California botanizing part 3

Day 3 of the botanizing trip with Leonard and Fred of Dancing Oaks Nursery. Links to Day 1 (Oregon) and Day 2 (California part 1 and part 2). The next morning (5/26/2022) found us heading up to Cook and Green Pass through the Seiad Valley. At our first stop in a wooded area, we came across some pale yellow iris next to the road, either Siskiyou iris (Iris bracteata) or yellowleaf iris (Iris chrysophylla) or even Purdy’s iris (Iris purdyi).  All of them look pretty similar and are hard to tell apart without some botanical knowledge and further examination. The one iris species I wish I could have seen was the bright yellow Del Norte County iris, Iris innominata. That one mainly occurs further west, towards the coast. But, I didn’t know that at the time of this trip.

Pale yellow flowers of the Siskiyou iris (Iris bracteata) or yellowleaf iris (Iris chrysophylla)
Iris bracteata or Iris chrysophylla or Iris purdyi?

Our second stop was a rocky area where we found heart-leaf milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia). This is a really nice purple-leaved species of milkweed that I wish was more easily available in the nursery industry. My blurry pictures don’t do it justice.

Broad purple leaves and purple flowers of heart-leaf milkweed, Asclepias cordifolia in Siskiyou County, CA
Asclepias cordifolia form
Purple flowers of heart-leaf milkweed, Asclepias cordifolia, in Siskiyou County, CA
Asclepias cordifolia flowers

The woolly sunflowers (Eriophyllum lanatum var. lanceolatun) have attractive silvery gray leaves and bright yellow daisy flowers. We have a slightly different form of the same species up here in Oregon, where we call it by the name Oregon sunshine.

Silvery gray leaves of common wooly sunflower, Eriophyllum lanatum, along the Scott River Road in Siskiyou County, CA
Eriophyllum lanatum leaves
Yellow daisy flowers of common wooly sunflower, Eriophyllum lanatum, along Scott River Road in Siskiyou County, CA
Eriophyllum lanatum flowers

My Oregon variety of the same species (Eriophyllum lanatum var. leucophyllum) has leaves that are much more dissected and less silvery while in bloom (see below). It’s hard to believe these are the same species. In fact, the first time I saw the silvery California variety for sale at a nursery, I thought it was a mislabeled annual filler plant. I’ve tried growing the California variety in my garden, but without much success. I think it’s just too wet and cold here for that more southern Eriophyllum variety in my garden. In effect, it turned out to be an annual filler plant after all.

Yellow daisy flowers and dissected gray green leaves of an Oregon sunshine flower, Eriophyllum lanatum
Oregon form of Eriophyllum lanatum in my garden

Back to the California botanizing trip though, where the chaparral bindweed (Calystegia occidentalis) was blooming in that same rocky area.

Pale yellow trumpet flowers of chapparal bindweed, Calystegia occidentalis
Calystegia occidentalis

One of my favorites was this Kellogg’s monkey flower (Diplacus kelloggii). Those tiny pink, black, and yellow flowers were just so cool. I tried getting good quality photos, but I wasn’t able to.

If you’ve been following the last few posts about this trip, you may recognize the name Kellogg. Yup, this plant is named after that same botanist who described Viola purpurea.

Pink, yellow, and black flowers of the Kellogg's monkeyflower, Diplacus kelloggii near the Scott River, Siskiyou County, CA
Diplacus kelloggii

This next one was a completely new plant for me. I didn’t recognize anything about it, so I had to page through the photographs of the Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps book until I found it. It’s called yerba santa or mountain balm, among many, many other common names. The scientific name is Eriodictyon californicum and it’s in the borage family, Boraginaceae. It was interesting enough with it’s long, thin leaves and pink, bell-shaped flowers that I sort of hoped I would find it for sale in the nursery industry. But once I read that it produces flammable resins…no thanks. Not with our increased summer wildfire hazard over the last few years.

Pink, trumpet-shaped flowers of yerba santa, Eriodictyon californicum, along the Scott River in Siskiyou County, California
Eriodictyon californicum

One of the beautiful bluish-purple penstemons endemic to Siskiyou County. I don’t know which one

Penstemon spp with blue-purple flowers along the Scott River in Siskiyou County, California
Penstemon spp.

I liked this scabland penstemon (Penstemon deustus) better than the blue one above because of it’s unusual, more subdued pink flowers and reduced lobes on the upper part of the corolla.

Subtle, pink, three-lobed flowers of scabland penstemon, Penstemon deustus, along the Scott River in Siskiyou County, California
Penstemon deustus

There were lots of cute little ferns growing amongst the rocks, maybe the gold back fern (Pentagramma triangularis ssp. triangularis).

Fern among the rocks along the Scott River
Pentagramma triangularis ssp. triangularis?

This deerbrush (Ceanothus integerrimus) was absolutely covered in pale lavender flowers.

Close-up of lavender-colored deerbrush (Ceanothus integerrimus) flowers
Ceanothus integerrimus

Beautiful new, fuzzy red leaves of California black oak, Quercus kelloggii. Yep, there’s that name Kellogg again!

New, emerging, red leaves of California black oak, Quercus kelloggii
Quercus kelloggii

Oh my gosh, I have waaaay more photos than I thought I did. I think I am going to have to break up the pictures from 5/26/2022 into three parts! Next time, I will post photos of one of my most exciting finds.

Resources used in this posting:

Calfora website – information on wild California plants.

DeCamp, Kierstead Nelson, and Knorr. 2017. Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps. Backcountry Press. California, USA.

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