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Copyright, 1897 
William Doxey 



• « 

• • • • 

• • • 

« • 

• • 

!• « . < W 

i L I. ». 

The Doxey Press 



Preface vii 

Table of Plates xiii 

How TO Use the Book xix 

Explanation of Terms xxii 

Important Plant Families and Genera . . . xxxi 

Introductory xlii 

Prelude xlvii 

Flower Descriptions : — 

I. White . 3 

II. Yellow 109 

III. Pink 193 

IV. Blue and Purple 255 

V. Red 335 

VI. Miscellaneous 369 

Index to Latin Names 393 

Index to English Names ......... 399 

Index of Technical Terms ... ... 405 

Glossary . ... 406 

*'Were I, O God, in churchless lands remaining, 
Far from all voice of teachers or divines, 
My soul would find in flowers of thy ordaining 
Priests, sermons, shrines ! " 


To THE thoughtless a flower is often a trivial thing — beau- 
tiful perhaps, and worthy of a passing glance-^ but that is all. 
But to the mind open to the great truths of the universe, it 
takes on a deeper significance. Such a mind sees in its often 
humble beginnings the genesis of things far-reaching and 
mighty.' Two thousand years ago one grain of the shower 
of pollen wafted upon the ♦wind and falling upon a minute 
undeveloped cone, quickened a seed there into life, and this 
dropping into the soil pushed up a tiny thread of green, which, 
after the quiet process of the ages, you now behold in the 
giant Sequoia which tosses its branches aloft, swept by the 
four winds of heaven. 

Whether manifesting itself in the inconspicuous flower upon 
the tree or in the equally unassuming inflorescence of the vege- 
table, or unfurling petals of satin or gauze of brilliant hue and 
marvelous beauty, the blossom is the origin of most that is use- 
ful or beautiful in the organic world about us. Strip the world 
of its blossoms, and the higher forms of life must come to a 
speedy termination. Thus we see the flower playing a won- 
derfully important part in the cosmos around us. It becomes 
henceforth not only a thing of beauty for the gratification of 
the aesthetic sense, but the instrument by which Nature brings 
about the fullness of her perfection in her own good season. 

There is perhaps no nature-study that can yield the same 
amount of pure and unalloyed pleasure with so little outlay as 
the study of the wild flowers. When one is interested in them, 

• • 



every walk into the fields is transformed from an aimless ram- 
ble into a joyous, eager quest, and every journey upon stage 
or railroad becomes a rare opportunity for making new plant- 
acquaintances — a season of exhilarating excitement 

Mr. Burroughs, that devout lover of nature, says: "Most 
young people find botany a dull study. So it is, as taught 
from the text-books in the schools; but study it yourself in the 
fields and woods, and you will find it a source of perennial 
delight. Find your flower, and then name it by the aid of the 
botany. There is so much in a name. To find out what a 
thing is called is a great help. It is the beginning of knowl- 
edge; it is the first step. When we see a new person who 
interests us, we wish to know his or her name. A bird, a 
flower, a place — the first thing we wish to know about it is its 
name. Its name helps us to classify it; it gives us a handle to 
grasp it by; it sheds a ray of light where all before was dark- 
ness. As soon as we know the name of a thing, we seem to 
have established some sort of relation with it.*' 

Having learned the name of a flower or plant, or having 
been formally introduced to it, as it were, our acquaintance has 
but just begun. Instead of being our end and aim, as it was 
with students of botany in the olden times, this is but the be- 
ginning. If this were our ultimate aim, all our pleasure would 
be at an end as soon as we had learned the names of all the 
plants within our reach. But the point of view has changed 
and broadened. The plant is now recognized as a living 
organism^ not a dead, unchanging thing. It is vital; it grows; 
it is amenable to the great laws of the universe; and we see it 
daily complying with those laws, adapting itself to its sur- 
roundings — or perishing. It becomes a thing of absorbing 
interest when we trace the steps by which it has come to be 
what it is; when we note its relationship to other closely allied 
forms, and locate its place in the great world of plants. 

A thoughtful observation of the structure of plants alone 
will fill the mind with amazement at the beauty of their mi- 
nutest parts, the exquisite perfection of every organ. Then it 



is most interesting to notice the various kinds of places where 
the same plants grow; how they flourish in different soils and 
climates; how they parry the difficulties of new and unaccus- 
tomed surroundings, by some change of structure or habit to 
meet the altered conditions — as clothing themselves with wool, 
to prevent the undue escape of moisture, or twisting their 
leaves to a vertical position for the same purpose, or sending 
their roots deep into the earth to seek perennial sources of 
moisture, which enables them to flourish in our driest times. 
It is wonderful to note, too, the methods employed to secure 
the distribution of the seed — how it is sometimes imbedded 
in a delicious edible fruit, again furnished with hooks or bris- 
tles or springs, or provided with silken sails to waft it away 
upon the wings of the wind. Then the insects that visit plants. 
It is marvelous to note how plants spread their attractions in 
bright colors and perfumes and offerings of honey to bees, 
butterflies, and moths that can carry their pollen abroad, and 
how they even place hindrances in the way of such as are un- 

Studied in this way, botany is no longer the dry science it 
used to be, but becomes a most fascinating pursuit; and we 
know of no richer field in which to carry on the study of 
flowers than that afforded in California. 

There has been a long-felt need of a popular work upon the 
wild flowers of California. Though celebrated throughout the 
world for their wealth and beauty, and though many of them 
have found their way across the waters and endeared them- 
selves to plant lovers in many a foreign garden, the story of 
their home life has never yet been told. 

It has been the delightful task of the author and the illustra- 
tor of the present work to seek them out in their native haunts — 
on seashore and mesa, in deep, cool canon, on dry and open 
hill-slope, on mountain-top, in glacier meadow, by stream and 
lake, in marsh and woodland, and to listen to the ofttimes 
marvelous tales they have had to unfold. If they shall have 



succeeded in making better known these children of Mother 
Nature to her lovers and appreciators, and in arousing an 
interest in them among those who have hitherto found the 
technical difficulties of scientific botany insurmountable, they 
will feel amply rewarded for their labors. 

The present work does not claim by any means to be a 
complete flora of the region treated. Our State is so new, 
and many parts of it have as yet been so imperfectly explored, 
that a comprehensive and exhaustive flora of it must be the 
work of a future time, and will doubtless be undertaken by 
some one when all the data have been procured. Such an 
attempt, however, were it possible, is without the scope of the 
present work. 

California, with her wonderfully varied climate and topog- 
raphy, has a flora correspondingly rich and varied, probably 
not surpassed by any region of like area in the Northern 
Hemisphere. Thus the author finds herself confronted with 
an embarrassment of riches rather than with any lack of mate- 
rial; and it has often been exceedingly difficult to exclude 
some beautiful flower that seemed to have strong claims to 
representation. She therefore craves beforehand the indul- 
gence of the reader, should he find some favorite missing. 

In making a choice, she has been guided by the following 
general principle, and selected, ^ry/ — the flowers most gen- 
eral in their distribution; second — those remarkable for their 
beauty of form or color, their interesting structure, history, or 
economic uses; third — those which are characteristically Cali- 
fornian. At the same time, those which are too insignificant 
in appearance to attract attention and those too difficult of 
determination by the non-botanist have been omitted. Flow- 
ering plants only have been included. 

Many of our species extend northward into Oregon and 
Washington. Thus, while this work is called **The Wild 
Flowers of California,'' it will in a certain measure apply 
equally well to Oregon and Washington. 

It has been the aim of the author to picture for the most 



part the flowers peculiarly Califomian, leaving Mrs. Dana's 
charming book, **How to Know the Wild Flowers," to illus- 
trate those we possess in common with the Atlantic Slope, thus 
making the works the complements one of the other. 

Mrs. Dana has kindly permitted the author to use her plan 
of arrangement — u e, of grouping all the white flowers in one 
section, the yellow in another, the pink in a third, and so on, 
which, in the absence of a key, greatly facilitates the finding of 
any given flower. The flowers of each section have been 
arranged as' nearly as possible according to their natural suc- 
cession in the seasons, with one or two exceptions. 

Such confusion is rife in the nomenclature of Califomian 
plants, and the same plant is so often furnished with several 
names, — and several plants sometimes with the same name, — 
that the authority is in every instance quoted, in order to 
make it perfectly clear what plant is meant by the name given. 
Wherever allusion is made to the Spanish-Califomians, the 
Spanish-5/^a>b*;2^ Califomians are meant, very few of whom 
are Castilians at the present day, most of whom are of an ad- 
mixture of races. 

The flower-cuts are all from pen-and-ink drawings by the 
illustrator; and all but four are from her own original studies 
from nature. These four, which it was impossible for her to 
procure, have been adapted by her from other drawings, by 
the aid of herbarium specimens. They include Aphyllon fas- 
ciculatMm^ Fremontia Califomica^ Hosackia gracilis^ and Bro- 
dicsa volubilis. It has been impossible upon so small a page 
to maintain a uniform relative size in the drawings, for which 
reason the plant-descriptions in fine print should be consulted 
for the size. 

The author and the illustrator desire to make grateful ac- 
knowledgments to many kind friends throughout the State 
who have rendered them assistance in numerous ways. Their 
gratitude is due in particular to Miss Alice Eastwood, of the 
California Academy of Sciences, who, by her unfailing kindness 
and encouragement, as well as by her personal assistance, has 



rendered them invaluable aid. Also, to Mr. Carl Purdy, of 
Ukiah, who from his wide experience, as a grower of our 
native liliaceous plants, has a knowledge of them shared by 
few or none, and who has generously placed at their disposal 
the results of his observations. They also tender their thanks 
to the Southern Pacific and the North Pacific Railways, who, 
by their generous granting of reduced rates and passes, have 
made possible a wider personal acquaintance with the flowers 
than could have otherwise been enjoyed. 

San Rafael, Cal., October 15, 1897. 





AcoNirE Aconitum Columbianum 329 

« Alfalfa Medicago sativa 327 

Alfilerilla Erodium cicutarium 195 

Alpine Heather Bryanthus Breweri 247 

• Alpine Phlox Phlox Douglasii 249 

Alum-Root Heuchera micrantha 59 

American Barrenwort Vancouveria parviflora 89 

Anemone, Wood Anemone quinquefolia 19 

August-Flower Grindelia cunei/olia 177 

' AzuLEA Sisyrinchium helium 285 

Azure Beard-Tongue Pentstemon azureus 3C9 

Baby-Blue-Eyes Nemophila insignis 291 

Beach-Aster Erigeron glaucus 305 

Beautiful Clarkia Clarkia concinna 237 

Bee-Plant, Californian Scrophularia Californica 343 

Bellflower Campanula prenanthoides 323 

Big-Root Echinocyslis fabacea 27 

Blazing-Star Mentzelia Lindleyi 169 

' Bleeding-Heart Dicenlra formosa 243 

Blue-Blossom -. Ceanolhus thyrsiflorus 275 

Blue-eyed Grass Sisyrinchium bellum 285 

Blue Gentian Gentiana calycosa 331 

Blue Gilia Gilia Chamissonis 297 

Blue Larkspur Delphinium 277 

Blue-and- WHITE Lupine Lupinus bicolor 301 

Blue Milla Brodicea laxa 303 

Blue Myrtle Ceanolhus Ihyrsiflorus 275 

Blueweed Aconitum Colum^hianum, 329 

BRODiiEA Brodicea capitala 263 

Bronze-Bells ) „ .^.„ . - , . ^ 

r, T r Frittllarta lanceolata 265 

Brown Lily ) 





Caufornia Fuchsia 

California Lilac 

California Poppy 

Caufornian Azalea 

Californian Centaury 

Californian Rose-Bay 







Chamise Lily 

Chaparral Lily 

Chaparral Pea 




Climbing Pentstemon 





Common Aster 

Common Monkey- Flower 


Cream-colored Wall-Flower 


Currant, Californian Wild. . . 

