Cistanche tubulosa (Schrenk) Hook.f. (desert hyacinth, fox radish, Thanoon, ذانون )

This is another side of my floral portfolio. These photographs attempt to do exactly the opposite of a single plant on a pure white background, isolating species from surroundings to limit the viewer’s gaze.

This part of the portfolio highlights the species and includes the critical elements of the plant’s habitat.

Cistanche tubulosa is found in many of the world’s deserts, including the Negev Desert in Israel, the Taklamakan Desert in northwest China, the Arabian Gulf Coast, and the arid regions of Pakistan Rajasthan and Punjab. I photographed this on the arid eastern coast of Ilha de São Vicente, Cabo Verde.

Desert hyacinth is unable to synthesize chlorophyll. There are no green parts, only this spectacular yellow cluster of flowers on a single, whitish stalk. It’s a holoparasitic plant that obtains nutrients and water from the roots of host plants nearby.

The photograph is the plant, the desert habitat, and a common hot desert shrub in the background.

Technical Details

Composite: No

Nikon D-810, 1/500, f8, ISO 125, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom.