Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Flower Links

I found this minute flower on Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve last week.  I have never seen this flower before, so I was excited.  By using the wildflower ID tools on the Links page, can you discover the flower's name?  Educated and wild guesses welcomed in comments.  You can ask any questions about the plant that will help you identify it and I will respond in the comments.
I've updated the Links page (select Links tab at top of page) to add many resources about wildflower hikes and identification.  Because we live in an amazing biologically diverse area, there is no one site that will magically tell you the name of a flower you found.  Sometimes you have to hunt and peck around.  That is called discovery.

Not to be confused with this more commonly seen and equally minute flower.  Can you identify this one?
Enjoy.  With time, you will find your favorite sites and special tricks to figuring out a new plant.  I would also like to encourage you to share your photos of new sightings with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  We have a rip-roaring time most weekends when our buddies post mystery photos and we race to be the first to either identify them or express our confusion.

See if you can manage to ID these flowers before this really pregnant doe has her fawns.

Pregnant doe, Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, 04/24/12


  1. Cindy, is this a blog quiz where you already know the answers? I generally don't participate in blog quizzes, because it takes too much blogging time. If you don't already know and may actually want help, then... my best guesses are #1: either white plectritis (Plectritis macrocera) or shortspur seablush (Plectritis brachystemon) and #2: blue field madder (Sherardia arvensis. I used Calflora.org (NOT .net) What Grows Here, linked to CalPhotos and Jepson, and double-checked with a flickr search by scientific name (often has better pictorial representations of flowers than CalPhotos old scanned slides).

  2. Good points, Katie. I think I know what the flowers are. In the field (I was using the Garland Ranch book which is not directly from this area but I find it very good for grassland species), I pinpointed the first flower as a plectritis probably pale plectritis (P. congesta brachystemon), and the last and common one I know as field madder. I wanted to give people a chance to try out the links. Curiously, you used the Calflora and CalPhotos resources in a different way than I have, so that is a neat way to try it.

  3. I should mention there's a new, revised, & enlarged edition with 60 new flowers of the Garland Ranch wildflower book. I'm a bit peeved since I just bought the original less than a year ago. I'm tempted to write them a note. Of all your links, I've added Toni Corelli's flickr collection to my page of online ID resources and downloaded the East Bay RPD PDF. Thanks! I really should head up your way to visit a park, but I don't like driving in the heavy Bay area traffic.

  4. Wow, new edition, I've gotta get it. Thanks again for keeping me current. I am a total plant book nerd.


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