Darlingtonia Californica 391 

Zauschneria Californica 367 

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 275 

Eschscholtzia Californica 115 

Rhododendron ocddentale 87 

Erythrcea venusta 219 

Rhododendron Californicum . . 235 

Frenwntia Californica 159 

Calypso horealis 211 

Rumex hytnenosepalus 379 

Aphyllon fasdculatutn 173 

Erythrcea venusta 219 

Calochortus Maweanus 279 

Erythronium giganteum 137 

Liliutn rubescens 73 

Pickeringia tnontana 231 

Salvia Columbarics 299 

Echinocystis fahacea 27 

Delphinium nudicaule 347 

Pentstemon cordifolius 351 

Erodium cicutarium 195 

Brbdicea capitata 263 

Collinsia bicolor 295 

Aquilegia truncata 349 

Aster Chamissonis 335 

Mimulus luteus 135 

Corallorhiza Bigelovii 273 

Erysimum grandiflorum. 135 

Platystemon Californicus 113 

Ribes glutinosum 215 


Diogenes* Lantern. 
Dog's-tooth Violet 
Dutchman's Pipe . . . 

Hosackia glabra 153 

Calochortus pulchellus 145 

Erythronium giganteum, 137 

Aristolochia Californica 375 

False Lady's Slipper Epipactis gigantea 389 

False Mallow Malvastrum Thurberi 221 

False Tidy-Tips Leptosyne Douglasii 149 

Farewell to Spring Godetia viminea 241 

Fawn-Lily Erythronium giganteum 137 

Fetid Adder's-Tongue Scoliopus Bigelovii 257 

Firecracker Flower Brodicea coccinea 239 



FiREWEED Epilobium spicatum 245 

Four-o'clock, Californian Mirabilis Calif omica 209 

Fringed Gilia Gilia dianthoides 217 

GoDETiA Codetta viminea 241 

Golden Lily-Bell Calochortus pukhellus 145 

Golden Stars Bloomeria aurea 155 

Gooseberry, Fuchsia-flowered . Ribes speciosum 339 

Great Willow-Herb Epilobium spicatum 245 

Ground-Iris Iris macrosiphon . ...' 281 

Ground-Pink Gilia dianthoides 217 

Gum-Plant Grindelia cuneifolia 177 

Hairbell Calochortus albus 55 

Harebell, Californian Campanula prenanthoides . . 323 

Harvest BRODiiEA Brodicea grandiflora 319 

Hen-and-Chickens Cotyledon CaMfomicum .... 143 

Hound* s-Tongue Cynoglossum grande 259 

Huckleberry Vaccinium ovatum 201 

Humming-bird's Trumpet Zauschneria Calif ornica 367 

Indian Lettuce Montia perfoliata 17 

Indian Paint-Brush Castilleia parviflora 345 

Indian Pink Silene Californica 355 

Indian Warrior Pedicularis densiflora 337 

Ithuriel*s Spear Brodicea laxa 303 

Ladies* Tresses Spiranthes Romanzoffianum 93 

Lantern of the Fairies Calochortus albus 55 

Large-flowered BRODiiEA Brodicea grandiflora 319 

Lessingia Lessingia leptoclada 255 

Little Alpine Lily Lilium parvum 181 

Loco- Weed Astragalus leucopsis 41 

Lucern Medicago saliva 327 

Manzanita Arctostaphylos mxinzanita , . 13 

Mariposa Tulip Calochortus venustus 79 

Matilija Poppy Romneya Coulteri 65 

Meadow-Foam Flcerkia Douglasii 127 

Milkweed, Common Asclepias Mexicana 313 

Milkweed, Hornless Woolly Gomphocarpus tomentosus . . 381 

Milk-white Rein-Orchis Habenaria leucostachys 95 

Milkwort, Californian Polygala Californica 287 

Miner's Lettuce Montia perfoliata 17 



Mist-Maidens Romanzoffia Sitchensis. . 

Monk's- Hood Aconitutn Columbianunt 

Mottled Swamp-Orchis Epipactis gigantea 

Mountain Balm Eriodictyon glutinosum . 

Mountain Lady's Slipper Cypripedium montanum. 






Pepper- Root 



Pink Paint-Brush 



Pitcher- Plant, Californian. . 




Pop-corn Flower 

Prickly Phlox 

Prince's Pine 

Pussy's- Ears 



Rattlesnake Plantain 

Rattle- Weed 

Red-stemmed Filaree . 



Resin- Weed 



Ruby Lily 

Monardella villosa 325 

Pentachcsta aurea 125 

Dentaria Calif ornica 5 

Er odium cicutarium 195 

Pterospora andromedea 187 

Orthocarpus purpurascens 229 

Aristolochia Calif ornica 375 

Chimaphila Menziesii 105 

Darlingtonia Calif ornica 391 

Sphacele calycina 43 

Rhus diver siloba 9 

Monardella villosa 325 


Gilia Calif ornica 207 

Chimaphila Menziesii 105 

Calochortus Maweanus 279 

Spraguea umhellata 71 

Garrya elliptica 371 

Goodyera Menziesii 99 

Astragalus leucopsis 41 

Er odium, cicutarium, 195 

Oxalis Oregana 197 

Habenaria elegans 385 

Grindelia cuneifolia 177 

Fritillaria lanceolata 265 

Trichostema lanatum 317 

Lilium, rubescens 73 

Saxifrage, Californian Saxifraga Calif ornica 15 

Scarlet Bugler Pentstemon centranthifolius . . 359 

Scarlet Gilia Gilia aggregata 361 

Scarlet Honeysuckle Pentstemon cordifolius 351 

Scarlet Larkspur, Northern . Delphinium nudicaule 347 

Scarlet Paint-Brush Castilleia parviflora 345 

Shooting-Stars Dodecatheon Meadia 205 

Sierra Primrose Prim,ula suffrutescens 251 



Silk-tassel Tree Garrya elliptica 371 

Skullcap Scutellaria tuberosa 271 

Snapdragon, Violet Antirrhinum vagans 321 

Snow-Plant Sarcodes sanguinea 363 

Soap- Plant Chlorogalum pomeridianum , . 83 

Spring-Blossom Dentaria Calif omica 5 

Sticky Monkey-Flower Mimulus glutinosus 139 

St. John's -Wort Hypericum concinnum '. . 163 

Sulphur-Flower Eriogonum umbellatum 179 

Sun-Cups , CEnothera ovata iii 

. Sunshine Baeria gracilis 125 

Sweet-scented Shrub, Calif* n* Calycanthus occidentalis 353 

♦Tarweed Hemizonia luzulafolia 189 

Tarweed Madia eUgans 183 

Tidy-Tips Layia platyglossa 149 

Toothwort Dentaria Calif ornica 5 

ToROSA Eschscholtzia Californica 115 

Tree-Mallow Lavatera assurgentiflora 227 

Tree-Poppy Dendromecon rigidum 119 

Trillium, Californian Trillium sessile 261 

Twin-Berry Lonicera involucrata 123 

• Twining Hyacinth Brodicea volubilis 233 

ViLLELA Sisyrinchium helium 285 

Violet Nightshade Solanum Xanti 269 

Wake-Robin Trillium ovatum 11 

Whipplea Whipplea modesta 33 

Whispering Bells Emmenanthe penduliflora .... 131 

White Evening Primrose CEnothera Californica 49 

• White Forget-me-not 31 

White Owl*s Clover Orthocarpus versicolor 53 

White-veined Shinleaf Pyrolapicta loi 

Wild Broom Hosackia glabra 153 

Wild Buckwheat Eriogonum fasciculatum 35 

- Wild Canterbury-Bell Phacelia Whitlavia 289 

• Wild Coreopsis Madia elegans 183 

Wild Cucumber Echinocystis fabacea 27 

Wild Currant, Californian. . . Ribes glutinosum 215 

Wild Cyclamen Dodecatheon Meadia 205 

Wild Ginger Asarum, caudatum, 311 

Wild Heliotrope Phacelia tanacetifolia 283 



Wild Hollyhock Sidalcea nialvcBflora 199 

Wild Hyacinth Brodicea capitata 263 

Wild Peony Pcsonia BroTvnii 341 

Wild Pie- Plant Rumex hymenosepalus 379 

Wild Portulaca Calandrmia caulescens 213 

Wind- Flower Anemone quinquefolia 19 

Wood-Balm Sphacele calycina 43 

Woolly Blue-Curls Trichoste^na lanatum 317 

Yellow Daisy Layia piatyglossa 149 

Yellow Globe-Tulip Calochortus pulchellus 145 

Yellow Pansy Viola pedunculata 121 

Yellow Sand -Verbena Abronia latifoha 147 

Yerba Buena Micromeria Douglasii 63 

Yerba Mansa Anetnopsis Californica 77 

Yerba Santa Eriodictyon gluiinosum 57 

Zygadene Zygadenus Fremonii 7 

\ . Baccharis Douglasii 107 

Gilia androsacea 223 

Hosackia gracilis , . 167 

XVI 11 


When gathering flowers with a view to ascertaining their 
names with the help of the botany, the whole plant — root, 
stem, leaves, flowers, buds, and fruit — should be secured, if 
possible. This will avoid much uncertainty in the work. 

The anthers are best seen in the unopened buds, and the 
ovary in old flowers or those gone to seed. A cross-section of 
the ovary will show the number of its cells. 

The flowers should be sorted into colors, and each in turn 
looked for in its own color-section. In arranging the flowers 
according to color, some difficulty has been experienced, 
because the pink blends so gradually into the purple, and the 
purple into white, etc. , that it has been impossible sometimes 
to say accurately to which section a flower rightly belongs. 
In such a case search must be made in the other probable sec- 
tion. Sometimes the same flower occurs in several colors, in 
which case it is usually put into the section in whose color it 
most frequently occurs. In the Red Section have been included 
flowers of a scarlet hue, not those of crimson or magenta hues, 
as these have a tendency to merge into pink or purple. Flowers 
of a greenish-white are usually put into the White Section, those 
of more decided green into the Miscellaneous. 

It is an excellent plan for the student to write a careful de- 
scription of his plant before beginning to look foi* it in the book; 
commencing with the root, passing on to stem, leaves, inflores- 
cence, calyx, corolla, etc., taking the order of the technical 
descriptions in the book. This will serve to do away with 
that vacillating condition of mind which is often the result of 



reading a number of plant-descriptions before fixing firmly in 
mind the characters of the specimen under consideration. 

A magnifying-glass — or a small dissecting microscope and 
a good Zeiss lens, if more careful work is to be done, — a 
couple of dissecting needles, a pocket-knife, and a small three- 
or four-inch measure, having one of the inches divided into 
lines, will be required for examining specimens. 

