Sunday, December 25, 2011

wavyleaf soap plant ~ 12/25/11 ~ Jacks Peak

wavyleaf soap plant
Chlorogalum pomeridianum var. pomeridianum
Asparagaceae (formerly Agavaceae, Hyacinthaceae, & Liliaceae)

Edited 01/03/12 - I originally posted this as a sprout of Fremont's star-lily, but thanks to my commenters, I've corrected the ID above. It's been a goal of mine to track the seasonal evidence of both death camas, aka Fremont's star-lily, and soap plant, especially in areas where they literally grow from the same spot of ground like at Jacks Peak. I've made a fuss about how several online sites have them mixed up, and I've admitted I get them confused, too, when they only have green leaves - the flowers are too distinctive to ever get them mixed up. I've now concluded that death camas is an early flowerer compared to 3-4 months later in the season soap plant.


Queer by Choice said...

I don't think that can be right, though - I have a soap plant in my garden (in Marysville, CA) that is currently about the same size that this star-lily appears to be. It re-emerged from the ground at around the beginning of October, I think.

randomtruth said...

D'oh! Looks like this is a species that you still need to work on - QbC is right - your pic is soap root. ;)

randomtruth said...

Btw - the star lilies are up and aome are already this size though. But, their leaves are bright green w/o the blue hue, and the veins are not nearly as obvious as the ones in soap plant leaves.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Hmm... Could you two take a look at my previous posts, and tell me what you think:

From exact same spot (really within 20 feet), early blooming death camas, and now I suspect 4th pic may be of soap plant:

I'm aware Chlorogalum spp. near Sierras grows more upright, but this is the species (the only one on record for the Monterey and Santa Cruz areas) I'm more familiar that grows low to the ground, not upright:

randomtruth said...

Yes, I'd say that 4th photo on your star lily post is Chlorogalum. The form and center veins look right, and I don't think star lilies, especially Fremont's, would get that large and not have flower stalks up. Whereas the soap plant puts leaves up early and then the flower stalk later in the season.

I've seen C. pomeridianum all over the state - sometimes they grow upright, others flat. I think they tend to start upright, and then as the leaves get long and the season wanes, they flatten out.

Btw - you do have another Chlorogalum in Monterey County - the rare C. purpureum grows down in the Santa Lucias near Jolon. I haven't had a chance to see it yet, though.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Oop, Gayle, thank you for the correction. I really appreciate folks who speak up when I'm wrong. Do you have an e-mail? I see you're an editor/technical writer in Sac. I could pass your name along to some freelance folks I know if you're interested in that kind of unsteady work.

Thanks, Ken. I'm thinking we should go on a hike together this spring at Edgewood? Name the date and time.

So, I moved the 4th photograph to its own ID, because I was already thinking it might not be correct:

Interesting that my previous post shows death camas blooming by mid-February last year at this site, and yet I didn't find any other shoots. It must grow quickly and fade fast.

I generally don't go down to what Jepson calls the "outer south coast ranges," other than the backside at Los Padres Dam. We camped at Botchers Gap once and couldn't get out of there fast enough considering the massive numbers of mosquitoes. C. purpureum looks to be a tiny plant, very easy to miss.

randomtruth said...

You should definitely come up to Edgewood for a wildflower foray this spring. End of Feb, early March is a good time - the Fritillaria liliaceae and Mimulus douglasii will be in bloom. :)