California native plants

This weekend, Sarah-Hope and I went to visit her parents up in Napa, and on Saturday I had the opportunity to tag along with Mike as he led an outing of the local branch of the California Native Plant Society at Aetna Springs. The weather was perfect, and the flowers were out in abundance.

Among the flowers we saw were fawn lillies (Erythronium californicum):
Fawn lily

Pedicularis densiflora, commonly known as Indian Warrior:
Indian Warrior

Indian paintbrush, Castilleja affinis:

And some flowering manzanita, Arctostaphylos stanfordiana (if I remember correctly):
Manzanita flowers

The trail overlooked scenic Pope Valley:
The view from the trail

And on the way home, we saw someone’s imagination in full bloom as well:
Hub Cap Ranch
Not as beautiful as the flowers, but definitely the source of much discussion in the car.

I was impressed by the knowledge of the members of this group. Birds, flowers, geologic features, and spoken Latin were well within their range. My mother was an avid gardener, and I grew up going to gatherings of the local garden club, but I am a rank novice when it comes to California wildflowers. I may have to go out and get some books. Book shopping: never a hardship!

These photos were all taken by me on Saturday’s walk, but I would highly recommend CalPhotos for further reference pictures of plants, birds, and animals native to California (and other images as well). Another incredibly useful tool is the web index of California Wild Plants, maintained by the California Native Plant Society.

I’ve given the Latin names of these as found on the above reference sites (and as I recall them). Be warned that many plants are currently being re-classified, and names may be changing. Good hunting to you all!

3 thoughts on “California native plants

  1. Gee – Imagine if the Hubcap Ranch & the Cadillac Ranch were next door to each other! There’d be car parts wars. Then, add the infamous Chicken Ranch to the mix and, well…never mind.

    I like your cutworm, by-the-way.

  2. Chris – I believe the Chicken Ranch & the Mustang Ranch have a lot in common. Your choice depends on whether you’re feeling “cocky” or “studly”. 🙂

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