It is also a good plan to make a note of the date and place 
of collection of all plants, as it is often of great interest to know 
these facts at some future time. 

Plants are grouped into great orders, or families, which are 
made up of a number of genera, each genus consisting of a 
number of species. Every plant has two Latin names; the 
first a generic name, answering to the last name of a person; 
the second a specific name, answering to a person's given 
name. The latter is usually descriptive of some quality or 
character of the plant, the name of the place where found, or 
of its discoverer, or of some person in whose honor it is 
named. This dual name serves to clearly distinguish the 
species from all others, especially when the name of the person 
by whom the specific name was bestowed is added. 

Each plant-family bears an English title, which is usually 
the name of its best-known genus. Thus the order Legumi- 
noscB is known as the **Pea Family'* because Lathyrus, or the 
pea, is its best-known genus. In many instances the English 
names borne by orders in the Eastern States have no signifi- 
cance with us, as the type genus is not found in our flora. In 
such cases we have given the name of the genus best known 
among us, to which we have added the other: thus, ** Baby-eyes 
or Waterleaf Family. ' ' 

Most of our plants have common English names, and the 
same plant is often known by one name in one locality and by 
another in another. Hence, while these names are often pretty 
and apt, they cannot serve for the accurate identification of the 
plant. For this we must consult its Latin name, by which it is 
known all over the world. 



Wherever the terms used are not understood, reference 
should be made to the ** Explanation of Terms*' or to the 

For identification of species not found in the present work, 
other books should be consulted. The two large volumes of 
the botany of the Geological Survey of California are the most 
complete of anything thus far published. In addition to these, 
**The Synoptical Flora of North America,** as far as published 
(the GamopetalcSy the Composites^ and some orders of the Poly- 
petala:)^ furnishes valuable aid. Professor E. L. Greene's 
works, **The Botany of the Bay Region,'* **Pittonia," and 
** Flora Franciscana," furnish excellent plant-descriptions for 
the more advanced botanist. The author's technical descrip- 
tions have in every instance been verified by comparison with 
one or more of the above works. 

Miss Eastwood's little volume, recently published as Part 
Second of ** Bergen's Elements of Botany," (and also issued 
in separate form), is recommended for use in connection with 
the present work, as it embodies in compact form a general 
view of the method of classification of plants, showing their 
places in the plant-world and their relations to one another. It 
also contains very clear descriptions of plant-families. To the 
student who becomes interested in knowing more about the 
structure of plants, Gray's ** Structural Botany" will prove 
useful; and the large work of Oliver and Kerner (translated 
from the German) will prove a fascinating book. 



[The following simple definitions of the more common terms used have been mostly 
taken or adapted from the works of Asa Gray and others, and will prove useful to those 
unacquainted with botany, or to those whose memories require refreshing.] 


The root is that portion of the plant which grows down- 
ward, fixing it to the soil, and absorbing nourishment from 


the latter. True roots produce nothing but root-branches or 

Simple or unbranched roots are named according to their 
shapes — 

conical^ when like the carrot; 


napiform, when like the turnip; 
fusiform^ when like the long radish. 

Multiple, or branched, roots may be — 
fascicled^ or bunched, as in the dahlia; 
tubercular ^ when furnished with small tubers; 
fibrous^ when threadlike. 


The stem is the ascendmg axis of the plant, which usually 
bears the leaves, flowers, and fruit. The points on the stem to 
which the leaves are fastened are called the nodes; and the 
portions of stem between the nodes are called the intemodes. 
The angle formed by the upper side of the leaf and the stem is 
called the axil. 



Stems aboveground are classed as — 
erects when growing upright; 

procumbent^ when lying on the ground without rooting; 
decumbent^ when lying on the ground with the tip 

diffuse^ when loosely spreading; 
creeping^ when growing on the ground and rooting. 

Stems underground are classed as rhizomes (or rootstocks) 
tubers, corms, and bulbs, the forms passing into one another 
by gradations. 

A rhizome, or rootstock, is a horizontal underground 

stem. It is sometimes thick, fleshy, or woody, as in 

the iris; 
a tuber is a short, much thickened rootstock, having 

eyes or buds — of which the potato is an example; 
a corm is a depressed and rounded, solid rootstock; it 

may be called a solid bulb; the garden cyclamen is an 

a bulb is a leaf-bud, commonly underground, with fleshy 

scales or coats; the lily is an example. 


Leaves are the green expansions borne by the stem, out- 
spread in the air and light, in which assimilation is carried on. 
They may be said to be the stomachs of the plant. A typical 
leaf consists of three parts — the blade, the foot-stalk (or peti- 
ole), and a pair of stipules. Yet any one of these parts may 
be absent. 

The blade is the expanded portion of the leaf and the 
part to which the word leaf^ in its commonest sense, 
is applied; 

the stipules are small, usually leaflike bodies borne at 
the base of the petiole, usually one on either side; 

the petiole is the stalk of the leaf. 

• • • 



Leaves are simple, when having but one blade; compound, 
when having more than one, when each blade is called a leaflet 
Compound leaves are said to be — 

pinnate y when the leaflets are arranged along the sides of 

a petiole, or rather of its prolongation, the rachis; 
abruptly pinnate, with an even number of leaflets; 
odd'Pinnate, with an odd leaflet at the end. 
palmate y or digitate^ when the leaflets all diverge from the 
summit of the petiole, like the fingers of a hand. 


The venation, or veining, of leaves relates to the mode in 
which the woody tissue, in the form of ribs, veins, etc., is dis- 
tributed in the cellular tissue. 

There are two principle modes — 

the parallel-vei7iecl, of which the iris is an example; 
the reticulated-veined, or netted-veined, of which the Elm 
is an example. 

Small veins are called veinlets. 

As to general form, or outline, leaves are: — 

Those broadest in the middle — 

peltate, or shield-shaped, when rounded, with the stem 

attached to the center, or near it — as in the garden 

orbiailar, when circular in outline, or nearly so; 
oval, when having a flowing outline, with the breadth 

considerably more than half the length, and both 

ends alike; 
elliptical, when having a flowing outline, twice or thrice 

as long as broad, and both ends alike; 
oblong, when nearly twice or thrice as long as broad; 
linear, when narrow, several times longer than wide, 

and of about the same width throughout; 
acerose, when needle-shaped — like the Pine. 



Those broadest at the base — 

deltoidy when having the triangular shape of the Greek 

letter delta\ 
ovate, when having an outline like the section of a 

hen's-egg, the broader end downward; 
lanceolate, or lance-shaped, when several times longer 

than broad, and tapering upward, or both upward 

and downward; 
subulate, when shaped like an awl ; 
cordate, when ovate, with a heart-shaped base; 
reniform, when like the last, only rounder and broader 

than long; 
auriailate, when having a pair of small blunt projec- 
tions, or ears, at the base; 
sagittate, or arrow-shaped, when those ears are acute 

and turned downward, the body of the leaf tapering 

hastate, or halberd-shaped, when the ears or lobes point 


Those broadest at the apex — 
obovatCy when inversely ovate; 
oblanceolate, when inversely lanceolate; 
spatulate, when rounded above, and long and narrow 

below, like a druggist's spatula; 
cuneate, or wedge-shaped, when broad above, tapering 

by straight lines to an acute base; 
obcordate, when inversely cordate. 

Sometimes no one of the above terms will describe a leaf, 
and it becomes necessary to combine two of them; as, linear- 
spatulate, ovate-lanceolate, etc. 

Leaves are classified according to their apices; as — 

emarginate, when having a decided terminal notch; 
truncate, when abruptly cut off; 



obtuse^ when ending in a blunt or roundish extremity; 
a4:ute^ when ending in an acute angle, without special 

acuminaie^ when tapering into a narrow, more or less 

prolonged end; 
mucronate, when abruptly tipped with a small, short point. 


Leaves are classified according to their margins; as — 
entire^ when the margin is completely filled out to an 

even line; 
repandy or undulate ^ when the margin is a wavy line; 
dentate y or toothed^ when the teeth point outward; 
crenate^ or scalloped^ when dentate, with the teeth 

serrate y when having small sharp teeth directed forward; 
incised^ when cut by sharp and irregular incisions more 

or less deeply; 
lobedy when cut not more than half-way to the midrib, 

and the divisions or their angles are rounded; 
clefts when cut half-way down or more, and the lobes or 

sinuses are narrow or acute; 
parted^ when the cutting reaches almost but not quite to 

the midrib; 
divided^ when the blade is cut into distinct parts, thus 

making the leaf compound. 

All these terms may be modified by the words pinnate or 
palmate; thus — pinnately parted ^ fnnnately divided^ palmately 
parted^ palmately divided, etc. ; also by the adjectives once^ 
twice y thrice y etc. 


Leaves vary as to texture, and may be — 

coriaceous y or leathery; fleshy ^ or thick; 

succulent, or juicy; herbaceous, ox ikiva. 

scariouSy or. dry and thin; 

XX vi 



- According to their arrangement on the stem, leaves are — 
alternate^ when distributed singly at different heights on 

the stem ; 
opposite^ when two stand opposite each other at the 

whorledy when more than two are borne at a node, equi- 
distant in a circle around the stem. 


Inflorescence is a term commonly applied to the mode of 
flowering — /. e, to the arrangement of blossoms on the stem 
and their relative positions to one another. 

A peduncle is the stem of a solitary flower, or the main 
stem of a flower-cluster; 

a scape is a peduncle growing from the ground; 

a pedicel is the stem of each flower in a cluster; 

a bract is a small floral leaf; 

an involucre is a collection of bracts around a flower- 
cluster or around a single flower. 

Flowers may be solitary or clustered. 

Solitary flowers or flower- clusters are — 

terminal^ when borne at the summit of the stem; 
axillary^ when borne in the axils of the leaves. 

A flower-cluster is called — 

a raceme, when the flowers are arranged along the axis 
upon pedicels nearly equal in length; 

a corymb, when the flowers are arranged as in the raceme, 
with the lower pedicels elongated, making the cluster 
flat- topped; 

an umbel, when the pedicels arise from the same point, 
like the rays of an umbrella, and the cluster is flat- 



a panicle, when compound, irregularly made up of a 

number of racemes; 
a spike, when like a raceme, the flowers being without 

a spadix, when it is a fleshy spike, generally enveloped 

by a large bract, called a spathe, as in the calla-lily; 
an ament, or catkin, when it is a pendent spike, with 

scaly bracts, like the Willow; 
a head, when it is a shortened spike, with a globular form ; 
a cyme, when it is branched and flat-topped, usually 

compound, with the older flowers in the center of each 

simple cluster. 


A complete flower consists of stamens and pistils (the 
organs of reproduction), and calyx and corolla (the floral 
envelops which protect the stamens and pistils). But any 
one of these organs may be absent. 

The calyx is the outer floral envelop, which is more 
often green, though it is sometimes colored. It may 
consist of a number of separate parts, called sepals, or 
these may be more or less united. 

The corolla is the inner floral envelop. It is usually 
colored, and forms the most beautiful feature of the 
flower, and plays an important part in attracting 
insects to it, which may carry on the work of fertili- 
zation. It may consist of a number of separate parts, 
called petals, or these may be more or less united, 
in which case the corolla is said to be gamopetalous. 
When the calyx and corolla are much alike, and seem 
like one floral circle, this is referred to as a perianth. 

