A low desert shrub, from two to three feet high, varying very much in color. On the plateau in the Grand Canyon it is delicate and unusual in coloring, with pale gray, woody stems and branches and small, stiffish, gray-green, toothless leaves, covered with white down. The small flowers are bright blue, projecting from close whorls of variously tinted bracts, and have long stamens, protruding from the corolla-tube, with blue filaments and yellow anthers, and a blue style. The bracts are sometimes lilac, sometimes pale blue, or cream-color, but always form delicate pastelle shades, peculiar yet harmonizing in tone with the vivid blue of the flowers and with the pale foliage. This is strongly aromatic when crushed. In the Mohave Desert it is exceedingly handsome, but the coloring is often less peculiar, as the foliage is not quite so pale as in other places, such as the Grand Canyon, and the flowers vary from blue to lilac or white. It blooms in spring and when its clumps of purple are contrasted with some of the yellow desert flowers, clustered about the feet of the dark Joshua Trees which grow around Hesperia, the effect is very fine.
Romona incana. MINT FAMILY. Labiatae.