Saturday, January 22, 2011

Langloisia setosissima ssp. puncata

Spiny desert calico

One of the flowers that is easily missed by the casual observer, Langloisia setosissima ssp. puncata is one of the prettier belly flowers found in the mojave. Being so small, they're not major players in the ecology, but do represent the tenacious life of the mojave, as well as the diversity that is present right below our noses (or feet as the case may be for this plant).

L. setosissima ssp. puncata is found in gravely to rocky, well drained soils, most often out in the open away from other plants. The speckling on the blooms is only truly visible when you get up close, so getting down to look at the flowers is really rescissory to get a good feeling for the bloom's true appearance.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Centaurium venustum

Conchalagua or Charming Centari


Found in the canyons of the Eastern Sierra Nevadas, Centaurium venustum grows in seeps and by creeks. Easily missed because of its small size, the flowers of this gentian are vividly apparent when finally noticed. This species is widely distributed, and can be found throughout most of the mountainous areas of the state.

When identifying the species for the first time, I was rather confused, as I'd never encountered Gerntianaceae before. It took me some time to id it with the key, but it did resolve itself nicely when I did.