Siskiyou wildflower roundup

There are quite a few wildflowers we’ve photographed on our walks, and identified, that I haven’t had time to research and write about. Here are some, with just species, date seen, and brief comments. All are natives unless otherwise noted.

We are very much amateur botanizers and we don’t key out these plants, so our identifications are not authoritative and we welcome helpful comments from more experienced folks. Each species account in this post is followed with a link to a page about the species, on the Pacific Northwest Wildflower site of Mark Turner, who really is an expert. In fact he and Phyllis Gustafson “wrote the book”, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest (Timber Press Field Guide). If you have an interest in PNW wildflowers, or are a hiker/fisher/etc., you should go out and buy this book right now, preferably from your local independent bookstore. Knowing more about the flowers you see really adds to your enjoyment of the outdoors.

Daisies& Oaks.jpg

This pasture, not far from Applegate Lake, has been invaded with a daisy-type flower—all the white areas in the photo above.

Anthemis cotula.jpg

It’s probably Anthemis cotula, common name Stinking Mayweed. The leaves of this species have an unpleasant odor, but there was a slippery gravel slope down to the edge of the field, and we didn’t get close enough to confirm that. Next time.

It’s been introduced, and is a native of Eurasia. Find in Turner here. [photographed July 4, 2010]

Blue dick closeup.jpg

Above is Dichelostemma capitatum, common names Common Brodiaea or Blue Dicks. This was taken back in on May 4, 2010, but I’ve seen others in bloom at higher elevation (around 2000 ft) even now.

Blue dick leaves.jpg

Height varies from 6 to 27 inches, and leaves are flat.

Blue dick flowers.jpg

Find in Turner here.

The plant below is a native shrub that also serves as an ornamental, and I saw it in bloom last week in Portland (OR). It’s found from British Columbia south through California, and also in Missouri and Tennessee. If we are to see it in our area it would be in sunny but wet spots.

Spiraea douglasii full plant.jpg

This is Spiraea douglasii, common name Rose Spiraea or Hardhack.

Spiraea douglasii.jpg

I was unable to resist the temptation of investigating what “hardhack” means, but all I found was that the same common name is also applied to unrelated species, such as Potentilla fruticosa (back in 1885, here), Collinsonia canadensis, and Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) as well as to other Spiraea spp. But this may be a clue: another common name for Spiraea douglasii is Ironwood, and Native Americans used the wood for mat-making needles, spoons, and spears. Photographed July 2, 2010 in Portland OR. Find in Turner here.

Below is Arnica cordifolia, common name Heartleaf Arnica.

Heartleaf Arnica, Arnica cordifolia .jpg

Photographed May 9, 2010. Find in Turner here.

An earlier post showed Ribes roezlii, the Shiny-leaved Gooseberry. Below is Ribes sanguineum, Red-flowering Currant.

Ribes sanguineum.jpg

The genus Ribes includes currants and gooseberries. What’s the difference?

Gooseberries and currants, although closely related, can easily be identified by examining the canes and fruit color; gooseberry canes normally produce a spine at each leaf node and bear roughly grape-sized berries singly or in groups of 2 or 3, while currant canes lack spines or prickles and bear 8 to 30 smaller fruit in clusters. Figure 1. Cane and fruit of (A) Gooseberry and (B) Currant.

Currant-gooseberry drawing.jpg

Drawing and text from University of Minnesota Extension page.

Photographed May 6, 2010. Find in Turner here.

Next is one of the thistles, a plant group which people find hard to appreciate. But this one is unlikely to show up in your backyard or pasture, and perhaps that will make it easier. We think it is Cirsium occidentale, Snowy Thistle—Turner calls it uncommon—and it is growing in a dry rocky area next to a road. We’ve seen the plant re-appear there for perhaps a decade and its seed has only produced two other plants in that time.

Snowy thistle roadside.jpg

The plant blends in with the greyish stones, having greenish-grey leaves and also a heavy coat of hairs like spiderwebs. Another of its common names is Cobweb Thistle.

snowy thistle closeup.jpg

Perhaps the dramatic white pollen, seen below, is the origin of the “snowy” part of the common name.

Snowy thistle macro1.jpg

Photographed June 21, 2010. Find in Turner here.

Hydrophyllum fendleri, Fendler’s Waterleaf, is a moisture-loving plant with large leaves and fuzzy flower-heads.

Hydrophyllum fendleri Fendler's waterleaf - 1.jpg

It has a spreading habit and often grows where vegetation is lush, so that other plants cover it up.

Hydrophyllum fendleri COSEUP.jpg

Photographed on May 2, 2010. Find in Turner here.

Last, this small sedum.

Sedum stenopetalum whole plant.jpg

This is Sedum stenopetalum, Narrow-leaved Sedum. Flowers are yellow according to standard sources, but Turner shows white as well. Photographed end of June, 2010. (Yellow blossom in lower left, below, is clover.) Find in Turner here.

Sedum stenopetalum, Narrow-leaved Sedum.jpg

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