Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aquilegia formosa

One of my favorites, but not quite rare, Aquilegia formosa, the Western Columbine. I have found smaller delicate ones locally, and tall vigorous ones in Medocino National Forrest.
Aquilegia formosa, Grizzly Peak, 4/24/10

Calochortus umbellatus

The Oakland Mariposa lily, Calochortus umbellatus, is rare but can be found in Marin on Ring Mountain as well as the Oakland hills in spring. In the same family as the Globe Lilies.
Calochortus umbellatus, Redwood Park, 4/24/10

Stylomecon heterophylla

The Wind Poppy, Stylomecon heterophylla, is native to California and the only species in its genus. It is uncommon, but shows up abundantly in spring ( this one in May ) on Mt Diablo.

Stylomecon heterophylla, Mt Diablo, 5/22/10

Local Jewel Flower Species

Strepanthus niger, Henry Coe, 5/3/10
The local jewel flowers are quite small, but very beautiful little flowers, and are pretty rare. They favor south west facing serpentine outcrops on the peaks around the bay area, and are often found with other small white flowers (that I have not identified yet) with the same habits. Each peak seems to have its own version of Strepanthus.

Henry Coe has a serpentine outcrop that I went to investigate this spring. I sat cross-legged amidst some small flowers on the out crop, and this guy was right at my feet. Note how the flowers are smooth.

Strepanthus niger, Henry Coe, 5/3/10

A couple weeks later on Mt Diablo, I came across this version. It is quite furry and was growing in something other than serpentine, but with the same characteristics.

Strepanthus hispidus, Mt Diablo, 5/22/10

This one was on Mt Tam, not quite as hairy as the one from Henry Coe, but in the same habitat coincident with the same white flowers. The coincident plant is much easier to see, so if looking for jewel flowers on serpentine, look for it first.
Streptanthus glandulosus ssp. pulchellus, Mt Tam, 5/31/10

Monday, August 30, 2010

Orobanche fasciculata

Orobanche fasciculata, the Clustered Broomrape. It is a parasitic plant, no leaves or chlorophyll. This one was on Mt Diablo in May.
Orobanche fasciculata, 5/22/10

Globe Lilies

Henry Coe state park is teeming with native flowers in the spring. I will have more about from Henry Coe from this spring later. This is Calochortus albus, a White Globe Lilly, found at Henry Coe state park.
Calochortus albus, 5/3/10

A couple of weeks later on I encountered this one, Calochortus pulchellus, the Mt Diablo Fairy Lantern. It only grows on Mt Diablo.
Calochortus pulchellus, 5/22/10

Unidentified Fungal Object

I don't know what this is... some kind of club fungi?

UPDATE: Mystery solved: Gomphus floccosus - it is not a club at all but very early Scaley Chanterelle

Boletus legaliae

Another strange find for August! Boletus legaliae. Actually quite beautiful, it is poisonous. It turns blue instantly when cut, and often filled with maggots.

Boletus legaliae, 8/22/10

Boletus legaliae stains blue when cut

Edit: previously I thought this was Boletus satanas, and while B. satanas is closely related, it has a whitish cap.

Edit 2: My classification here is probably wrong, still looking into it.

Edit 3: Boletus haematinus ?

Hemitomes congestum

These are the fruiting bodies of Hemitomes congestum, the Gnome Plant. Found near the coast north of SF. It is one of the rarest of monotropoids, plants that are parasitic on fungus, like Allotropa virgata.

Fruiting Gnome Plant
Here is a flowering one... with a slug.

Flowering Gnome Plant

Eschscholzia caespitosa

A rare ( to me at least, this is my first find ) Tuffted Poppy. It is alot like the California Poppy, but about half the size, yellow, and with no collar at the base of the flower.

Eschscholzia caespitosa, 7/22/10
I found this by Indian Valley Reservoir in Mendocino National Forrest.

Clarkia amoena

These Clarkia amoena, Farwell to Spring, are abundant now in the Berkeley hills. They pop out of the yellow grasses in clusters of 40 or 50 sometimes, usually on east facing slopes, but not exclusively.

Clarki amoena , Sibley, 7/30/10

Another from Mendocino National Forrest

Clarki amoena, Mendocino, 7/22/10

Mushrooms in August?

August is usually not the month you look for mushrooms, but it has been a cool summer in the SF bay area, and there are a few spots that get constant fog. If the conditions are just right, there are some fruitings, and if you are faster than the hungry slugs you might find yourself a meal ( or a stomach ache ).

Amanita muscaria ( Do not eat! ), Sibley, 8/22/10
Boletus edulis, Sibley, 8/22/10
I think we may have another great year for mushrooms!

Allotropa virgata

I found these on the coast north of San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was an orchid of some kind but it is not.

Allotropa virgata

Its common name is Sugar Stick, probably for obvious reasons. It apparently grows exclusively on Matsutake mycelium, so I know where to go this winter!

Agaricus perobscurus

While driving down a dirt road I spotted this mushroom under a cypress tree. Agaricus perobscurus ( the Princess ) is only found in San Francisco bay area and closely related to Agaricus augustus ( the Prince ). It smells like almond extract and is very delicious. It is an odd find for August (Edit: acutally not really, it is apparently most common in late summer), but if the conditions are just right, mushrooms will take advantage.

Agaricus perobscurus, Bolinas, 8/29/10