Sunday, August 21, 2011
Another New Discovery
In the Lakes Basin, we drove by a dried-up pond and thought we were looking at an expanse of grey, dried mud. A second glance revealed a blueish tinge. We decided to make a U-turn and take a closer look. Sure enough, an area of a couple of acres was densely covered with tiny blueish flowers. As we approached the area on foot, we were overwhelmed by a fragrance that reminded us of grape-flavored cough syrup. A quick look at the flowers and a few photos later, i thought we were looking at a type of Monkeyflower. A quick check of my field guides and the close-up photo shown above revealed that I was wrong. It was a member of the bellflower family, Campanulaceae. Known commonly by its generic name, Porterella, it is the only species in that genus, Porterella carnosula. A new discovery for me and an intriguing one. I need to learn more about this plant. None of the websites I've consulted so far make any mention of the fragrance. I wonder if we imagined it.