California botanizing part 2

Continuing with my California botanizing adventure with Leonard Foltz and Fred Weisensee of Dancing Oaks Nursery. Earlier in the day, we were at Kangaroo Lake in the Klamath National Forest (here). This post covers the rest of the day on Wednesday, 5/25/2022.

Leonard spotted this western blue iris (Iris missouriensis) along the side of the road. The specific epithet, missouriensis, refers to it being found throughout a large portion of the Missouri River watershed, not to the state of Missouri itself. Obviously, it is native to other parts of the U.S. too.

Barbed wire and heavily veined, purple flowers of the western blue iris, Iris missouriensis
Iris missouriensis

Just east of Callahan, we found this large, flat gravelly area along the road with lots of Douglas violet (Viola douglasii). It was already hot and sunny by this time, so I was struggling to take good pictures with all of the bright sun overhead. Definitely a contrast to the cold, wet weather we were used to back in the Willamette Valley. I tried using my hat to block the sun, with varying success.

Yellow flowers with brown streaks, and finely dissected, fuzzy foliage on a Douglas violet, Viola douglasii
Viola douglasii

Nearby, were several patches of monkeyflower just beginning to bloom. I didn’t realize how many different species of monkeyflower were native to California. Based on location, I suspect this one may be Jepson’s monkeyflower (Diplacus jepsonii). These are small  plants, no more than 4-5 inches across at most.

The spotted pink and yellow flowers of a California monkeyflower species east of Callahan
Diplacus jepsonii?

There were also a few scattered plants of Scott Valley phacelia (Phacelia greenei).

Purple and white flowers of Scott Valley phacelia, with stamens sparking out of the center
Phacelia greenei

Douglas’ sandwort (Minuartia douglasii).

White and yellow flowers of Douglas' sandwort on short, wiry stems
Minuartia douglasii

Leonard also found a few plants of bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva). Sadly, they weren’t in bloom yet, but the flower buds looked pretty cool just sticking up out of the gravel.

A red, waxy flower bud of bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) sticking out above the soil in the Trinity Alps area of northern CA
Lewisia rediviva

Even though the scytheleaf (or sickle leaf) onions hadn’t been blooming up at Kangaroo Lake, they were blooming here.

Purple flowers and curled, flat leaves of the scytheleaf onion
Allium falcifolium

Driving further up the road, we entered a dry woodland. Along the banks of the road, we stopped to admire a balsamroot. This is either the silky balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sericea) or the wooly balsamroot (Balsamorhiza lanata).

Deeply cut, silvery, fuzzy leaves and yellow daisy flowers on a Balsamorhiza species in the Trinity Alps area of CA
Balsamorhiza lanata or Balsamorhiza sericea

And, right next to it was this whitestem frasera (Frasera albicaulis). I couldn’t get a decent photograph of the entire plant with everything in focus (sorry), but I did manage to get a couple mediocre, but decent closeups of the intricate flowers.

Intricate blue and green markings on the white flowers of whitestem frasera, Frasera albicaulis, in the Trinity Alps area of northern California
Frasera albicaulis

Up ahead, the woods thinned out and we found tons of cat’s ear (Calochortus elegans or C. tolmiei) blooming.

Hairy, pink/white flowers of cat's ear, Calochortus elegans or C. tolmiei in the Trinity Alps area of northern CA
Calochortus elegans or Calochortus tolmiei

More beautiful balsamroot. Gosh I love this plant. L (my L, not Leonard) thinks it just looks like a weed. But to me, those greyish, silvery dissected leaves make it special.

Yellow daisy flowers and deeply cut, silvery, fuzzy leaves of Balsamorhiza lanata or B. sericea
Balsamorhiza lanata or Balsamorhiza sericea

The unfortunatley named carrot-leaved horkelia (Horkelia daucifolia), horking being the dreaded sound of a house cat puking in the night

Pale yellow flowers and finely dissected leaves of the carrot-leafed horkelia
Horkelia daucifolia

Absolutely adorable, if poorly named, scablands fleabane (Erigeron bloomeri). If Armeria maritima and Cotula linearilobia were able to hybridize and have a baby, this might be it.

Tiny yellow flowers and straplike leaves of scabland fleabane, Erigeron bloomeri
Erigeron bloomeri

The rest of the day was spent more or less stopping briefly along the road to snap a few pictures before driving on. Here is a saffron-flowered lupine, Lupinus croceus var. croceus.

Spikes of golden yellow pea-flowers on the saffron-flowered lupine, Lupinus croceus var croceus, Scott Mountain, CA
Lupinus croceus var. croceus

Fred found this buckwheat (Eriogonum sp.) just beginning to bloom amongst hundreds of scytheleaf onion.

Yellow and orange flowers of a buckwheat among hundreds of putple scythleaf onion flowers near Scott Mountain, CA
Eriogonum sp. and Allium falcifolium

Further up the road, we found another patch of California pitcher plants. Here you can see the hundreds of transparent windows on the leaves. Leonard found evidence of someone who had scooped out large swaths of it from that area. Sad.

Transparent windows on leaves of a California pitcher plant, Darlingtonia californica
Darlingtonia californica

It seems that wherever there’s California pitcher plant, there is also white marsh-marigold (Caltha leptosepala). There were also plenty of shooting stars (Dodecatheon sp.), but I wasn’t able to get a decent photograph of them.

White and yellow flowers of white marsh-marigold near Scott Mountain, CA
Caltha leptosepala

I’ll leave you with this last photo of a greenleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula) in bloom.


Pink flowers of greenleaf manzanita, Arctostaphylos patula
Arctostaphylos patula

Guess what? There is just one more full day of botanizing ahead for me to document, so more pictures to come! I’ll probably break it up into two parts again.

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