Sunday, February 17, 2013

Arctostaphylos edmundsii J. Howell

Little Sur Manzaneta

One of the many species of Arctostaphylos endemic to California, A. edmundsii is found along the coastal bluffs of Monterey Co. This plants forms a natural "bonsai" growth shape, growing a twisted, highly contorted trunk and branch system with leaves at the branch tips. The bark of these plants, like many Arctostaphylos, is shed along the younger branches, but retained along the trunk and sub-lateral branches, giving the stem a similar appearance to a cedar tree. Inflorescence development begins in early November, with the flowers actually opening in January.

A. edmundsii is a list 1b.2 species in California, meaning that it is highly limited in distribution and range. Active threats to the species include development of areas where the plants grow, and agriculture. However, conservation efforts are being made by Botanic Gardens to preserve living specimens of the species in their living collections.

Images taken at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, Ca

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Delphinium hansenii (E. Greene) E. Greene ssp. kernense (Davidson) Ewan

Kern larkspur

A member of the buttercup family, Delphinium hansenii  (E. Greene) E. Greene  ssp. kernense  (Davidson) Ewan is a subspecies of Delphinium (commonly called larkspurs), that is restricted to the southern portions of the Sierra Nevada mountains. This subspecies is found in oak woodlands and chaparral towards the western edge of the Mojave desert, though not getting into the desert proper. Often, the best place to locate these plants are seeps and damp areas near the base of rock outcrops.

The flowers of these plants are quite showy, and range from deep blue to pale lavender.