Diplacus douglasii, purple mouse-ears

by Doreen Smith

This little beauty has changed its plant family and Latin name since the 2nd edition of Howell’s Marin Flora 2007. Once Mimulus douglasii in the Scrophulariaceae it is now Diplacus douglasii in the Phrymaceae.
In common with many California plants the flowering time depends on the weather. This year has been wet enough and warm enough in January for this annual species to bloom in February and March. Some dry, cold years it may not appear at all. In the spring of 2015 this was the case with the population on Mt. Burdell.
Last year and this year they are abundant right now at the west end of the Michako trail serpentine outcrop. If you go looking for them please be careful not to step on them. Stay close to the boundary fence to the fire road, walk on the social trail downhill towards the streamlet there. The plants are barely two inches tall and fragile.

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Diplacus douglasii (purple mouse -ears)

Diplacus douglasii (purple mouse-ears)

Text by Doreen Smith, photo by Vernon Smith