Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Lilies Are Coming!

The evidence that we are going to have spring after all is mounting. In celebration, I'm posting photos of several lilies that are among the first to bloom, first in the lower foothills, then moving up the Sierra in later weeks and months. For openers, here is one called Pretty Face. It was formerly a Brodiaea, but the taxonomy of the brodiaeas has become mangled (from an amateur's point-of-view) so I still call them brodiaeas out of habit. The remaining photos will go up this afternoon. I have Harvest Brodiaea, Blue Dicks, Hyacinth, and maybe a few others. Lilies of the Field.
I'm back, and I just added four more Brodiaea photos. At one time these were all placed in the genus Brodiaea, and were in the Family Liliaceae. With more accumulated information from genetic studies, fossils, comparing species, and detailed studies of anatomy, there have been changes. Now the former Brodiaeas are divided among three different genera, and sometimes three different families! Check a recent Wikipedia article on Brodiaea for an update. It is still appropriate to use the common name Brodiaea for all of them unless locally a different common name has become predominant. Example, the flower at the bottom is often called Pretty Face, and the one at the top Harvest Brodiaea, for example. A good recent guide to the most common ones, as well as Sierra Nevada natural history in general is the one by John Muir Laws. Illustrated with very nice watercolors.

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