The stamens and pistils are called the essential organs 
of a flower, because they are necessary to the maturing 
of the fruit. 



Perfect flowers have both sets of essential organs. 

Imperfect flowers have but one set of essential organs. 

Staminate (or v[i2X€) flowers have only stamens. 
Pistillate (or i^va^iXt) flowers have only pistils. 
Neutral flowers have neither. 


The stamen consists of two parts — the filament and the 
anther. The filament is the stalk of the stamen. The anther 
is the little case holding the pollen, or powdery substance, 
which, falling upon the stigma, is conducted downward into 
the ovary, where it quickens the ovules into life. The anther 
normally consists of two cells, which more often open length- 
wise for the discharge of the pollen, though they sometimes 
open by terminal pores or chinks, or by uplifting lids. 

Stamens sometimes undergo a morphological change, tak- 
ing the form of scales or other bodies (as is the case in many 
of our Brodiceas)^ when they are called staminodia. 



The pistil is the organ occupying the center of the flower. 
It consists of three parts — the ovary, or the enlarged part 
below, consisting of one or more cells or cavities, and con- 
taining the ovules, or unfertilized seed; the style, or the stem 
which upholds the stigma; the stigma, or the roughened por- 
tion which receives the pollen. 

The pistil is simple^ when it has but one ovary, style, 
stigma, etc.; compound^ if any one of these is duplicated. 


The fruit is the ripened ovary. After the ovules have been 
fertilized, the ovary is called a pericarp. Fruits may be either 
fleshy or dry, 



The following are some of the principal kinds of dry fruits: — 

A capsule is a dry, dehiscent (splitting) fruit, composed 

of more than one carpel or division; 
an akene is a small, dry, hard, one-celled, one-seeded 

indehiscent fruit; 
a follicle is a pod formed from a single pistil, dehiscing 

along the ventral suture only; 
a legume is a simple pericarp, opening by both seams, 
a samara is a dry, indehiscent fruit, having a wing. 

The following are some of the principal kinds of fleshy 
fruits: — 

A pome is a fruit like an apple or pear; 

the pepo, or gourd, fruit is like that of the melon, squash, 

etc. ; 
the drupe is like that of the cherry, plum, and peach; 
the berry is like that of the grape, currant, and tomato. 

Aggregate fruits are those in which a cluster of carpels, 
all of one flower, are crowded upon the receptacle into one 
mass; as in the raspberry and blackberry. 



[To avoid too long technical descriptions in the body of the work, a few of the 
more important plant families and genera have been inserted below, to which 
reference has been made in the technical descriptions.] 


Cruciferse. Mustard Family. 

Herbs with pungent, watery juice. Leaves. — Alternate; without 
stipules; entire or divided. Flowers. — Generally in racemes. Sepals. — 
Four. Petals. — Four; usually with narrowed base or claw; the blades 
spreading to form a cross. Stamens. — Six; two of them shorter than 
the other four. Ovary. — Two-celled; rarely one-celled. Style undivided, 
or none. Stigma entire or two-lobed. Fruit. — A silique — i. e. a cap- 
sule, in which the walls separate upward away from a central partition. 

The Mustard family is a very large one, comprising over a 
hundred and seventy genera, and containing between one and 
two thousand species. It is widely distributed over all parts 
of the world, but is most abundantly represented in the cooler 
or temperate regions. It furnishes us with many useful plants; 
such as the mustard, horseradish, radish, cabbage, turnip, cau- 
Hflower, etc. 

The genera of this order are very closely allied, and very 
difficult of discrimination. The fruit, as well as the flower, is 
necessary in the study of any given species. 

Leguminosae. Pea Family. 

The order LeguminoscB is divided into three well-marked 
sub-orders — the Pea family proper, the Brasiletto family, and 
the Mimosa family. But as all our genera, save CerciSy fall 
under the first, we shall describe that only. 



PAPiLiONACEiE. Pea Family proper. 

Herbs, shrubs, or trees. Leaves. — Usually alternate; compound; 
with stipules; the latter sometimes transformed into thorns or tendrils. 
Flowers, — Seldom solitary; usually in spikes, racemes or umbels. 
Calyx, — Five-toothed; often bilabiate. Corolla. — Irregular; of five 
petals; papilionaceous — t. e. the two lower petals more or less cohe- 
rent, forming the keel; the two lateral ones often adherent to the keel, 
called the zvtngs; the upper petal called the standard or banner. Sta- 
mens and pistil inclosed in the keel. Stamens. — Ten; their filaments 
either coherent into a tube surrounding the pistil; or nine of them 
united into a sheath, open above, the tenth lying in front of the cleft; 
or rarely all distinct. Ovary. — Superior; one-celled. Style. — Simple 
and incurved. Stigma. — Simple. Fruit. — A two-valved pod, of 
which the garden pea is typical. 

The Pea family, including its three sub-orders, is one of the 
most important plant-families known. It is distributed over 
almost the entire world, and furnishes some of the most valu- 
able products to man. The Judas-tree, the numerous acacias, 
and the sweet pea, are well known in our gardens; while 
among our most valuable vegetables are the bean, the pea, and 
the lentil. The clover and alfalfa are extremely important 
forage plants. 

The order furnishes several important timber-trees, in differ- 
ent parts of the world, such as the Rosewood, the Laburnum, 
and the Locust; and yields numerous products of economic 
importance, such as licorice, senna, gum Senegal, gum Arabic, 
gum tragacanth, balsam of copaiba, balsam of Tolu, indigo, 
logwood, red sandalwood, etc. 

Compositae. Composite Family. 

Herbs, rarely shrubs. Leaves. — Usually alternate; without stipules. 
Flowers. — In a close head on a common receptacle^ surrounded by an 
involucre^ whose divisions are called scales or bracts. Calyx -tuoe. — 
Adnate to the one-celled ovary; its limb (called a pappus) crowning 
its summit in the form of bristles, awns, scales, teeth, etc.; or cup- 
shaped; or else entirely absent. Corolla. — Either strap-shaped or 
tubular; in the latter chiefly five-lobed. Stamens. — Five (rarelv four); 
on the corolla; their anthers united in a tube. Style. — Two-cleft at the 
apex. Fruit. — An akene. Flowers with strap-shaped corollas are 
called ray-flowers or rays. The tubular flowers compose the disk. 

The Composite family is the largest of all plant-families, 
numbering twelve thousand species and upward, and is widely 



distributed over the world. In the cooler parts of the world 
the plants are mostly herbaceous, but toward the tropics they 
gradually become shrubs, and even trees. In North America 
they comprise about one sixth of all the flowering plants. 

For so large a family there are comparatively few useful 
plants found in it. Among the products of the order, may be 
mentioned chicory, lettuce, the artichoke, the vegetable oyster, 
arnica, chamomile-flowers, wormwood, absinth, elecampane, 
coltsfoot, taraxacum, oil of tansy, etc. But our gardens owe 
to this family innumerable beautiful and showy plants — such 
as the China aster, the chrysanthemum, the cosmos, zinnia, 
dahlia, ageratum, gaillardia, coreopsis, sunflower, etc., etc. 

The plants of this family are quickly recognized by the 
flowers being always borne in a head and surrounded by an 
involucre, and presenting the appearance of a single flower. 
The heads are sometimes made up entirely of one kind of 
flower. The dandelion and the chicory are examples of a head 
made up entirely of ray-flowers, while the thistle consists of tubu- 
lar flowers only. The more common arrangement, however, is 
the mixed one, comprising both tubular disk-flowers and strap- 
shaped rays, as in the daisy. The seeds are usually furnished 
with silken down or a delicate parachute to waft them abroad. 

The identification of the flowers of this order is a very diffi- 
cult matter, even for experienced botanists. 

Labiatae. Mint Family. 

Herbs with square stems. Leaves. — Opposite; usually aromatic. 
Flowers. — Axillary, or often in whorls or heads. Corolla. — Bilabiate 
(rarely regular). Stamens. — Four (or only two). Ovary. — Deeply 
four-lobed; becoming four seedlike nutlets. Style single; arising from 
the midst of the lobes. 

The plants of this order are easily recognized by the traits in 
the above description. But some of these traits are shared by the 
plants of the Figwort family, which have also the bilabiate corolla. 
The distinguishing character, however, is always to be found in 
^<^ four-lobed ovary — for the Figworts have a two-celled ovary. 

This order is a large one; and there are no noxious or 



poisonous plants to be found in it. On the contrary, it com- 
prises many useful plants, too well known almost to need 
enumeration — such as the lavender, peppermint, sage, hore- 
hound, thyme, spearmint, horsemint, pennyroyal, etc. 


Ceanothus, L. Buckthorn Family. 

Shrubs or small trees, sometimes spinescent. Leaves. — Opposite 
or alternate; petioled; variously toothed or entire. Flowers, — Blue or 
white; small, usually not more than two or three lines across; borne in 
showy thyrsoid or cymose clusters. Calyx. — Petaloid; with short tube 
and five-cleft border, the lobes acute and connivent. Petals, — Five; 
long-clawed; hooded; inserted on the calyx-tube. Stamens.— Y\\^\ 
opposite the petals; long exserted. Ovary. — Three -lobed; three- 
celled. Style short; three-cleft. Fruit. — Dry; consisting of three 
dehiscent nutlets; sometimes crested. 

The genus Ceanothus is mainly a Western one. Of its 
thirty or more species, two thirds are found in the region 
between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. 

In California we have about twenty species; and these all 
hybridize to such an extent, that often the determination of any 
given species is a very difficult matter. The genus reaches its 
culmination in the mountains of Santa Cruz County, where 
there are many beautiful species. Many of the species are 
commonly known as * * California lilac. ' * 

LuPiNUS, Catullus. Pea Family. 

Leaves, — Palmately divided, with from one to sixteen leaflets; stip- 
ules adnate; seldom conspicuous. Leaflets. — Entire; sessile. Flowers, 
-In terminal racemes, whorled or scattered. Calyx. — Deeply bila- 
biate; upper lip notched; lower usually entire, or occasionally three- 
toothed or cleft. Corolla, — Papilionaceous. ►S/awflfarflf.— Broad, with 
sides reflexed. Wings. — Falcate; oblong; commonly slightiy united 
at the tip in front of and inclosing the falcate, usually slender, pointed 
keel. Stamens, — With their filaments united in a tube; of two forms; 
five with longer and basifixed anthers; the alternate five with shorter 
and versatile ones. Pod. — Compressed; straight; two-valved. Style 
slender. Stigma bearded. 

The Lupines are mostly plants of Western America. In 
fact, they are so abundant between the Rocky Mountains and 



the Pacific Ocean that that territory is known among botanists 
as the ** Lupine Region." 

The species, which are very numerous, are difficult of deter- 
mination, requiring very long technical descriptions, which can- 
not be given in a work like the present. For this reason we 
have been able to give but a few of the more easily recognized. 

We have in California upwards of forty species. They are 
of little economic importance, although one or two species 
have been found very useful in the reclaiming of sand-dunes. 
Several species have been cultivated for ornament. The leaves 
are often beautiful and the flower-clusters showy. 

