Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Fave Flora Seen in 2013

As we here in California wish for rain, and wonder about the 2014 floral forecast (for grasses & agriculture too), I thought I'd close out the year with some colorful cheer.

So, here are 15 CA native species that I first encountered in 2013 but didn't put in any posts.

First up, 5 species I saw on the east side of the Sierra Nevada, in Mono County:

great basin mariposa
Great Basin Mariposa Lily, Calochortus bruneaunis, exploding out of the sagebrush steppe

alpine lily
Alpine Lily, Lilium parvum, likes high elevation riparian corridors

Fewleaf Spiderplant, Carsonia sparsifolia, a stinky bladderpod relative

platanthera tescamnis
Great Basin Bog Orchid, Platanthera tescamnis

Beautiful Shooting Star, Dodecatheon pulchellum

And here are 5 from the Sierra Nevada and Tehachapi Mountains:

chamaesaracha nana
False Ground Cherry, Chamaesaracha nana, a Nightshade like tomatoes and potatoes

Hairy Paintbrush, Castilleja pilosa, that hides in bushes

congdon's lewisia
Congdon's Lewisia, Lewisia congdonii, a CNPS 1B.3 and CA State listed rare species

yosemite woolly sunflower
Yosemite Woolly Sunflower, Eriophyllum nubigenum, also a 1B.3 rare endemic

And speaking of woolly - check out these crazy seed pods:

woolly pods
Woolly Pod Milkvetch, Astragalus purshii var. tinctus

And finally, 5 from the North Coast Ranges, near Mount St. Helena and Calistoga, starting with another, quite different milkvetch...

The rare 1B.2 serpentine-loving Jepson's Milkvetch, Astragalus rattanii var. jepsonianus

Cascade Onion, Allium cratericola, which also likes serpentine, but grows on volcanics too

The wild, weird & wonderful Hoover's Lomatium, Lomatium hooveri

not shy fawn
Pacific Fawn Lily, Erythronium helenae, a lily that screams for attention

too purdy
And Purdy's Fritillary, Fritillaria purdyi, a much more humble lily

So - 2014 - whatchya got?



  1. A wonderful collection...thank you so much for sharing these helps knowing they are hanging on and communicating their unique message.

  2. Love seeing these rarities, especially during this rather boring (weather-wise) dry spell we're experiencing in the Eastern Sierra. Great photography too (esp. loved the orchid) -thanks!

  3. Excellent collection. I never imagined there were orchids in the Great Basin. As for a favorite, I changed my mind several times as I went through the post, but when I got to Purdy's Fritillary I'm like wow! I'd love to see that one someday.

    1. You have great taste, Ted. The Purdy's was a trip-making species. And they can be found on the serp of Walker Ridge, a special area that likely has Cicindelas, I'd bet.

  4. p.s. you really should submit this to Alex Wild for his "Best of 2013" photography collection.


Please leave a comment, thought or question at any time.