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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

They're fuzzy!

Today I tried to photograph Point Reyes Salty Bird's-Beak (Chloropyron maritimum ssp. palustre) in the salt marsh.  [That has to be one of the longest common names for a plant on Bodega Head.  Can you think of a longer one?]  

I didn't end up with great pictures, so I'll have to try again.  But I did learn a couple of interesting things about this wildflower when reviewing the pictures.

Here's one image that shows a cluster of flowers.  Can you see the small hole at the top of the flower in the center of the picture?

The next photo shows another view, this time looking down at the flowers from above.  You can still see that tiny hole (lower left flower). 

I'm wondering if the hole was made by an insect boring into the flower?

And although I've always liked Point Reyes Salty Bird's-beak, and I make a point to look for it flowering every year, I hadn't realized the flowers were quite so fuzzy!  (The botanical term is puberulent.) 

Here's a close-up of the dense hairs on an individual flower:

If you encounter this species, tread carefully, as this native annual is relatively rare.

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