The generic name is supposed to come from the Latin 
lupinuSy a wolf^ and to have been given because of the voracity 
evinced by the species in exhausting the soil. 

Astragalus, Tourn. Pea Family. 

Herbs, or sometimes plants woody at base. Leaves.— Alternate; 
with stipules; unequally pinnate. Flowers, — Rather small; chiefly in 
simple axillary spikes or racemes, upon a commonly elongated peaun- 
cle; papilionaceous. Calyx. — Five-toothed. Corolla dXidi its slender- 
clawed petals usually narrow. Keel not pointed. Stamens. — Nine 
united; one free. Ovary. — One-celled; sometimes apparentiy two- 
celled. Pod, — Very various; commonly inflated. Seeds. — Few to 
many on slender stalks; generally small for the size of the pod. 

The genus Astragalus is a very large one, comprising many 
species in most parts of the world, save Australia and South 
Africa. About two hundred species are native of North 
America, most of which are found in the region west of the 
Mississippi River. Of these several are known as * * loco- weed, * * 
and are poisonous to sheep and cattle. 

Very few species of this genus have any economic value. 
A. gummifer and some other similar species of Western Asia, 
low, spiny shrubs, yield the gum tragacanth of commerce. 

CEnothera, L. Evening-Primrose Family. 

Herbs, or plants sometimes woody at the base. Leaves. — Alter- 
nate. Flowers. — Axillary or in spikes or racemes. Calyx-tube. — 
More or less prolonged above the ovary with four reflexed segments. 



Petals, — Four; obcordate to obovate; sessile; yellow to white, often 
tinged with red or turning red in fading. Stamens, — Eight; equal; or 
those opposite the petals shorter. Anthers perfect; two-celled; versa- 
tile. Ovary. — Four-celled; many ovuled. Style filiform. Stigma 
four-lobed or capitate. Fruit. — A capsule with the seeds in one or 
two rows in each cell. 

The name CEnothera is from two Greek words, meaning 
wine and a hunt^ or pursuit. Mr. Gray tells us that it was 
given in ancient times to some plant whose roots were eaten 
to provoke a relish for wine. 

This is a large genus, containing a hundred or more 
species, which are mostly confined to America, about a quarter 
of them being Califomian. Many of them are very beautiful 
and have long been favorites in gardens. The flowers are 
yellow or white, and are commonly designated as ** evening 
primroses,'' as many of them open upon the edge of evening. 

GoDETiA, Spach. Evening-Primrose Family. 

The genus Godetia is closely allied to that of CEnothera; 
but is distinguished from the latter in several points. Its 
flowers are purple, lilac, or rose-colored — never yellow; the 
anthers are basifixed — /. e. fixed by their bases — not versa- 
tile; and the stigma, instead of being capitate, has four linear 

The plants of this genus were formerly included under 
CEnothera; but it has been thought best to put them into a 
separate genus, which has been named for a Dr. Godet. 

There are numerous species, many of them very beautiful 
and showy. They vary a great deal under different conditions 
and in different seasons, and are not well understood by bota- 
nists as yet. 

The genus is confined to the western coast of North Amer- 
ica, and is most largely represented in California. 

The species flower mostly in late spring and early summer, 
which has given rise to the pretty name of ** farewell to spring" 
for the plants of this genus. 



GiLiA, Renz. and Pav. Phlox or Polemonium Family. 
Herbs or plants somewhat shrubby at base. Leaves, — Opposite or 
alternate; simple or compound: without stipules. Many species with 
showy flowers. All the parts of the flower nv^y except the pistil, which 
has a three-celled ovary and a three-lobed style. Calyx, — Imbricated 
in the bud. Corolla. — Regular; funnel-form, salver-form, or some- 
times short campanulate or rotate; convolute in the bud. Stamens, — 
Five; on the corolla alternate with its lobes; distinct Filaments mostly 
slender; sometimes unequal in length; not bearded at base. 

This genus was named in honor of Philip Gil, a Spanish 
botanist In America the name is pronounced jiVi-a^ though 
according to the rules of the Spanish language he^li-a would 
be the correct pronunciation. 

This is a comparatively large genus, comprising about a 
hundred species, most of which are native to the western parts 
of the United States. The flowers are often showy and beau- 
tiful, and some of them closely resemble the phloxes. A num- 
ber are cultivated under the botanical name of Ipamopsis or 

Phacelia, Juss. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

Herbs, mostly branched from the base and hairy. Leaves. — Alter- 
nate; the lower sometimes opposite; simple or compound. Flowers, 
— Usually in one-sided scorpioid racemes. Calyx. — Deeply five- 
parted; without appendages! Corolla. — From almost rotate to nar- 
rowly funnel-form; five-lobed; with ten vertical plates or scales at the 
base within. Stamens. — Five; equally inserted low or at the base of 
the corolla. Ovary. — One-celled. Styles two; or one which is two- 
cleft. Fruit. — A capsule. 

The name Phacelia is from a Greek word signifying a fa>s- 
cicle, or bunch, and refers to the fascicled or clustered flower- 

This genus is closely allied to Nemophila, but differs from 
it in several points. The calyx is not furnished with append- 
ages at the sinuses; the corolla is imbricated in the bud — 
/. e. the lobes overlap one another in the manner of bricks in 
a wall, — and is not convolute, or rolled up, as in Nemophila, 

This is mainly a North American genus, having about fifty 
species, about thirty of which are Califomian. Many of the 



species have beautiful and showy flowers, and are cultivated in 
gardens. The blossoms are blue, violet, purple, or white, biit 
never yellow (save sometimes in the tube or throat). 

MiMULUS, L. Fig wort Family. 

Leaves. — Opposite; simple. Flowers, — Axillary on solitary pedun- 
cles; sometimes becoming racemose by the diminution of the upper 
leaves to bracts. Ca^v^.— Tubular or campanulate; mostly five-angled 
and five-toothed. Corolla. — Funnel-form; bilabiate; the upper lip erect, 
two-lobed; the lower three-lobed; a pair of ridges, either bearded or 
naked, running down the lower side of the throat. Stamens. — Four. 
Anthers often near together in pairs, with divergent cells. Ovary. — 
Superior; two-celled. Style filiform. Stigma two-lipped, with the lips 
commonly dilated and petaloid. 

The genus Mimulus is so named from the shape of the 
corolla, which is supposed to resemble the gaping countenance 
of an ape. It comprises forty or fifty species, and aflfords us 
some of our most beautiful flowers. The greater number of 
species and the handsomest are Pacific, and several of our 
Californian species are especially prized in cultivation. 

The plants of the genus are all known as ** monkey- 
flowers.** They exhibit an interesting character in the struc- 
ture and movements of the stigma. It is usually composed of 
two somewhat expanded lips. These are extremely sensitive, 
and when touched, or when pollen has been received by them, 
they close quite rapidly. 

Orthocarpus, Nutt. Figwort Family. 

Low herbs; almost all annuals. Leaves. — Mainly altemiite; sessile; 
often cut into from three to five filiform divisions; the upper passing 
into the bracts of the dense spike and usually colored, as are the calyx- 
lobes. Calyx. — Short-tubular or oblong-campanulate; evenly four- 
cleft, or sometimes cleft before and behind and the divisions ag:am cleft. 
G>ro//fl. — Tubular; the upper lip, or galea, little or not at 3l longer 
than the lower; small in comparison with the large, inflated, one- to 
three-saccate lower one, which usually bears more or less conspicuous 
teeth. Statnens.- Yo\xx\ inclosed in the upper lip. Ovary, — Two- 
celled. Style long. Stigma capitate. Fruit. — A capsule. 

The genus Orthocarpus is mainly Californian, comprising 
within our borders something less than twenty species. Most 



of them are to be found from San Francisco northward and 
in the mountains. 

They are closely related to the CastilleicLSy and resemble 
them closely in habit. The difference between the two genera 
lies in the relative sizes of the upper and lower lips of the 
corolla. In Castilleia the upper lip is the larger and more 
prominent; while in Orthocarpus the lower is much more con- 
spicuous, often consisting of three inflated sacs. 

The species are quite difficult of determination. 

** Owl's clover" is a common English name for the plants 
of this genus. 

Pentstemon, Mitchell. Figwort Family. 

Perennial herbs, or rarely shrubby. Leaves, — Opposite, rarely 
whorled; the upper sessile or clasping; the floral gradually or abruptly 
reduced to bracts. Flowers. — Usually red, blue, purple, or white, 
rarely yellow; in raceme-like panicles. Calyx. — Five-parted. Corolla. 
— With a conspicuous and mostly elongated or ventricose tube; the 
throat swelling out on the lower if on either side; the limb more or less 
bilabiate, with the upper lip two-lobed and the lower three-cleft, re- 
curved, or spreading. Stamens. — Four perfect; a fifth with a bearded 
filament only. Antner cells mostly united or running together at the 
summit. Ovary. — Two-celled. Style long. Stigma entire. 

The name Pentstemon is from two Greek words, signifying 
five and stamen. It was bestowed upon this genus because the 
fifth stamen is present, though sterile. 

The genus is a large one, comprising seventy species, most 
of which are North American, though a few are Mexican. It 
is most abundantly represented in the Pacific States and the 
States west of the Mississippi. California has over twenty 
species, many of them very beautiful, a number of them being 
in cultivation. 

** Beard-tongue " is the common English name for the plants 
of this genus. 

From so many charming species it has been very difficult to 
select; and if the reader finds some beautiful flower of this 
genus which is unnamed in these pages, he is advised to con- 
sult the technical botanies. 



Calochortus, Pursh. Lily Family. 

Stem, — Branching; from a membranous-coated, sometimes fibrous- 
coated corm. Leaves, — Few; linear-lanceolate; the radical one or two 
much larger than those of the flexuous or erect stem. Flowers, — Few 
to many; showy; terminal or axillary, or umbellately fascicled. Peri- 
anth, — Deciduous; of six more or less concave segments; the three 
outer lanceolate, greenish, more or less sepal-like; the inner (petals) 
mostly broadly cuneale-obovate, usually with a conspicuous glandular 
pit toward the base, which is apt to be hidden by long hairs. Stamens. 
— Six. Anthers erect; basifixed. Ovary, — Three-celled; three-angled. 
Stigmas three; sessile; recurved. Capsule, — Three-angled or winged. 

The Calochorti are the most widely diffused of all the lilia- 
ceous plants of the Pacific Coast, and comprise some of the 
most beautiful flowers in the world. * * On the north they 
reach British America; one species is to be found as far east as 
Nebraska; and several are natives of Northern Mexico; and 
within these limits no considerable section of country is desti- 
tute of some species.** * They are so closely allied to the true 
tulips that the common designation of them as ** tulips** is not 
at all amiss. 

The name Calochortus signifies beautiful grass. The mem- 
bers of the genus fall naturally into three general groups: — 

First — The Globe Tulips, which have flexile stems, sub- 
globose, nodding flowers, and nodding capsules. Of these 
there are three — C, albus, C, pukhellus^ and C, amcenus. 

Second — The Star Tulips, having low, flexile stems, erect, 
star-like flowers, with spreading petals, and nodding capsules. 
They comprise C, Benthamiy C. Maweanus, C, cceruleus^ 
C, apiculatuSy C elegans^ C, Tolmeiy C, umbellatus, etc. 

