Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recent Hikes: Spring Flowers - and Butterfly!

Wildflowers have been starting to come up this month, as evidenced by two fairly recent hikes we took, the first one on April 12th, the second one on April 20th.
butterfly But first: a butterfly. This is a Painted Lady, the first butterfly (Papilionoidea) I saw this year, from our April 12th hike. Skippers (Hesperoidea) were out on some hikes prior to April 12th, but no butterflies. By April 20th, white cabbage butterflies were also flitting about.
yellow mat The April 12th hike didn't show us very many types of wildflowers; this was the only one blooming, a very small mat of green leaves with yellow flowers, which we saw here and there on warm, lower slopes.
yellow An enlargement of the tiny yellow flowers, with pine needles for scale. These flowers had all gone to seed by April 20th, and the green was starting to fade. UPDATE: These are probably Ceratocephala testiculata, see comments below.
paintbrush On April 12th, paintbrush - the reddish stalks and leaves - were just starting to come up, as were some tiny, green shoots of a yellow flower, not yet in bloom next to the rock outcrop. Neither of these particular clumps were blooming on April 20th, but they had grown slightly (see next post).
buckwheat1 Our April 20th hike revealed a few more flowers, including this mostly budding, barely blooming yellow flower - probably an Eriogonum, or buckwheat, possibly this one. UPDATE: This is more likely a Lomatium or Cymopterus, see comments below.
buckwheat2 A closer view. These tiny plants were just starting to come out.borage A probable Cryptantha, or borage, possibly this one - against a limestone breccia.
lousewort1 The upper slopes were covered with these tiny purple and white flowers, tinged with light green. Note quarter for scale.
lousewort2 These are Pedicularis centranthera, or dwarf lousewort, described here. I've not really noticed these flowers before.
paintbrush Down on the lower slopes, red Indian paintbrush, Castilleja, was getting fairly well into bloom, and maybe - just maybe - some lupine will be out soon.


Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

The paint brush one is my favorite. It's so pretty!

Silver Fox said...

The paintbrush is always so bright and beautiful! Bright red, most often. Sometimes bright yellow and sometimes bright orange.

Desert Survivor said...

I haven't seen Pedicularis before, it's an interesting-looking plant.

I think the one you're calling Eriogonum is actually either a Lomatium or Cymopterus, similiar looking plants in the Apiaceae Family.

Silver Fox said...

I wasn't really happy with the ID as Eriogonum, but until I looked at the ones on your blog (Lomatium), the leaves for all the photos of Lomatium and Cymopterus on the usda site didn't look right. The leaves mostly look too "leafy," whereas these look kind of bulbous or rounded. The habit of the leaves is right for either Lomatium or Cymopterus, though.