Friday, March 4, 2011

buck brush ~ 03/04/11 ~ Pinnacles


buck brush
Ceanothus cuneatus var. cuneatus
Rhamnaceae

These white to lavender blooms were everywhere and smelled amazing. What a treat to be hiking through wafts of pleasant floral perfumes. However, I was surprised to see so few bees visiting the flowers. Even though it was fairly warm the day we visited, it snowed just the previous Saturday and perhaps the freezing temps affected the native bees. There are close to 400 species of bees at Pinnacles, which according to their website is "the highest known bee diversity per unit area of any place on earth." Impressive.

ps - Given the comments already posted below, I should also mention Ceanothus spp. are frequently, generically called wild lilac. Here in California, there are around 90 species and subspecies of native Ceanothus. It's no wonder I usually have such a difficult time identifying these lovely bushes. Many Ceanothus closer to home, both out in the wild and in gardens, have been blooming since mid-January this year.

5 comments:

Jeannette said...

We noticed an influx of bees yesterday on the ceanothus...always a happy sight.

Out on the prairie said...

Bees really slow down with the cold, their metabolism shuts down.When I first saw the bush I thought Lilac.

Janet said...

And that's why it's called "wild lilac"! I love all the ceanothus - up here they won't bloom for a while yet but when in SF last wkend I saw a huge one blooming dark bright blue-violet in Ft Mason - stopped me dead in my tracks!
They are short lived - the one I planted in front of my house 11 yrs ago died - but I've put a new one in the backyard and am waiting to see what color it will bloom!

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Thanks for the quick comments. I edited the above to hopefully remove some confusion about my common name usage.

Janet, thought you might find this link interesting: http://www.laspilitas.com/groups/ceanothus/california_ceanothus.html

John W. Wall said...

I never knew that about Pinnacles. Amazing.