Thursday, April 8, 2010

dense-flowered owl's-clover
Castilleja densiflora ssp. densiflora
Orobanchaceae (formerly Scrophulariaceae)

Despite the common name of owl's-clover, this plant is in the Castilleja genus (family Scrophulariaceae) along with paintbrushes, not Trifolium (family Fabaceae) with other true clovers. For a fabulous picture of why this is called owl's clover, look at Doreen Smith's photo and imagine little owls sitting there.

I'm fairly positive about this ID. There are a couple of other similar looking species: C. brevistyla (short style owl's-clover) - it's difficult to find ID info on this and is not listed for Garland Ranch; and C. exserta ssp. exserta (purple owl's clover) - however, mine doesn't have hooked, hairy beaks.

Note: I did not link to Calflora & CNPLX's C. brevistyla entries because they are still showing a misidentified photo as corrected to C. densiflora by Jeffrey Greenhouse.

ps 04/13/10 - I rewrote this post because I mixed up my links. It's really easy to make mistakes. I can't imagine tackling something as impressive as CalPhotos.


A.J. said...

How have you come to know so much about flowers? Are there any books you might recommend?

Nature ID said...

Seriously, don't let me fool you. I don't know much - hence this blog. It's forcing me to lookup stuff I see on my hikes, instead of simply shrugging "Oooh, pretty flower."

I have a couple of ID books at home, but they're strictly local to Monterey County or CA. I mainly use a handful of online sites to help me figure out most of my IDs (see links embedded in the post above).

I'm guessing AR would have several awesome flower ID sites and books. A couple genus species searches will get google trained to find what you need local to your area.