Saturday, May 8, 2010


common coast paintbrush
Castilleja affinis ssp. affinis
Orobanchaceae (formerly Scrophulariaceae)

Last year I was too intimidated to ID the paintbrushes. There are 71 records in Calflora for the genus Castilleja. Oy! For this reason, I've held off posting my pics of them. Thanks to actually using a plant list for Fort Ord, I was able to narrow down my search for this paintbrush ID. My second best guess C. wightii ended up being the old name for C. affinis ssp. affinis.

They really are striking, and, no, I did not enhance the color of these pics at all (oh yep, I tried, but the red turns kinda funky with the enhance feature of iPhoto). These pictures were taken under the oak trees, about a 5 minute walk away from the lupine. Fort Ord really is an amazing place! And to think there used to be soldiers in training trampling through all of this, shooting at stuff left and right. We still find lots of empty bullet casings on the paths. I wonder how many of the soldiers got poison oak rashes?

5 comments:

kirstallcreatures said...

What a beautiful wildflower. I like the second photo in particular, the scarlet petals are such a striking contrast to the surrounding lush green grass. Well done for persisting with the identification. Linda

Nature ID said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes I get frustrated attempting to ID to species, but I'm learning loads.

Erica Lea said...

That's an eye-catching beauty! Hey, this post reminded me that I've been finding some great id help on Flickr and wanted to share with you. This gentleman's stream is awesome: http://www.flickr.com/photos/randomtruth/ He was even kind enough to help with some id's on my stream. He also recommended this group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/califlora/

bradzio said...

Those are beautiful pics of the paintbrush. I had no idea there were so many species. Though I guess it makes sense, since I see them in very different sites.

Nature ID said...

Thank you, Erica, for the lead. He has a nice blog. I don't use Flickr much since I've avoided signing up for a yahoo! account.

Brad, wait until I post my owl's clover pics from this hike, which are also in the same Castilleja genus.