Anomalous Heterotheca Species from Point Reyes

by Doreen Smith

There are still plants recently noticed in Marin that do not fit neatly into any of the species listed in Marin Flora 2007 or the online supplement of 2012. One of them is a Heterotheca species, a golden-aster, with a population at “Historic F Ranch”, close to the original site of the Pt. Reyes Post Office, where there now remains only a grove of Monterey cypress trees that once sheltered the buildings.

Typical Heterotheca sessiliflora ssp. bolanderi (Bolander’s golden-aster) is fairly common in any native grassland in Marin. It grows in close clones of multiple-headed hairy inflorescences on upright stems. The anomalous plants on the sandy flats at “F” ranch grow in flat, spreading, less-hairy clones with isolated single-headed inflorescences.

Other anomalous plants include an annual Streptanthus species on Mt. Burdell and a rayless Erigeron on a basalt road cut near Nicasio.

Photos by Vernon Smith.

Anomalous Heterotheca – (golden-aster)


Heterotheca sessiliflora ssp. bolanderi – (Bolander’s golden-aster)


Heterotheca sessiliflora ssp. bolanderi – (Bolander’s golden-aster)