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Thursday, March 27, 2014

March flowers

Once again I have Michelle and Kyle to thank for sharing some spring wildflowers with me...and with you!  Here are two highlights from a walk last weekend near Occidental.

Few-flowered Collinsia or Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia sparsiflora)

California Saxifrage (Micranthes californica, formerly Saxifraga californica)

I was especially intrigued by the saxifrage flowers (below).  I think the colorful structures are the stamens the male reproductive parts that release pollen.  However, what's the difference between the red and purple stages?  Are the little red parts (that look a bit like hearts) "covers" that will eventually fall off to reveal the purple and orange parts below?  (Is the orange pollen?)  If you know, please write in!

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