Sunday, July 25, 2010

salt heliotrope ~ 07/25/10 ~ Shoreline Park

salt heliotrope
Heliotropium curassavicum

I didn't believe our new orchid friend, but he was correct and this belongs to the borage family along with fiddlenecks and forget-me-nots. This heliotrope has several common names, including seaside heliotrope, quail plant, and Chinese pusley. I think the Chinese parsley was misread somewhere and is now also considered a common name.

piperia ~ 07/25/10 ~ Huckleberry Hill

light colored orchid likely Yadon's
CNPS 8th Edition Inventory

Huckleberry Hill was the first place that I ever saw Yadon's piperia. It helps tremendously for ID to have numerous yellow flags with a labeled digital picture, complete with scientific name and common name. The plastic flags themselves serve as great hiding spots for spider egg sacs. I wish I had taken a picture. Interestingly enough, there was a chicken-wired orchid on the Presidio side of the fence. We wondered what it was, but couldn't get close enough to check it out. We may never know. Obviously, somebody is studying these orchids, but I wouldn't know who or where to go for this information.

ps - 07/27/12 - Vern Yadon confirmed to me that the later flowers tend to be much paler than the early flowers, even though I've seen both versions on this same day at multiple locations.

elegant piperia ~ 07/25/10 ~ Skyline Forest Drive

unknown orchid

We plan to keep an eye out for this asparagus looking shoot. I don't think it's Yadon's piperia, because it's a bit behind the bloom stage of the Yadon's only 25 feet away.

ps 07/23/11 - For an updated ID on this orchid, check out my August 27, 2010 elegant piperia post.

Yadon's piperia ~ 07/25/10 ~ Skyline Forest Drive

Yadon's rein-orchid
Piperia yadonii
CNPS 8th Edition Inventory

Again, another post to show the variation, location, and timing of this local federally endangered orchid. For us, it seems they are everywhere. We were simply driving to another location to show our new orchid friend where they are locally and saw blue flags on the side of the road. We stopped, of course, and found numerous blooming Yadon's. It's very typical to see rattlesnake grass (Briza maxima) wrapped around the orchid shoots.

wavyleaf soap plant ~ 07/25/10 ~ Washington Park

posted 07/30/11 - Last year I missed the blooms on this soap plant as it was likely too early in the day. Since the flowers only last one night, I wonder how long it takes before the seeds form. Without a plant list, I don't know which 2 of the 3 varieties this would be. Both var. divaricatum and var. pomeridianum are found in Monterey County.

Yadon's piperia ~ 07/25/10 ~ Washington Park

Have you seen enough Yadon's piperia, yet? I'm mainly logging these posts to document the different locations (noted in labels below with an 'x') that we've found them this year. However, the first picture above is stockier than others I've seen and asked our orchid friend. He says there can be quite the variation within species. I maintain several CalPhotos of orchids may be misidentified.

habitat ~ 07/25/10 ~ Manzanita Regional Park

Manzanita Regional Park
July 25, 2010

This is a new park for us. It reminds me of Fort Ord with all the sand and manzanitas, but it's closer to Elkhorn Slough. We'll have to go back another time when we're not orchid hunting to check out the trails.

naked lady ~ 07/25/10 ~ Manzanita Park

naked lady
Amaryllis belladonna
Amaryllidaceae (formerly Liliaceae) 
Is it August yet? I saw the striking pink of a couple belladonna lilies already blooming here in town. And, yes, I prefer to call them naked ladies, because it's so much more fun to make people look. Hopefully, this next month, I'll take a better picture of them in full bloom compared to last year. Interesting to note, those pretty red and white striped flowers grown for the winter holidays are not actually in the Amaryllis genus; they belong in Hippeastrum.

Yadon's piperia ~ 07/25/10 ~ Manzanita Park

After 4 unsuccessful GPS coordinate attempts to find this rare orchid and finding other things instead, we finally hit pay dirt on our 5th try. The first photo above is unusually light colored compared to other Yadon's piperia that we saw this day. For a much better picture of this pale individual, check out Native Orchids on Flickr. The low growing shrub where this orchid is found is, I'm totally guessing, Hooker's manzanita and it's classified by CNPS as a 1B.2 rare, threatened, and endangered CA native.

ps 06/06/11 - As I was looking at my new labels for endangered and threatened species, I discovered Hooker's manzanita is considered endangered in the state of CA.

pss 10/23/11 - I'm going through and adding labels for endangered and threatened species for CA . I can't find this particular manzanita on the official California Department of Fish and Game's PDF list updated this month October 2011. I haven't figured out which is correct, the PDF or Elkhorn's site (embedded in the postscript above) is correct. And, I also have not figured out how to embed links to PDFs.

our GPS find

I think this must be an introduced species called Trashia inweirdplacus var. bowlingpinii. Well, that's not what we expected to find with detailed GPS coordinates. We were looking for the endangered Piperia yadonii. On Sunday, we went on a multi-location orchid hunt with a fellow who drove hours from Sacramento just to see this rare orchid... I said orchid, not bowling pins. After much sand in our shoes, bushwhacking through scratchy manzanitas, sliding down steep slopes, and several bunk GPS records, we were finally successful in a big way. The failed GPS coordinates might be reliable, in another year since this orchid doesn't always bloom. I already knew where some of the local Yadon's was blooming and sure enough we found them just fine. I need to credit Andy for taking a back road and finding a 4th location. The blue flags were more noticeable than the endangered orchid. Pictures are posted on Flickr for now. Once I get the locations sorted out, I'll backpost to Sunday, July 25, 2010.