Sunday, March 20, 2011

CA yerba santa ~ 03/20/11 ~ Fort Ord

California yerba santa
Eriodictyon californicum
Boraginaceae (formerly Hydrophyllaceae)

I've hiked past these always wondering what they are, most notably for the black fungus covering most of the leaves. You can see some black leaves in both pictures above. Wikipedia says this fungus is called Heterosporium californicum, but I can't find any online information other than this sooty fungus is common on this plant. This is the first time I've seen these shrubs blooming. It's really hard for me to believe that these are in the same Eriodictyon genus as the woolly yerba santa I spotted at Pinnacles recently. Erg. Once again this plant has changed families from the waterleaf family Hydrophyllaceae to the borage family. These family changes are harder to track than women who change their surnames due to marriage and/or divorce.

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