Many high-country hikers come across the clustered white flowers of the granite gilia (Leptodactylon pungens), which are found throughout the mountain range. The flowers are very noticeable near the crest in Yosemite National Park and on the Eastern Sierra. They bloom in July and August from 7,500 feet to 12,500 feet. The flowers survive in granite crags, growing like a bush and clinging to life in an inhospitable environment. Notice that the leaves are almost like needles, which allow the granite gilia to survive in the cold, arid habitat.
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