Blue Creek Exp Area

On July 20, 2013 I drove to an area of the Siskiyou Mts. outside the town of Orleans from Los Angeles-- the 11 hours is okay if I can leave before dawn and arrive in the afternoon. Arriving a few hours before the sun went down, there was some time to collect from a population …

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Black Lassic

Black Lassic is one peak among the Lassics of Trinity County and is characterized by outcrops of serpentine, mudstone, and sandstone surrounded by coniferous forest. Pyrola crypta is a species that grows predominantly under Pseudotsuga in this area. It is very similar in appearance to P. picta but can be distinguished by its unusually long sepals …

Buzz pollination

A bumble bee buzzes the inflorescences of a Pyrola picta specimen I collected from an area near the Marble Mountain wilderness in Siskiyou County. Oddly, this is the only specimen I've seen thus far with highly reduced female function. You can see gynoecial structures appear to be absent or highly reduced in the flowers of …

Pyrola aphylla

Pyrola aphylla is a widespread species in western North America, uncommon in the Rocky Mountains, but relatively abundant in mountains closer to the Pacific Ocean. In southern California, this species often produces very pink flowers and stems. In this image you can see some of the anthers emerging from the corolla as it opens. In …

Transverse and Peninsular Ranges

Much of southern California is arid, with seasonal monsoonal rain. Pockets of relatively mesic habitat occur in the mountain ranges adjacent arid lowlands. Montane forests trap ocean fog or monsoonal precipitation, providing conditions suitable for northern temperate plants such as Pyrola dentata and P. aphylla. Although less common, P. picta also occurs in southern California, …