Third — The Mariposa Tulips, which are usually tall, fine 
plants, with stiff", erect stems, having erect, cup-shaped or open- 
campanulate flowers, usually large and handsome, followed by 
erect capsules. 

They have a few narrow, grass-like, radical leaves, which 
have usually dried away by the time of flowering, which is in 
early summer, after the ground has become dry and hard. 
These inhabit our dry, open hillsides and grassy slopes, loving 

* Mr. Carl Purdy. 



a stony, clayey, sandy, or volcanic soil. They comprise over 
thirty different known forms, and others are constantly being 

They have a tendency to hybridize, and the various forms 
sport and vary, and run into one another in such a wonderful 
manner that the exact determination of all the species is an 
impossible task to all but a few experts — and even they are not 
certain about them all yet. We have given only a few of the 
commonest or best-characterized species. 

Mariposa is the Spanish word meaning butterfly^ and was 
applied on account of the marvelous resemblance of the mark- 
ings of the petals of some of the forms to the wings of that 



Situated on the western verge of the continent, so far 
removed from the other parts of our country, not only by great 
distance, but by those mighty natural barriers that traverse the 
continent from north to south, California is eminently individual 
in her natural features. Stretching through nine and one half 
degrees of latitude, with a sea-coast of seven hundred miles, 
and several ranges of fine and lofty mountains, there is prob- 
ably not another State in the Union that has so wonderful a 
diversity of climate and vegetation. Her shores, bathed by 
the warm Japan Current, or Ku-ro Si-wa, which is deflected 
southward from Alaska, are many degrees warmer than their 
latitude alone would warrant. 

Her general topography is simple and readily understood. 
The Sierra Nevada, or ** snowy range,'' upon the eastern boun- 
dary, with its granite summits and its shoulders clothed with 
successive belts of majestic coniferous forests, with an occasional 
snow -peak towering above the range, forms the eastern wall of 
the great Central Valley, which is inclosed upon the west by 
the Coast Range, less in height than the Sierra, but equally 
beautiful, less forbidding, more companionable. The great 
Central Valley, four hundred and fifty miles long, is drained 
by two rivers, which meet in its center and break thfough the 
Coast Range, delivering their waters to the ocean through the 
Golden Gate. The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers receive 
many important tributaries from the east, fed by the melting 
snows of the Sierras, and flow through one of the most fertile 
regions of the world. 



The Sierras may be divided into five different belts, of vary- 
ing altitudes along the length of the range, beginning with the 
foothill region, which may be termed the chaparral region. 
This is succeeded -by the yellow-pine belt, above which is the 
sugar-pine, or upper forest, belt, which is in turn succeeded by 
the sub-alpine, while the alpine dominates all. 

The Coast Range is channeled on both sides by many beau- 
tiful wooded canons, affording homes for some of our loveliest 
flowers. Mr. Purdy writes of it: This **is not a continuous 
range, but a broken mass of parallel ridges from forty to sev- 
enty miles wide, with many other chains transverse to the gen- 
eral trend of the range, and inclosing numerous valleys, large 
and small, of widely different altitudes. In the Coast Range 
there is no warm belt, but isolated warm spots. Climate here 
can only be ascertained by experience. The geological forma- 
tion of the ranges and the character of soils constantly vary, 
and often widely at short intervals. Hence the flora of this 
region is particularly interesting. It is hardly probable there 
is a more captivating field for the botanist in the world.** 

In the north and the south the two great ranges meet in 
some of the noblest snow -peaks on the continent. Below their 
southern junction, to the eastward, lies an arid desert region, 
and above their northern junction extends a dry and elevated 
plateau to the northeast. Thus there arises a great diversity 
of natural condition. As all living organisms are greatly 
influenced by their environment, the flora naturally distributes 
itself along the lines of climatic variation. Thus we have 
alpine sjjecies on the snowy heights of the Sierras, and sub- 
alpine forms luxuriating in the meadows fed from their snows; 
inland species in the Central Valley, and following some dis- 
tance up its eastern and western walls; the leathery and hardy 
forms of the wind-swept coast; the curious prickly races of 
arid regions; delicate lovers of the cool and shaded brook; 
dwellers in marshes and on lake borders; denizens of dry, rocky 
hill -slopes, exposed to the glare of the sun; and inhabiters of 
shaded woods. It may be said that the most characteristically 



Western plants of our flora are to be found in the Central Val- 
ley, in the lower belts of the Sierras, and in the valleys of the 
Coast Range, many of which extend beyond our borders, both 
northward and southward. Many of our. alpine species are 
common to the East, and our maritime flora is of necessity 
somewhat cosmopolitan, containing many introduced species 
from various parts of the world. 

The climate of California is divided into two seasons — the 
wet and the dry, — the former extending from October to May, 
the latter occupying the remaining months of the year. And 
this climatic division coincides almost exactly with the area of 
the State. Of course, these dates are not absolute, as showers 
may occur beyond their limits. 

It will be readily seen that the rainy season, or the winter, 
so-called, is the growing time of our year — the time when the 
earth brings forth every plant in his kind. On the other hand, 
the summer is the time of rest. Most of the plant-life having 
germinated after the first moisture of the fall, grows luxuriantly 
during the showery months of winter, blossoms lavishly in the 
balmy sunshine of early springtime, produces seed in abun- 
dance by early summer, and is then ready for its annual rest. 
Instead of shrouding the earth in snow during our period of 
plant-rest, as she does in more rigorous climes, Nature gently 
spreads over hill and valley a soft mantle of brown. 

When the first shrill notes of the cicada are heard in late 
spring, we awake to a sudden realization that summer is at 
hand, and, looking about us, we see that the flowers have 
nearly all vanished; hill and valley no longer glow with great 
masses of color; only a few straggling species of the early sum- 
mer remain; but they too are soon gone, and soft browns and 
straw-colors prevail everywhere. It is then that the deep, rich 
greens of our symmetrically rounded Live-Oaks, so character- 
istic of this region, show in fine contrast against this delicate 
background, forming a picture that every Californian dearly 
loves; the Madrono and the Laurel spread their canopies of 



grateful shade; while the Redwood affords cool retreats from 
the summer sun. Then our salt marshes, as though realizing 
the need of refreshing verdure, put on their most vivid greens; 
and our chaparral-covered hill-slopes make walls of bronze 
and olive. 

Perhaps no coniferous forests in the world are so beautiful or 
so attractive as the Redwood forests of our Coast Ranges; and 
they play so important a part in the distribution of our plants, 
it will not be out of place to devote a little space to them here. 

The main Redwood belt is of limited range, extending along 
the Coast from Monterey County to Humboldt County, and 
nowhere exceeding twenty miles in breadth. Straggling trees 
may be found beyond these limits, but nowhere a forest growth 
or trees of great size. In its densest portion, the stately and 
colossal trees are too close together to permit of a wagon pass- 
ing between them. 

Mr. Purdy writes: **The Redwood is not only a lover of 
moisture, but to an extent hardly to be believed, unless seen, 
a condenser and conserver of moisture. Their tops reach high 
into the sea of vapor, and a constant precipitation from them, 
like rain, takes place. The water stands in puddles in the roads 
under them. This causes the densest of undergrowth; hazels, 
huckleberries, various Ceanothi, ferns of large size and in 
greatest profusion, large bushes of rhododendron, and numerous 
other plants make the forest floor a perfect tangle in moister 

Many charming plants find their homes amid the cool shade 
of these noble trees. Trillium, and scoliopus, and dog's-tooth 
violets vie with clintonias and vancouverias in elegance and 
grace, while little creeping violets, and the lovely redwood- 
sorrel, and the salal make charming tapestries over the forest 
floor about these dim cathedral columns. 

On the other hand, the open forest belts of the Sierras, 
which are of far greater extent, present another and quite 

different flora from that of the Coast Range and the Redwood 




belt. There may be found many interesting plants of the 
Heath family — cassiope, bryanthus, chimaphila, ledum, various 
pyrolas, and the snow-plant; there the aconite, false hellebore, 
enogonums and gentians, and new and beautiful pentstemons 
and Mimuli and lilies deck the meadows and stream -banks. 

After the season of blossoming is over in the lowlands, we 
may pass on up into the mountains and live again through a 
vernal springtime of flowers. 

Perhaps in no country in the world does the arrival of the 
spring flowers **so transform the face of Nature as in Califor- 
nia.'* The march of civilization has brought changes in its 
wake; the virgin soil has been broken and subdued into grain- 
fields and vineyards; still enough of the lavish blossoming is 
left us to appreciate Mr. Muir's description of the face of the 
country as it appeared years ago. He says: ** When Califor- 
nia was wild, it was one sweet bee-garden throughout its entire 
length, north and south, and all the way across from the snowy 
Sierra to the ocean. . . . The Great Central Plain . . . 
during the months of March, April, and May was one smooth, 
continuous bed of honey-bloom, so marvelously rich that in 
walking from one end of it to the other, a distance of four hun- 
dred miles, your foot would press about a hundred flowers at 
every step. Mints, gilias, nemophilas, castilleias, and innumer- 
able Compositae were so crowded together, that had ninety-nine 
per cent of them been taken away, the plain would still have 
seemed to any but Californians extravagantly flowery. The 
radiant, honeyful corollas, touching and overlapping and rising 
above one another, glowed in the living light like a sunset sky 
— one sheet of purple and gold. . . . Sauntering in any 
direction, hundreds of these happy sun -plants brushed against 
my feet at every step and closed over them as if I were wading 
in liquid gold. The air was sweet with fragrance, the larks sang 
their blessed songs, rising on the wing as I advanced, then 
sinking out of sight in the polleny sod; while myriads of wild 
bees stirred the lower air with their monotonous hum — monot- 
onous, yet forever fresh and sweet as everyday sunshine. ' * 



O Land of the West! I know 

How the field-flowers bud and blow, 

And the grass springs and the grain 

To the first soft touch and summons of the rain! 

0» the music of the rain! 

O, the music of the streams! 

— Ina D. Coolbrith. 

Toward the end of our long cloudless summer, after most 
other flowers have stolen away, Mother Nature marshals her 
great order of Compositae for a last rally; and they come as 
welcome visitants to fill the places of our vanished summer 

Asters and goldenrods, grindelias, lessingias, and the numer- 
ous tarweeds, with their cheerful blossoms, relieve the sober 
browns of sun-dried hill-slopes and meadows, or fringe with 
color our roadsides and salt marshes. 

But even these late-comers weary after a time, and one by 
one disappear, till there comes a season when, without flowers. 
Nature seems to be humbled in sackcloth and ashes. The 
dust lies thick upon roadside trees, a haze hangs like a veil in 
the air, and the sun beats down with fierce, continued glare. 

As this wears on day after day, a certain vague expectancy 
creeps gradually over the face of things — a rapt, mysterious 
aspect, foreboding change. One day there is a telltale clarity 
in the atmosphere. Later, the sky darkens by degrees, and a 
dull, leaden hue spreads over the vault of heaven. Nature 



mourns, and would weep. Her heart is full to bursting; still 
the tears come not. The winds spring up and blow freshly- 
over the parched land. A few hard-wrung drops begin to fall, 
and at length there closes down a thoroughgoing shower. 
The flood-gates are opened at last; the long tension is over, 
and we breathe freely once more. 

