Saturday, May 14, 2011

coastal sagewort ~ 05/14/11 ~ Fort Ord

coastal sagewort / beach sagebrush
Artemisia pycnocephala

The first time I remembered the word Artemisia was during a conversation with a friend two months ago. The smell of crushed leaves from CA's native Artemisia reminds him of his childhood in England where he knew A. absinthium as wormwood. His nanny made him drink a tea of it once a month to prevent intestinal worms. I don't think it was a pleasant memory. It amazes me how scents stick in our memories and instantly transport us years to the past.

The above ID is my best guess based on looking at CNPS updated 2010 plant list for Fort Ord with 5 species of Artemisia listed out of 41 sp./ssp. found in California according to Calflora. Also shown above is western bracken fern and what I believe is white-flowering wedge-leaved horkelia (Horkelia cuneata). This area was burned in 2010.

ps 10/20/11 - After again looking at different Artemisia, I'm more positive of this ID now.

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