Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Really Good Flower Day

On my way home from work today, I drove the Old Highway near Keddie. Suddenly there were lots of flowers blooming. Before I got to Keddie, though, I stopped again at the Greenville Y and found the Elegant Rock Cress (top photo) was back in great numbers. Near the northern end of Old Highway, as soon as the road runs alongside Spanish Creek, there is lots of Stout-beaked Toothwort, Cardamine pachystigma. Who thinks of these names?! They were in full bloom, so I was able to confirm my guess of the other day when I first posted a photo of one. Then, on the road out to the Keddie Cascades trail head, I found toothwort's cousin, the California Milkmaids, Cardamine californica. Very similar flower but quite different leaves. These are both in the mustard family, formerly called Cruciferae, but now called Brassicaceae after the type genus Brassica. Finally, at around the half way point on Old Highway, heading toward Quincy, I saw my first patch of Henderson's Shooting Star where there were none just a few days ago. These are known to botanists as Dodecatheon hendersonii and are in the family Primulaceae. And the last flower I saw before getting back onto Highway 70 was a lone buttercup, Ranunculus. A very nice flower day.

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