I’ve shared these images before, but I was frustrated at not being able to identify the flowers, especially since I’ve noticed them in a few different places around my area lately.
I finally solved the mystery today, but it was thanks to a trip to the Friends of Folsom Library’s annual book sale, where I filled a grocery bag with used books and paid a mere $5. One of the (many) books I brought home was a 1988 copy of the Sunset Western Garden Book — a big heavy paperback that includes an encyclopedia illustrated with drawings of the various plants.
I was relaxing at home, paging through the book in the vague hope I would recognize something when suddenly there it was:
O. purpura – low growing with large clover-like leaves and flowers an inch across.
I think maybe buying that book was a pretty good idea!