Far Out Flora

Edgewood Natural Preserve Wildflowers

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Chlorogalum pomeridianum - Wavy-leafed Soap Plant

Chlorogalum pomeridianum - Wavy-leafed Soap Plant

Wildflower season is getting pretty scarce here, and we tried to get in one more hike before everything dries up. 30 minutes south of SF there’s a cool place called Edgewood Natural Preserve just outside of Redwood City. (oh, btw…we did this hike about 4 wks ago). Kudos to Megan…she did all the leg work trying to identify the names on these guys with the help of their wildflower identifier tool. There’s always a chance that the ID is off, but hey…we try. Check out this Chlorogalum pomeridianum above. These California native perennials grow from bulbs and can be lathered into a soapy foam in your hands with a little water.

Calochortus luteus - Yellow Mariposa Lily

Calochortus luteus - Yellow Mariposa Lily

Calochortus luteus is another bulb grower that likes our western coast. I didn’t realize it until now, but Megan just saw these in Tiburon on her solo trip.

Bellardia trixago - Mediterranean Lineseed

Bellardia trixago - Mediterranean Linseed

Sounds like Bellardia trixago are a little obnoxious out in the Bay Area. Native to the Mediterranean, here it grows like a weed and likes to seek out neighboring roots. After latching on to them, it starts stealing nutrients from their wildflower buddies.

Lotus scoparius var. scoparius - Deerweed

Lotus scoparius var. scoparius - Deerweed

Butterflies dig the nectar from this Lotus scoparius var scoparius. Extra bonus, their larvae enjoy munching on this guy too. Seems like a great plant to have if you adore attracting some winged friends. Wildscaping does a great in-depth write up to check out.

Snake hiding in the Grass

Snake hiding in the Grass

So we were hiking along and…OMGosh we saw a big old snake. Actually, Megan saw it first. Sensing her slight panic…I just froze. Another two feet and my foot would have been stepping on it. Oh, did I say it was big? Okay, only 4-5 feet long…but still a little freaky.

Snake heading down the hole

Snake heading down the hole

Not certain why maybe a guy thing, but I felt the urge to get super close to it to see if it had a rattle. Well, it didn’t so I felt safer. What we saw next was awesome. It slithered along for a couple minutes then jetted straight down what looked like a gopher hole. Crazy.

Achyrachaena mollis - Blow Wives

Achyrachaena mollis - Blow Wives

Okay, Matti has a new favorite common name for a plant. Yes, Achyrachaena mollis is also known as Blow Wives. I must work that into conversation some time today.

Brodiaea - Cluster Lilies

Brodiaea - Cluster Lilies

Gnaphalium californicum - California Cudweed

Gnaphalium californicum - California Cudweed

Gnaphalium californicum grows readily up and down most of the West Coast. NOTE we don’t recommend this, but heard that people brew this guy into a make shift tea. Any harvesters out there do this regularly?

Mimulus aurantiacus - Sticky Monkey Flower

Mimulus aurantiacus - Sticky Monkey Flower

Maybe it’s because this is one of the few flowers that I can regularly identify, or the name just rolls off my tongue…but I love Mimulus. Seems to grow well in a variety of soils and sorta a work horse in the landscape. Hey, you know who has the heartbeat on CA wildflowers? Phyte Club. You must swing by their blog and give them a read.

– Far Out Flora

8 Comments

  1. Lovely images (except for the snake, which I am totally phobic about LOL). I appreciate it when someone takes the time to introduce us to their local wildflowers as I am a fan of native plants.

  2. glad you followed the snake. i’ve heard that snakes don’t see well, but i’ve seen them seem to go exactly where they want to go. great shot of that tail.

  3. Oh my gosh, you two are so awesome. So I’m sitting here reading and enjoying your post, thinking, “I hope I can remember everything I want to comment on here,” and then come to the Phyte Club heads-up. Thanks!
    *I also have been lamenting the end of wildflower season. Or, not so much lamenting, but realizing, “Oh yeah, it’s not really April anymore, is it?” My head is still in the spring, though the hillsides definitely aren’t.
    *I still have never seen Calochortus luteus. Next year.
    *I was always wondering if that Lotus was a helpful native or a wily, yellow Fabaceae invasive. Thanks for the clarification.
    *The snake was probably a gopher snake. I saw tons of these along a trail in SLO County a couple weeks ago. One big one on the trail slithered into the grass, and upon looking in a nearby hole, I saw another one smushed up inside. Don’t call ‘em gopher snakes for nothin’.
    *Re: Blow Wives — I love making up my own common names for wildflowers, as though I were the first laywoman taxonomist to come across their petals. It’s actually a pretty good way to get to know them.
    *I think I know why Mimulus are so sweet, besides the rolly name and the easy ID: “Mimulus” is a reference to “clown” due to their faces, and their common “monkeyflower” isn’t a far stretch.
    *Thanks for the post!

  4. I love wild flowers! A year or so ago we went kayaking and I took a bunch of wild flower photos and posted them on flickr. Maybe I should do a while flower post too. It is amazing how beautiful they are. I’d be curious to hear how you fit Blow Wives into a conversation. LOL

  5. Fabulous post and photos! Love the wildflowers, and don’t mind snakes either, as long as they’re not too close!
    Have to add, like Candy, I’d like to hear how you use “blow wives” in a conversation! ; )

  6. I love the picture of the soap plant. It’s beautiful. I’ve been going on hikes in the Headlands to check out all the flowers and I’ve been volunteering at the native plant nursery for a few weeks. I’ve taken a ton of pictures that I’ll post when I have decent internet access.

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