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Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 07:56 pm
We left early this morning to see the locally rare flatfaced calico flower or flatfaced downingia this morning. It's a flower that grows after vernal pools -- water left standing from our rainy season -- dry up. Someone had observed them in a vacant lot, so we followed.

Camera: 8% battery and no image card.

Downingia pulchella

Ah well, the phone is fine. I noticed, mixed in with the downingia, a somewhat scrubby DYC. It resembled a few things i knew to be weeds ... but not quite. I pulled some up to take home to identify.

HOURS later i have every diagnostic documented, but still no ID.

Collection  details

So, i decided this would be my very first botanical collected specimen. I've pressed this one and the second one i collected. What if it was something special? It's a native, at least, as someone on iNaturalist commented, "tricksy rayless lasthenia!"

Identified.

I also spent another forever with another plant that looked kinda weedy. I ended up looking at all 200+ plants that were perennial wildflowers known growing in wetland areas of the three south bay counties. I found it: Lythrum hyssopifolia. (Limited invasive species.)

The last two flowers i noted on our outing i've decided can stay at genus level identifications.

(Meeting work is, as usual, outstanding.)
Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 04:24 am (UTC)
I love your plant posts.

I can't remember if I told you, probably I did, that when I was in high school our biology teacher had an assignment where we had to collect, press, identify, and assemble into a labeled album 15 or 20 wildflower specimens.

Everyone moaned about it at the time but it is probably the high school lesson that has most improved my life, because it taught me to notice the flowers everywhere I go.