During this first autumn rain, those of us who are so fortu- 
nate as to live in the country are conscious of a strange odor 
pervading all the air. It is as though Dame Nature were brew- 
ing a vast cup of herb tea, mixing in the fragrant infusion all 
the plants dried and stored so carefully during the summer. 

When the clouds vanish after this baptismal shower, every- 
thing is charmingly fresh and pure, and we have some of the 
rarest of days. Then the little seeds, harbored through the 
long summer in Earth's bosom, burst their coats and push 
up their tender leaves, till on hillside and valley-floor appears a 
delicate mist of green, which gradually confirms itself into a 
.soft, rich carpet — and all the world is in verdure clad. Then 
we begin to look eagerly for our first flowers. 




I think I would not be 
A stately tree, 
Broad-boughed, with haughty crest that seeks the sky I 

Too many sorrows lie 
In years, too much of bitter for the sweet : 
Frost-bite, and blast, and heat, 
Blind drought, cold rains, must all grow wearisome. 

Ere one could put away 

Their leafy garb for aye. 

And let death come. 

Rather this wayside flower! 

To live its happy hour 
Of balmy air, of sunshine, and of dew. 
A sinless face held upward to the blue; 

A bird-song sung to it, 

A butterfly to flit 
On dazzling wmgs above it, hither, thither, — 
A sweet surprise of life, — and then exhale 
A little fragrant soul on the soft gale, 

To float — ah ! whither ? 

— Ina d. Coolbrith. 


[ While or occasionally or partially white flowers not described 

in the White Section, 

Described in the Yellow Section: — 

Anagallis arvensis — Pimpernel. 

BRODiiCA LACTEA — White Bro- 

Calochortus Weedii — Mariposa 

CuscuTA— Dodder. 

Eriogonum ursinum. 

Erysimum grandiflorum — 
Cream-colored Wallflower. 


California Poppy. 

Flczrkia Douglasii — Meadow- 




Melt LOTUS alba — White Sweet 

Pterospora andromedea — Pine- 

Verbascum Blattaria — Moth- 

Described in the Pink Section: — 

Phlox Douglasii — Alpine Phlox. 
Rhus integri folia — Lemonade- 

Apocynum cannabinum — Ameri- 
can-Indian Hemp. 

Dodecatheon Clevel.\ndi — 

GiLIA androsacea. 

Levvisia rediviva — Bitter- Root. 

OxALis OREGANA~Redw*d-Sorrel. 

Rhus laurina— Sumach. 


Trientalis EuROPiEA — Star- 

Described in the Blue and Purple Section : — 

BRODiiEA LAXA — Ithuricrs Spear. Collinsia bicolor — CoUinsia. 
Calochortus CATALiNiE— Cata- Delphinium. 

lina Mariposa Tulip. 

Calochortus Maweanus — Cat's- 

Calochortus umbellatus — 
White Star-Tulip. 

Ceanothus divaricatus — Wild 

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus — Cali- 
fornia Lilac. 

Fritillarialiliacea- White Fri- 
• tillary. 

Iris Douglasiana — Douglas Iris. 

Iris macrosiphon — Ground Iris. 


Scutellaria Californica — 
White Skullcap 

Trillium sessile — Calif. Trillium. 

Described in the Red Section:- 
GiLiA AGGREGATA — Scarlet Gilia. Aquilegia ccerulea. 

Described in the Miscellaneous Section: — 

Cephalanthera Oregana — 
Phantom Orchis. 

Cypripedium Californicum— 
California Lady's Slipper. 

Cypripedium montanum — 
Mountain Lady's Slipper. 

Prosartes Menziesii — Drops of 



Dentarta Californica^ Nutt. Mustard Family. 

Roots.— ^^x\vi% small tubers. Stems, — Six inches to two feet 
high. Root 'leaves, —Simple and roundish or with three leaflets. Stem- 
leaves. —Usually with three to five pinnate leaflets, one to three inches 
long. Flowers. —White to pale rose-color. Sepals and Petals, — Four. 
Stamens. — Four long and two short. Ovary. — Two-celled. Style 
simple. Pod. —Slender; twelve to eighteen lines long. ^yn. — Carda- 
mifie paucisecta^ Benth. //ad.— Throughout the Coast Ranges. 

What a rapture we always feel over this first blossom of the 
year! not only for its own dear sake, but for the hopes and 
promises it holds out, the visions it raises of spring, with 
flower-covered meadows, running brooks, buds swelling every^ 
where, bird-songs, and the air rife with perfumes. 

It is like the dove sent forth from the ark,- this first tenta- 
tive blossom, this avant courier of the great army of Crucifers, 
or cross- bearers, so called because their four petals are stretched 
out like the four arms of a cross. 

It is usually in some sheltered wood that we look for this 
first shy blossom; but once it has proved the trustworthiness 
of the skies, it is followed by thousands of its companions, who 
then come out boldly and star the meadows with their pure 
white constellations. 

The Latin name of this genus (from the the word dens^ a 
tooth), translated into the vernacular, becomes toothwort, the 
termination wort signifymg merely plant or herb. 

It was so named because of the toothed rootstocks of many 

The little tubers upon the root often have a pungent taste, 
from which comes one of the other common names — "pepper- 
root.'* Various other names have been applied to these flowers, 
such as ** lady's smocks" and ** milkmaids.'' 

rOOTHV/ORT — DFnIaria Catifo 



Zygadenus Fretnontiy Michx. Lily Family. 

Bulb. — Dark-coated. Leaves, — Linear; a foot or two long; deeply 
channeled. Scape. — Three inches to even four feet high. Flowers. — 
White. Perianth Segments. — Six; strongly nerved; bearing at base 
yellow glands; inner segments clawed. Stamens, — ^Six; shorter than 
the perianth. Ovary, — Three-celled. Styles three; short. Capsule.— 
Three-beaked. Hab. — Coast Ranges, San Diego to Humboldt County. 

The generic name, Zygadenus^ is from the Greek, and sig- 
nifies yoked glands, referring to the glands upon the base of 
the perianth segments. 

We have several species, the most beautiful and showy of 
which is Z. Fremonti. This is widely distributed, and grows 
in very different situations. In our central Coast Range its 
tall stems, with their lovely clusters of white stars, make their 
appearance upon rocky hill-slopes with warm exposure, in the 
shelter of the trees, soon after the toothwort has sprinkled 
the fields with its white bloom. In the south it rears its tall 
stems upon open mesas, unprotected by the shelter of friendly 
tree or shrub, and in some localities it makes itself at home in 
bogs. It is possible that the future may reveal the presence of 
more than one species. 

It has sometimes been called ** soap-plant*'; but this name 
more appropriately belongs to Chlorogalum. It somewhat 
resembles the Star of Bethlehem of Eastern gardens. The fact 
that it grows in boggy places has given rise to the name of 
** water-lily*' in certain localities; but this ought to be discoun- 
tenanced, as it bears not the slightest resemblance to the mag- 
nificent water-lily of Eastern ponds. 

Another species — Z. venenosus^ Wats. — is found from Mon- 
terey and Mariposa Counties to British Columbia. This may be 
distinguished from the above by its narrow leaves — only two 
or three hnes wide, — usually folded together, and by its smaller 
flowers, with perianth segments only two or three lines long; and 
also by the fact that the stamens equal the segments in length. 
The bulb is poisonous, and our Northern Indians call it ** death 
camass,'* while the farmers in the Sierras call it ** Lobelia," not 

ZYGADENE — ^v^arfmuj Ft 


because of any resemblance to that plant, but because its poi- 
sonous effects are similar to those of the latter. It is fatal to 
horses, but hogs eat it with impunity, from which it is also 
known as ** hogs* potato.'' It is found in moist meadows or 
along stream-banks, in June and July. 


Rhus diversilobdy Terr, and Gray. Poison-Oak or Cashew Family. 

Shrubs. — Three to fifteen feet high. Leaflets. — One to four inches 
long. Flowers. — Greenish white; small. Sepals and Petals. — Usu- 
ally five. Stamens. — As many or twice as many as the petals. Ovary. 
— One-celled. Styles three; distinct or united. Fruit. — A small, dry, 
striate, whitish drupe. Hab. — Throughout California. 


The presence of the poison-oak in our woods and fields 
makes these outdoor haunts forbidden pleasures to persons 
who are susceptible to it. It is closely allied to the poison-ivy 
of the Eastern States, and very similar in its effects. It is a 
charming shrub in appearance, with beautiful glossy, shapely 
leaves; and in early summer, when it turns to many shades of 
scarlet and purple-bronze, it is especially alluring to the unsus- 
pecting. It is quite diverse in its habit, sometimes appearing 
as an erect shrub, and again climbing trees or rock surfaces, by 
means of small aerial rootlets, to a considerable height. Horses 
eat the leaves without injury; and the honey which the bees dis- 
till from its small greenish-white flowers is said to be excellent. 

Many low plants seek the shelter of these shrubs, and some 
of our loveliest flowers, such as Clarkias, Godetias, Collinsias, 
Brodiaeas, and larkspurs, seem to realize that immunity from 
human marauders is to be had within its safe retreat. 

The remedies for oak-poisoning are numerous; and it may 
not be out of place to mention a few of them here. Different 
remedies are required by different individuals. Any of the 
following plants may be made into a tea and used as a wash: 
Grindelia, manzanita, wild peony, Cahfornia holly, and Rham- 
71US Purshiania^ or Calif ornica. Hot solutions of soda, Epsom 
salts, or saltpeter are helpful to many, and the bulb of the 




soap-root, — Chlorogaltim pomeridianiim — pounded to a paste 
and used as a salve, allowing it to dry upon the surface and 
remain for some hours at least, is considered excellent. In fact, 
any pure toilet soap may be used in the same manner. 


Triilium ovatiim, Pursh. Lily Family. 

Rootstock. — Thickened. Stem. — Erect; stout; a foot or more 
high; bearing at summit a whorl of three sessile leaves. Leaves. — 
Rhomboidal; acuminate; netted- veined; five-nerved; two to six inches 
long. Flower. — Solitary; pure white, turning: to deep rose; peduncle 
one to three inches long. Sepals.— T\\x&t\ herbaceous. Pelals.— -One 
or two inches long. Stamens. — Six. Ovary. — Three-celled. Stigmas 
three; sessile. Capsule. — Broadly ovate; six-winged. Hab. — ^The 
Coast Ranges, from Santa Cruz to British Columbia. 

The wake-robin is in the vanguard of our spring flowers, 
and a walk into some high, cold canon while the days are still 
dark and short will be amply rewarded by the finding of its 
white and peculiarly pure-looking blossoms standing upon 
the bank overlooking the streamlet. The blossoms remain 
unchanged for a time, and then, as they fade, turn to a deep 
purplish rose-color. 

Our wake-robin so closely resembles 7! grandiflorum, 
Salisb., of the Eastern States, that it seems a pity it should 
have been made into a different species. 


Fragaria Chilensis^ Ehrhart. Rose Family. 
Hab. — The coast, from Alaska to San Francisco and southward. 

This beautiful strawberry is found growing near the sea- 
shore, where its large, delicious berries are often buried 
beneath the shifting sand, becoming bleached in color. It 
sometimes covers acres with its thick, shining, dark-green 
leaves, among which are sprinkled its large pure-white flowers, 
an inch or more across. 

