Central Sierras

Here’s a  quick post from a whirlwind two-day trip to the central sierras. I was focused on collecting tissue from plants in the Onagraceae family from three genera: Camissonia, the miniature sun cups, which pretty much all look like this Camissonia sierrae alticola (Mono Hot Springs Sun Cups, which is a super rare plant),


Gayophytum, the Groundsmokes, which pretty much all look like this Gaypohytum eriospermum (Covelle’s Groundsmoke, locally common in the central and southern Sierras)


and Clarkia, which are super diverse in appearance. This Clarkia williamsonii (Fort Miller Clarkia), is in my opinion, the showiest species in the Farewell-to-Spring group (formerly in the genus Godetia), and is currently blanketing the roadsides of the central Sierran Foothills.


I didn’t have a ton of time to botanize for fun, but I will always stop for Polemoniaceae. Three highlights from this family with three-lobed stigmas: Ipomopsis aggregata bridgesii (Bridges’ Scarlet Gilia)

Ipomopsis aggregata bridgesii

Polemonium californicum (California Sky Pilot)


Navarretia viscidula (Sticky Pincushionplant)


And, sticking with threes, here are three other plants that caught my fancy, all of which are common in the Sierras.

Streptanthus tortuosus (Mountain Jewelflower, Brassicaceae)


Pectiantia breweri (Brewer’s Miterwort, Saxifragaceae)


Collinsia tinctoria (Tincture Plant, Plantaginaceae)


The Tincture Plant is covered in glands that stain your hands brown.


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