Friday, July 21, 2017

California Spring Extravaganza 5. Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve

A typical specimen of Pinus torreyana overlooks the Pacific
On bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in one of the most densely populated
Camissoniopsis bistorta is a member of the Evening Primrose
Family (Onagraceae), with brilliant yellow flowers.  A
species of Cryptantha occurs with it.
parts of California, is an extraordinary natural oasis, Torrey Pines Natural Preserve.  It is the home of the main surviving population of the very rare Pinus torreyana, and a fine example of California's coastal chaparral community. In the spring, it lights up with a wonderful display of wildflowers, a little less gaudy than Antelope Valley or Anza-Borrego, but nevertheless filled with gems.  Some are similar to what can be seen at Pt. Mugu and other places to the north, but many that we saw only in this more southerly location. I've done my best to identify these plants correctly, but as usual will welcome corrections from those of you more familiar with California's amazing and diverse flora.
Ephemeral masses of a Cryptantha, probably C. muricata, fill
in around a more permanent beavertail cactus.
The sea dahlia, Leptosyne maritima (Asteraceae),
blooms abundantly in April on slopes in
the preserve.
A closer view of Cryptantha muricata (Boraginaceae)..
A beautiful red form of Mimulus aurantiacus (placed by some in the genus
Diplacus), Family Phrymaceae, is common at Torrey Pines.
Dichelostemma capitata, first seen in
Antelope Valley, seems to be everywhere
in California.
Acmispon glaber is a member of the Legume Family, Fabaceae.

Salvia mellifera (Lamiaceae), or black sage,
 is a common member of the chaparral
community in California.

Another form of Acmispon glaber has its
flowers more spread out.

The tarweed, Hemizona fasciculata

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