Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Butterfly Valley Botanical Preserve, Part 1

 I visited the Butterfly Valley Botanical Area last Saturday with a group from the California Native Pant Society, and here I'm posted my first few photos from the trip.  I'm at home with very limited bandwidth, so it took me a half hour just to upload these photos.  I'll add more tomorrow ehen I visit a place with better Internet.  Although the trip focused on searching for wildflowers, I was frequently distracted by interesting insect activity.  The photo above hides a butterfly.  It was easy to see when it was flying, but when it landed on a brown background, it seemed to instantly disappear.  Can you find it?  The photo below was taken in the same area a couple of summers ago, and whenever I see butterflies in Butterfly Valley, I am reminded of this dramatic moment when I watched a Goldenrod Crab Spider snatch a Checkerspot butterlfy the moment it landed on the Labrador Tea bush.
 I have not been able to identify this impressive mint (next two photos), but I'm pretty sure it is a mint.

 If someone knows what it is, feel free to post an ID in the comments section below.
 White-veined Wintergreen (above) is a beauty, and in a quick glance it reminds of the Prince's Pines which were abundant in this area.
The White Brodiaea were abundant at the edge of the meadow.  The most recent name I have for it is Triteleia hyacinthina, but the status of flowers at one time or another called Brodiaea seems to be forever changing, and they are now divided among several different families, having once been in the Liliaceae.  I need to go back out to Butterfly Valley alone with a newer Jepson manual and figure those elusive Lilioids, the most memorable one I saw last Saturday being the Bog Asphodel.  Being more of a herpetologist than botanist, I really enjoyed the expertise of the CNPS people and I saw several plant species for the first time.  To be continued tomorrow.


  1. Your mint looks like a hedgenettle to me, not sure which one, but it would be in the Family Stachys (I think) and this does not reflect the new classification system replacing the Jepson.

  2. I would go with Stachys rigida, probably Stachys rigida var. rigida, although I can't be sure from these pictures. It has been found in Butterfly Valley before. "Rough hedgenettle", family Lamiaceae