Sunday, May 18, 2008

Coastal Prairie and More

Coastal Prairie

If only the whole prairie looked this full. Sure we have some nice Lupinus polyphyllus, and CA poppies (solid orange, as well as the yellower coastal variety, below)

and some Iris douglasiana, Juncus balticus, J. patens, Deschampsia caespitosa,

yarrow, Aremeria maritma (below), and more,

but most of it's bare. The camera lies, or at least exaggerates. What gives me hope are the smaller plants coming in. The Mimulus aurantiacus should be much larger this summer, and there are more Clarkias and grasses appearing. One day it will be a dense green mound smattered with wildflowers.

Sometimes I take little pieces of plants from my hikes with me (too tiny to weigh on my conscience, and never a whole plant) and stick them in pots. Wait a winter and most of them usually take root and grow. There are actually a few different species in this little ceramic, but what you see is some unknown (to me) species of claytonia blooming. It's a wispy thing, but I like it. I hope it produces seed.

Other Cool Plants in Bloom
On the shady side of the house, the Vancouveria hexandra are blooming in front of some doug irises. I'm fond of its leaves, which look to me like pale green puzzle pieces.

We also have our prized specimen of Rhododendron occidentalis, our native azalea. (Which, by the way grows at the edge of the Big Lagoon Bog, but they weren't blooming yet.)

And lastly, these pictures are from a few weeks ago, but this mystery Carex on the property deserves to be in a post.
Can you think of another plant with pure black and white flowers?

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