The riches of spring

After having spent the majority of the morning going through my recent images of spring wildflowers, trying to firmly identify each of them, I can tell you without a doubt that I would have never amounted to anything as a botanist. I’ve been using three books and two computer apps, and I’m still not completely sure I’ve got all of these right. There are so many, many different varieties of plants and flowers, multiple common names for each plant, and sometimes more than one scientific name. Once I think I’ve pinned down the genus (always capitalized), I sometimes search in vain for the correct species in my various books — they’re good books, but they can’t possibly include every single flower — after which there’s always the specific variety to consider.

Foothill Checkermallow (Sidalcea calycosa), Phoenix Park

I’ve included scientific names here in the hope it will save me doing these searches all over again next year. I can see how it might be fun tracking down all this information; but when I sat down at 9 o’clock this morning to create a blog post, I had no idea I would still be working on it at 2 p.m. Nope, I’m no botanist. But the flowers are beautiful and irresistible! (Please don’t forget — you can click on any photo to enlarge it!)

Bluehead Gilia (Gilia capitata), Mormon Ravine

White fairy-lantern/White Globe Lily (Calochortus albus), Rattlesnake Bar

Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly

Common Fiddleneck (Amsinckia intermedia or A. menziesii var. intermedia)

Fiddlenecks are widespread in springtime; I found these near New York Creek (Folsom Lake)

Soft Blow-wives (Achyrachaena mollis), Mormon Ravine

Purple Chinese houses/Innocence (Collinsia heterophylla), Mormon Ravine

Biscuitroot (Lomatium triternatum), New York Creek

Ornate Tiger moth, Mormon Ravine

Yellow Mariposa Lily/Gold Nuggets (Calochortus luteus), American River Parkway, Fair Oaks

Lacepod/Fringepod/Spokepod (Thysanocarpus curvipes), Mormon Ravine

Narrow Owl’s Clover/Valley Tassels/Attenuate Indian paintbrush (Castilleja attenuata), New York Creek

Two-horned Downingia (Downingia bicornuta), Phoenix Park

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