Saturday, May 26, 2012
Mt. Hough #4: Random Flowers
The top two photos are of a shrub I'm used to calling Blue Ceanothus, Ceanothus parvifolius, but some of the guide books call it Little-leaf Ceanothus. [This just in: One of my readers with more botany experience than I have says this one is Lemmon's Ceanothus, C. lemmonii.] It's in the Buckthorn Family which includes the familiar Buck Brush, Deer Brush, Mahala Mat, and Cascara Buckthorn. Some of the white-flowering members of this group are popularly known as California Lilacs, but the true cultivated Lilacs are not closely related to these. Instead, they are in the Olive Family, Oleaceae.
The next two photos are different views of a Paintbrush, Castilleja. My best guess is that it's Applegate's Paintbrush, C. applegatei, but there are many similar-looking species and I'm not an expert. Paintbrushes have traditionally been in the Figwort Family, Scrophulariaceae, but some recent field guides have them in the Broomrape Family, Orobanchaceae.
The fifth photo from the top is Snow Plant. It had long been in the Heath or Blueberry Family, Ericaceae, but some botanists have erected a new family for this and a few other saprophytic plants, Monotropaceae. In case there's any doubt, the red plant is the Snow Plant and the green leaf in the foreground belongs to a Lupine.
The sixth photo is Bitterbrush, Purshia tridentata, a member of the Rosaceae. Ironically, it's common in the Great Basin deserts alongside Sagebrush, a composite, and they have similar looking leaves resulting in the species name, tridentata. The last photo is of another member of the Rose Family, Thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus, the same genus as the blackberries. There's a great crop of blooming Thimbleberry in Boyle Ravine this year. If you're interested in a woodsy feast, keep an eye on these so you're ready to dine before the birds discover them. Next up: some animals of Mt. Hough.