles. For the 25 largest U.S. cities, we requested and obtained revenues for parking collections and fines, traffic citations, traffic camera fines, gas taxes, vehicle registration, licensing and select other fees. In all, these 25 cities collectively netted nearly $5 billion in auto-related revenues in fiscal 2016, or about $129 per capita.”

Disrupting the Park Bench: “Data-collecting street furniture is one of the first areas where the smart city concept has spilled over from buildings and infrastructure into green space, though one could argue that features such as free Wi-Fi in parks, GPS-guided interpretive walks, interactive light and water installations, and computerized controls of lighting and irrigation systems—increasingly common in the urban environment—also fit the bill.

A happy 115th birthday to Trenton’s Cadwalader Park: “The beauty of Trenton’s Cadwalader Park endures. And as this sylvan oasis — designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture — marks its 115th birthday, people who treasure the city’s biggest park are working hard to make sure it not only survives but also thrives.


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