Cirsium occidentale var. compactum (Compact Cobwebby Thistle)

30 05 2012

A highlight of my outing to Arroyo de la Cruz at Hearst San Simeon State Park last Saturday was seeing this cute little pokey plant, which also happens to be a rare endemic native. I added 5 photos of it to my Flickr photo stream. It was picturesquely growing near a bluff over the Pacific ocean.

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Calandrinia ciliata (Red Maids)

4 04 2012

Today I finished my work near Pozo in San Luis Obispo county, east of Santa Margarita. These lovely, low growing wildflowers were growing on the side of the road and glowing in the late afternoon sunlight. Just two weeks earlier I had visited Painted Rock at Carrizo Plain National Monument, and the Bureau of Land management (BLM) employee who was giving us a tour (the only way one can visit Painted Rock between March 1 and July 15) informed us that the native Americans that visited Painted Rock were known to have eaten the seeds of Calandrinia ciliata (Red Maids). I also have read that the fleshy leaves are edible. These flowers were very small and dainty ~ probably about 1/2″ across.

Click here to see more photos of and other California native plants & wildflowers.





Shell Creek Road ~ 24 March 2012

28 03 2012

Although this year is not expected to be a banner year for our native wildflowers, there are still small patches here and there to enjoy. We arrived at about 7:00 a.m., just before sunrise. You can tell in the photographs the dramatic difference in the lighting between pre & post sunrise. Before sunrise the colors are soft and even. The first rays of sunlight cast an ethereal golden glow. Click here to see the photos with full plant descriptions from my excursion to Shell Creek Road.








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