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September, 2014

Account of discovery of Sagittaria sanfordii at Nicasio Reservoir by chapter member Todd Plummer

On June 12, 2014, while exploring a damp embankment near the junction of an unnamed inlet stream and Nicasio Reservoir, I discovered a patch of an unfamiliar Sagittaria species.
I counted at least 80 plants. Some were in the vegetative state submerged in the creek; others in bloom were growing on the muddy bank. Some plants featured both male and female flowers. The leaves were lanceolate, not “sagittate” (arrowhead shaped). Growing on stems about 1–2 cm long, the female flowers, roughly 2 cm wide, had white petals and spherical, fuzzy green centers. The male flowers, growing in clusters further out than the female flowers, were white-petaled with yellow stamens. I attempted to key it out in the Marin Flora (Howell et al., 2007) and also checked the Herbaria records at Jepson online, but could not find a match. After consulting with Doreen Smith of the Marin chapter of CNPS and Andrea Williams, Vegetation Ecologist with the MMWD, we determined that these were Sagittaria sanfordii, also known as valley arrowhead or Sanford’s arrowhead. This species is afforded 1B.2 status (rare, threatened, or endangered in California and elsewhere) in the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants. Doreen noted that the species had been reported previously in Santa Venetia near China Camp State Park, but the report was unconfirmed and no specimens were known to have been collected.
After obtaining permission from MMWD, I collected two plants and turned them over to Andrea Williams. She has prepared the specimens and submitted them to the California Academy of Sciences herbarium.

Text and photos by Todd Plummer.

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August 22, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith visited Lake Lagunitas and found that even though plants were going to seed, some were still in flower including the following.
Heterotheca sessiliflora ssp. bolanderi (Bolander’s golden-aster), Holocarpha virgata ssp. virgata (wand tarplant), Perideridia gairdneri ssp. gairdneri (Gairdner’s yampah).
They also saw a fine Quercus kelloggii (black oak) with acorns, and coming back along the Fairfax-Bolinas Road, the Stephanomeria virgata ssp. pleurocarpa was in flower.

Photos by Vernon and /Doreen Smith

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August 2014

Marcie reports that she found Arum italicum (Italian arum) in two locations along the parking lot at Muir Beach.

Arum italicum 2

Arum italicum (Italian arum)


August 1, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith visited Point Reyes and found many plants still in flower including the following.
Eriogonum latifolium (coast buckwheat) and Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla (dune gumplant) were found at the South Beach parking lot.
In the area of the Lighthouse parking lot, they found Piperia elegans ssp. decurtata (Point Reyes rein orchid), Castilleja exserta ssp. latifolia (dune owl’s-clover), Silene scouleri ssp. scouleri (Scouler’s catchfly), Agoseris apargioides var. eastwoodiae (Point Reyes agoseris), Dudleya farinosa (sea-bluff-lettuce), and Cirsium andrewsii (Franciscan thistle).
In the area of the Chimney Rock parking lot, they found more Piperia elegans ssp. decurtata (Point Reyes rein orchid), and Perideridia kelloggii  (Kellogg’s yampah).
By the side of Sir Francis Drake Blvd. they found Piperia elegans ssp. elegans (coastal rein orchid).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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July 4, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith visited Point Reyes and found that the Orobanche californica ssp. californica (red-purple broomrape) were just starting to bloom at the South Beach parking lot. This species is parasitic on the Grindelia stricta.
In the area of the Chimney Rock parking lot, they found the fruits of Marah fabacea (green-flowered manroot), Piperia elegans ssp. decurtata (Point Reyes rein orchid) not quite in bloom, Dudleya farinosa (sea-lettuce), and Horkelia californica var. californica (California. horkelia), as well as many others.

Some photos below by Vernon Smith.

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June 11, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith visited Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve in San Mateo county.
They found that in spite of the recent hot weather there were several species still flowering, including Navarretia heterodoxa, Calochortus argillosus, Clarkia rubicunda, Eriogonum luteolum var. luteolum, Sidalcea diploscypha, and Monardella villosa.

Some photos by Vernon and /Doreen Smith below.

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June 2, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith visited Mt. Diablo State Park and found the following species in flower along the Mary Bowerman Trail, near the summit.

Achillea millefolium, Acmispon brachycarpus, Antirrhinum vexillocalyculatum, Arnica discoidea, Calochortus pulchellus, C. venustus , Calystegia purpurata ssp. purpurata,  Camissoniopsis intermedia, Campanula exigua, Chorizanthe membranacea, Cirsium occidentale var. californicum, Clarkia concinna ssp. concinna, C. unguiculata, C. purpurea, and maybe C. affinis, Collinsia heterophylla, C. tinctoria, Delphinium nudicaule, Emmenanthe penduliflora, Ericameria linearifolia, Erigeron petrophilus, Eriogonum gracile, Eriogonum umbellatum var. bahiiforme , Eriophyllum lanatum , Eschscholzia californica, Galium andrewsii, G. porrigens, Gilia clivorum, Keckiella corymbosa, Lepechinia calycina, Madia gracilis, Mentzelia dispersa,  Mimulus rattanii, Navarretia mellita, Papaver heterophyllum, Pediomelum californicum, Penstemon heterophyllus, Phacelia distans, and Salvia columbariae.

Some photos below by Vernon Smith.

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May 24, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith report that there are lots of plants in bloom on the Loma Alta Trail from Big Rock.
Photos by Vernon Smith.

