Throughout the Mojave Desert in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, twisted trees form odd silhouettes against the rocky landscape. Mormon settlers named them Joshua trees as a reference to the biblical Joshua, as the tree’s limbs reminded them of Joshua as he raised his arms to the sky in prayer.
Smooth, long trunks and green, spiked tops almost make Joshua trees look like the palm tree’s fuzzy cousin. You can take a look for yourself at Southern California’s Joshua Tree National Park — get a sneak peek with this photo tour of Joshua trees.
(Main image: jen robinson)