Madia elegans (common Madia)

by Doreen Smith

Just because this species of Madia is quite common in Marin does not mean it should be underrated as a significant native California wildflower. A mass of these is stunning whenever a large local population is seen in bloom. Plants can be in flower as early as May on the Northern parts of Mt. Tamalpais and in the Carson Ridge grasslands on the way to Pine Mountain. They are usually not very tall and are all yellow flowered. Once they were separated from the species as ssp. vernalis.

The majority of populations are tall and later flowering, June through September, some are yellow flowered. Some other plants have red markings on the inner part of the ray florets. They were once called ssp. densifolia.

LIke many tarplants the flower heads are open in the morning but close by mid-day to open again only when they regain moisture in the night.

Photos by Doreen Smith (habit) and Vernon Smith (close-up and roadside)

Madia elegans – (common Madia)

 

Madia elegans – (common Madia)

 

Madia elegans – (common Madia)