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 May 23, 2014

Sue Mace reports that on Ring Mountain, there are a lot of wildflowers in bloom. The Tiburon Mariposa Lily is abundant on the eastern side of the mountain, a great year for them. Also in bloom (there are a lot to remember this is an incomplete list) seep spring monkey flower, blue eyed grass, phacelia, farewell to spring, tar weed, brodiaeas, buckwheats, California poppies, delphiniums and on the western side narrow-leaved mules-ears, pineapple weed, annual lupines, secund lupines.


April 28, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith report that the wildflowers carpeting the valley floor at Bear Valley, Colusa county, are the best since 2011.
The valley provides a glimpse of what large parts of California used to look like before farming changed the landscape.
On Walker Ridge large numbers of Calochortus amabilis are flowering on the fire-damaged serpentine-soil parts of Wayne’s Knoll.

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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April 20, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith found much in bloom on the lower slopes of Mt. Burdell today.

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April 12, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith found masses of Spring wildflowers on a MALT sponsored trip to a ranch near the Northern border of Marin.
These are two of the many species that were seen.

Leiss Ranch April 2014 IMG 4092sm Claytonia exigua ssp exigua IMG 4081sm
Scene from the trip.
Photo by Vernon Smith
Claytonia exigua ssp. exigua (small glaucous claytonia)
Photo by Vernon Smith


Allium falcifolium IMG 4039sm Allium falcifolium IMG 1897sm
Allium falcifolium  (sickle-leaf onion)
Photo by Vernon Smith
Allium falcifolium  (sickle-leaf onion)
Photo by Doreen Smith

You can see why it is called sickle-leaf onion.



April 11, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith report that the Douglas iris were impressive today on Mt. Tamalpais at Rock Spring and along Ridgecrest Blvd.

Iris douglasiana IMG 1879sm Iris douglasian IMG 4016sm
Iris douglasiana (douglas iris)
Photo by Doreen Smith
Iris douglasiana (douglas iris)
Photo by Vernon Smith


April 5, 2014

On a trip north along Highway 1, Doreen and Vernon Smith saw red larkspur and mist-maidens on the roadside just south of the town of Tomales and camas-lilies by the road to Dillon Beach.

Delphinium nudicaule IMG 1785sm Romanzoffia californica IMG 1794sm Camassia quamash ssp breviflora IMG 1822sm

Delphinium nudicaule (red larkspur)
Photo by Doreen Smith

Romanzoffia californica (mist-maidens)
Photo by Doreen Smith
Camassia quamash ssp. breviflora (small-flowered camas-lily)
Photo by Vernon Smith



March 28, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith did a Bioblitz on Nicasio Ridge on Friday, March 28, along with Devii Rao from the Point Reyes National Seashore. They saw about 50 species of plants including the Nicasio Ceanothus, which only occurs there and is still awaiting official naming.

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March 22, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith went to Rock Spring with members of the Sacramento Valley and Milo Baker chapters of the CNPS on Saturday, March 22. Here are some of the plants we saw. (This is an image gallery display, so you do not have to click on the images to see a larger version.)

Photos by Vernon Smith

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March 21, 2014

Doreen and Vernon Smith saw a fine display of Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary) today at Stafford Lake.

Photos by Vernon Smith

Fritillaria liliacea IMG 1439sm Fritillaria liliacea IMG 1456sm
Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary) Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary)

March 17, 2014

Jennifer Fraser reports:
Calypso orchid found on Steep Ravine on Mt. Tamalpais.”

Calypso bulbosaJF sm


March 12, 2014

Vernon and Doreen Smith report that the Calochortus umbellatus (Oakland star tulip) is blooming nicely on Ring Mountain at the moment.

Calochortus umbellatus IMG 1411sm
Calochortus umbellatus (Oakland star tulip)  Photo by Vernon Smith


March 7, 2014

On a trip to the area of the Point Reyes Lighthouse on Friday, March 7, Doreen and Vernon Smith found that the tiny Minuartia rubella (reddish sandwort) were blooming well. According to Jepson, this unusual plant is normally found above 8000′ in the Sierra Nevada and the Klamath Mountains. So our Marin population is disjunct.

Photos by Vernon Smith

Minuartia rubella IMG 1360sm Minuartia rubella IMG 1371sm
Minuartia rubella (reddish sandwort) Minuartia rubella (reddish sandwort)

February 21, 2014

Kathy Tama reports:
“I hiked up Steep Ravine Trail and saw this absolutely stunning Trillium chloropetalum (giant wakerobin) and some delicate Viola sempervirens (redwood violet).”

Trillium chloropetalumKT sm Viola sempervirensKT sm
Trillium chloropetalum (giant wakerobin) Viola sempervirens (redwood violet)

 February 13, 2014

Carolyn Longstreth reports: “In Samuel P. Taylor Park, at the bottom of the Pioneer Tree Trail, Trillium ovatum just opening. Also, along bike trail, opposite sign for Redwood Grove, some Scoliopus Bigelovii foliage emerging. It appears that only a few flowered this year.”


 January 27, 2014.

 Early flowers seen at Point Reyes on January 27. 2014, by Doreen and Vernon Smith (photos by Vernon Smith).

Grindelia stricta ssp platyphylla IMG 3386th Ribes sanguineum var glutinosum IMG 3422th
Grindelia stricta ssp. platyphylla (Pacific gumplant) Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum (pink-flowering currant)

In spite of the lack of rain up to this date, there were a few flowers blooming at Point Reyes National Seashore if one searched.

Sidalcea malviflora ssp malviflora IMG 3412th Arctostaphylos virgata IMG 3429th
Sidalcea malviflora ssp. malviflora (dwarf checkerbloom). Arctostaphylos virgata (Marin manzanita)