Friday, April 8, 2011



Castilleja attenuata
Orobanchaceae (formerly Scrophulariaceae)

posted 04/16/11 - I'm very pleased with this find as I was attempting to get pictures of another flower at the time. I would have walked right past it since it's so small and inconspicuous, especially among the grasses.

I learned of this ID during a visit to our town's Good Old Days last weekend. One of the regular booths at this annual street fair is hosted by the Monterey Penninsula Regional Park District. They had a copy of the newly released book Wildflowers of Garland Ranch - a field guide by Michael Mitchell and Rod M. Yeager, which I was very excited about. Unfortunately, they were not selling the book at their stall. As it so happens, the following weekend (i.e., currently as I post this blog entry) is the 50th Annual Wildflower Show hosted at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and run by a small group of dedicated volunteers from the local Monterey Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. While I didn't have enough cash on me to purchase the book (no credit cards accepted), I did return later yesterday with cash in hand.

I'd like to give public kudos to Carol and Brian LeNeve, who are always so kind and informative and tirelessly do the brunt work of the wildflower show.

ps 06/01/11 - This ID of C. attenuata was confirmed by Mark Eggar on Flickr. He's a public school science teacher up in Seattle, WA, and I consider him one of the most accessible Castilleja experts around. Check out Eggar's impressive Castilleja photo collection.

8 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

It is always nice to have a more localized ID guide.

camissonia said...

I've never seen a white-flowered Owl's Clover - very cool!

Imperfect and tense said...

Ah! OWL clover! I see it now :o)

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Steve, I don't think I could get any more local. It's a great book with everything I've hoped to find in a wildflower book.

Arleen, this is the first time I've seen this kind before.

Graeme, for the best photo I've found of an owl-looking owl's-clover, check out: http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?enlarge=0000+0000+0103+0188

Sue Langley said...

Hi Katie,
I had a heck of a time IDing Valley Tassels found here near Oakhurst...knew it wasn't the regular owl's clover, but I love searching out the names; it's like being a detective. I really like your blog because I learn more and more fascinating plants.

Sue Langley said...

BTW, on my honeymoon 18 years ago, I ran across that wildflower show at the PG museum, walking down the street from where we stayed at the PG Inn. They did a great job putting it on. I've loved wildflowers ever since.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Thanks, Sue. There's a second species of "valley tassel" near where you live: http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=1710
I'm really proud of our wildflower show; it got me interested in local wildflowers, too!

Sue Langley said...

I'll have to look for the Castilleja lineariloba
Our fields have lots of the attenuata, which I pinpointed only by the rosy tinges of the upper 'leaves'.
It seems when you ID something, you then notice it more. I don't know why it's fun knowing the names of plants, but it is!
Right now, I'm waiting for a penstemon looking plant and a lonicera integrifolia to bloom so I can ID them. Fun!