New Plants for Marin Flora

By Doreen Smith

Just because Marin Flora was recently revised (in 2007) doesn’t mean that new species of plants cannot be discovered, possibly by any of you.
The drying shores of Stafford Lake reservoir, west of Novato, have offered unusual-for-Marin flowers even in late summer and fall.
Marin Parks and Open Space naturalists often lead free outings there; otherwise there is an entrance fee.
It is a great place to visit—not just to see the flowers and birds—and there are many picnic tables available in both shade and sun with expanses of green lawns where children can run and play.
Two recent discoveries are native species probably introduced by migrating waterfowl from other parts of California.
They are the tiny blue-purple petunia, Petunia parviflora, and the white alkali mallow, Malvella leprosa, which are are growing by the eastern part of the reservoir.
Two other other unusual spp. are a naturalized arrowhead, Sagittaria brevirostra, and also an introduced loosestrife, Lythrum tribracteatum.

Malvella leprosa sm Sagittaria brevirostra cu2 sm
Malvella leprosa – white alkali mallow Sagittaria brevirostra – shortbeak arrowhead



Lythrum tribracteatum2 sm
Lythrum tribracteatum – threebract loosestrife

Photos by Doreen Smith.