The Newest in New

Been metaphorically assaulting the trails this week.  Always nice to see a few blooms that are new to my list.  See if you can spot some of these rare beauties:

Nuttallanthus texanus

Nuttallanthus texanus

I have to give credit to the botanic belladonna Sarah T for being the first to spot Blue Toadflax on the Krotona trails just south of the Ojai Meadow Preserve.  In the days since I have spotted them on the Ventura River Preserve and on the Thacher trails.  Along with the toadflax find she spotted these nearby:

Silene gallica

Silene gallica

Windmill pink is not a native but still quite pretty and a new one for me.  They are also known as “campion” and “catchfly”.  The large genus Silene is named for Silenus, a Greek woodland deity.

Plantago erecta

Plantago erecta

Been finding broad swaths of these all over the place.  California plantain; no, not like the banana.  They are pretty tiny:

plantain2

I don’t think these are terribly rare, just never bothered to notice them before.  Quite intricate when you look closely.  Open meadow areas are a good place to look.

Allium praecox

Allium praecox

I found this early onion blooming behind Thacher School, and in the deep shade at the very beginning of Kennedy Ridge trail.  They are endemic to California and pretty rare as far as I can tell.

Lomatium utriculatum

Lomatium utriculatum

Common lomatium, or hog fennel.  Growing on Kennedy Ridge.  Not at all rare but a first for me.  Lomatium is in the carrot family, and most parts of this species are edible.  The roots and leaves were used in a decoction for pain relief.  It is also a primary nectar source for quite a few butterflies.

Lithophragma cymbalaria

Lithophragma cymbalaria

Mission woodland star is not easy to spot, growing in the deep shade of the trails behind Thacher School.  It is rhizomatous and is related to the popular garden plant heuchera, or coral bells.

Camissoniopsis bistorta

Camissoniopsis bistorta

Spotted an amazing and unexpected patch of California suncups this morning on the Ventura River Preserve near the fenced-in water pumping station.  You can always tell the evening primrose family by the four petals.

Lupinus truncatus

Lupinus truncatus

The lupines are out in force as I’m sure you’ve noticed.  Collar lupine has distinctly skinny leaves and the blooms have flashes of pink to go along with the traditional purples and whites.  I found these going up Sulfur Mountain, and I know I’ve seen them in the past on Laguna Ridge.

Finally, owl’s clover is everywhere, literally carpets on the Ventura River Preserve.  This morning was the first time I spotted a perfectly white one:

Castilleja exserta

Castilleja exserta

There were a few in this patch.  I don’t know why everyone likes the camera on the Iphone so much, I’m not impressed.

If you see something great please send along pics.

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