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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tongue trivia

Pacific Hound's Tongue (Cynoglossum grande) 
 flowering at a woodland site in Sebastopol on 15 February 2013 

Look for the raised appendages forming a white ring near the center of the blue petals.  Additional views (below) show the entire inflorescence with side branches (always with terminal flowers opening first — note the large buds that are almost ready to open) and the long, narrow leaves that give this native perennial its name.

Within the genus Cynoglossum, "cyno" means "dog or hound" and "glossum" means "tongue."  

And now for the trivia: There are several other types of organisms in the Bodega Bay area with some version of "glossum" in their name.  This is challenging, but can you think of any?  (A few examples follow...)

There are at least two sacoglossans (sap-sucking sea slugs) in Bodega Harbor (e.g., Alderia modesta and Alderia willowi).  And although the names have changed, there are several species of marine algae on the outer coast with "glossum" in their names = Rhodoglossum affine which is now called Mazzaella affinis, and Botryoglossum farlowianum which is now called Cryptopleura ruprechtiana.  There are other examples, so send in more if you think of them!

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