The wood-strawberry — F, Californica — is very common in 
the Coast Ranges; but for the most part it is dry and flavorless. 






Arctostaphylos manzanita, Parry. Heath Family. 

Shrubs three to twenty-five feet hi^h, with purple-brown bark. 
Leaves. — Pale. Flowers, — White or pinkish; in crowded clusters. 
Corolla. — Four or five lines long; campanulate. Slaviens. — ^Ten; 
filaments dilated and bearded at base; anthers two-celled, opening ter- 
minally, each cell furnished with a long downward-pointing horn. 
Ovary. — Globose; five to ten-celled. Style simple. Fruit. — Six lines 
in diameter, containing several bony nutlets. Syn. — Arctostaphylos 
Pungens, HBK. //izd.— Throughout the State. 

Of all our shrubs, the manzanita is the most beautiful and 
the best known. Sometimes as early as Christmas it may be 
found in full bloom, when its dense crown of pale foliage, sur- 
mounting the rich purple-brown stems, is thickly sown with 
the little clusters of fragrant waxen bells. After the blossoms 
have passed away, the shrubs put forth numerous brilliant 
scarlet or crimson shoots, which at a little distance look like a 
strange and entirely new kind of blossoming. The manzanita 
is closely allied to the madrono, and resembles it in many 
ways, particularly in the annual peeling of its rich red bark 
and in the form of its flowers. 

The Greek generic name, translated into English, becomes 
"bearberry." The pretty Spanish name — from majtzana^ 
apple, and the diminutive, ita, — was bestowed by the early 
Spanish-Californians, who recognized the resemblance of the 
fruit to tiny apples. 

We have a dozen or more species of Arctostaphylos ^ but A, 
manzanita is the commonest of them all. It varies greatly in 
size and habit. In localities most favorable it becomes a large, 
erect shrub, with many clustered trunks, while in the Sierras 
it finds but a precarious footing among the granite rocks, often 
covering their surfaces with its small tortuous, stiff branches. 
The leaves, by a twisting of their stalks, assume a vertical posi- 
tion on the branches, a habit which enables many plants of dry 
regions to avoid unnecessary evaporation. 

The largest manzanita known is upon the estate of Mr. 
Tiburcio Parrott, in St. Helena, Napa County, California. It 


MANZANITA — ,* rcloslapbylo! 


is thirty-five feet high, with a spread of branches equal to its 
height, while its trunk measures eleven and a half feet in cir- 
cumference at the ground, soon dividing into large branches. 
It is a veritable patriarch, and has doubdess seen many cen- 
turies. According to an interesting account in ** Garden and 
Forest," it once had a narrow escape from the ax of a wood- 
man. A gendeman who was a lover of trees, happening to 
pass, paid the woodman two dollars to spare its life. 

Years ago no traveler from the East felt that he could return 
home without a manzanita cane, made from as straight a 
branch as could be secured. 

The berries of this shrub are dry and bony and quite un- 
satisfactory. They are, however, pleasantly acid, and have been 
put to several uses. It is said that both brandy and vinegar 
are made from them, and housewives make quite a good jelly 
from some species. Bears are fond of the berries, and the 
Indians eat them, both raw and pounded into a flour, from which 
mush is made. The leaves made into a tincture or infusion are 
now an officinal drug, valued in catarrh of the throat or stomach. 

From Monterey to San Diego is {oxxvidi A, glauca^ Lindl., 
the great-berried manzanita. It closely resembles the above, 
but its berries are three fourths of an inch in diameter. 

Of the same range as the last is A, bicolor, Gray, whose 
leaves are of a rich, shining green above and white and woolly 
beneath. Its berries are the size of a pea, yellowish at first, 
and turning red later. 


Sajri/raga Calif ornica^ Greene. Saxifrage Family. 

Leaves. — Few; all radical; oval; one to two inches long, on broad 
pi'tioles six to twelve lines long. Scape. — Six to eighteen inches high. 
Ftowers, — White or rose; four or five lines across. Calyx. — Deeply 
five-cleft, with reflexed lobes. Pelals. — Borne on the calyx. Stamens. 
— Ten. Ovaries, — Two; partly united. Styles short. Stigmas capi- 
tate. Syn. — kS". VirginieHsiSylX\z\\y.. Hab. — Throughout the State. 

In the rich soil of cool northward slopes, or on many a 
mossy bank amid the tender young fronds of the maidenhair. 




may be found the delicate clusters of our little Californian saxi- 
frage. The plants are small, with but a few, perhaps only one 
or two, oval, rather hairy leaves, lying upon the ground, and a 
slender red scape upholding the dainty cluster of small white 
flowers. The tips of the calyx-lobes are usually red, and the 
wee stamens are pink. 

We have several species of saxifrage, most of which are 
plants of exceeding delicacy and grace, and with small flowers. 


Montia perfoliata, Howell. Purslane Family. 

Smooth, succulent herbs. Radical Leaves, — Long-petioled; broadly 
rhomboidal. Stems. — Simple; six to twelve inches high, having, near 
the summit, a pair of leaves united around the stem. Flowers, — White. 
Sepals. — Two. Petals. — Five, minute. Stamens. — Five. Ovary. — 
One-celled Style slender. Stigma three-cleft. Syn. — Claytonia per- 
Joliatay Don. Hab. — Throughout California. 

Though our Indian lettuce is closely allied to the Eastern 
"Spring Beauty," one would never suspect it from its out- 
ward appearance and habit. The little flower-racemes look as 
though they might have pushed their way right through the 
rather large saucer-like leaf just below them. The succulent 
leaves and stems are greedily eaten by the Indians, from which 
it is called ** Indian lettuce." 

Mr. Powers, of Sheridan, writes that the Placer County In- 
dians have a novel way of preparing their salad. Gathering 
the stems and leaves, they lay them about the entrances of the 
nests of certain large red ants. These, swarming out, run all 
over it. After a time the Indians shake them oflf, satisfied that 
the lettuce has a pleasant sour taste equaling that imparted 
by vinegar. These Httle plants are said to be excellent when 
boiled and well seasoned, and they have long been grown in 
England, where they are highly esteemed for salads. 


MINER'S LETTVCK — MOnlia J'tr/olu 



Anetnone quinquefolia, L. Buttercup or Crowfoot Family. 

Rootstock, — Horizontal. Stem. — Six to fourteen inches high. 
Z^az'^^.— Radical leaf remote from the stem; trifid; the segments ser- 
rate. Involucral leaf not far below the flower; three foliolate. Sepals.— 
Petaloid; five or six; usually bluish outside. Petals. — Wanting. Sta- 
mens and Pistils. — Numerous. Akenes. — ^Two lines long; twelve to 
twenty. Syn. — Anemofie nemorosa^ L. Hab. — The Coast Ranges, in 
moist shade. 

The delicate blossoms of the wood anemone might at first 
be confounded with those of the toothwort by the careless' 
observer, but a moment's reflection will quickly distinguish 
them. The anemone is always a solitary flower with many 
stamens, and its petals are of a more delicate texture. It 
grows upon wooded banks or cool, shaded flats among the 

There are many quaint traditions as to the origin of its 
name, and poets have from early times found something ideal 
of which to sing in these simple spring flowers. 

The generic name has the accent upon the third syllable, 
but, when Anglicized into the common name, the accent falls 
back upon the second. 


Nuttallia cerasiformis, Torr. and Gray. Rose Family 

Deciduous shrubs; two to fifteen feet high. Leaves. — Broadly ob 
lanceolate; two to four inches long; narrowed into a short petiole. 
Flowers. — White; in short terminal racemes; dioecious; three to eleven 
lines across. Calyx, — Top-shaped, with five-lobed border. Petals.— 
Five; inserted with ten of the stamens on the calyx; broadly spatulate. 
Stamens. — Fifteen. Ovaries. — Five. Styles short. Fruit. — Blue- 
black, oblong drupes; six to eight lines long. Hab. — Chiefly the Coast 
Ranges from San Luis Obispo to Fraser River. 

About the same time that the beautiful leaves of the buck- 
eye are emerging from their wrappings, we notice in the woods 
a shrub which has just put forth its clusters of bright-green 
leaves from buds all along its slender twigs. Amid their 
delicate green hang short clusters of greenish-white flowers. 




These blossoms have a delicious bitter fragrance, redolent of 
all the tender memories of the springtime. 

This shrub is usually mistaken for a wild plum; and the 
illusion is still further assisted when the little drupes, like min- 
iature plums, begin to ripen and hang in yellow and purple 
clusters amid the matured leaves. 


Yucca MohavensiSy Sargent. Lily Family. 

Trunk, — Usually simple; rarely exceeding fifteen feet high; six or 
eight inches in diameter; naked, or covered with refracted dead leaves, 
or clothed to the ground with the living leaves. Leaves. — Linear- 
lanceolate; one to three feet long; one or two inches wide; rigid; mar- 
gins at length bearine coarse recurved threads. Flowers, — In short- 
stemmed or sessile, aistaff-shaped panicles, a foot or two long; pedicels 
eventually drooping, twelve to eighteen lines long. Perianth. — Broadly 
campanulate. Segments, — Six; thirty lines long; six to twelve wide. 
Stamens. — Six; six to nine lines long; filaments white, club-shaped. 
Ovary. — Oblong; white; an inch or two long, including the slender 
style. Stigmas three. Fruit. — Cylindrical; three or four inches long; 
pendulous, pulpy. Syn. — Yucca baccata, Torr. Hab. — Southern 
California, from Monterey to San Diego; coast and inland. 

The genus Yucca comprises sixteen or eighteen species, and 
reaches its greatest development in Northern Mexico. Three 
species are to be found within our borders, two of which are 
arborescent, K. arborescenSy and K. Mohavensis, Consider- 
able confusion has hitherto reigned among the species, but 
they are now better understood. 

They are all valuable to our Indians as basket and textile 
plants, and are useful to them in many other ways. 

Owing to the structure of the flowers, self-fertilization seems 
impossible, and scientists who have made a study of the sub- 
ject say that these plants are dependent upon a little white, 
night-flying moth to perform this office for them. This little 
creature goes from plant to plant, gathering the pollen, which 
she rolls up into a ball with her feet. When sufficient has 
been gathered, she goes to another plant, lays her ^gg in its 
ovary, and before leaving ascends to the stigma and actually 
pushes the pollen into it, seeming to realize that unless she 



performs this last act, there will be nothing for her progeny to 
eat. This seems an almost incredible instance of insect intelli- 
gence; but it is a well-authenticated fact. 

Yucca MohavensiSj commonly called **wild date,** or 
"Spanish bayonet," is more widely distributed within our 
borders than either of our other species. Its large panicle of 
overpoweringly fragrant white waxen bells is a striking object 
wherever seen. On the coast this yucca is often stemless, 
but in the interior, where it is more abundant, it rises to a 
considerable height, and culminates upon the Mojave Desert, 
where the finest specimens are found. 

The fruit, which ripens in August and September, turns 
from green to a tawny yellow, afterward becoming brownish 
purple, and eventually almost black. This has a sweet, suc- 
culent flesh, and, either fresh or dried, is a favorite fruit among 
the Indians. Dr. Palmer writes that this is one of the most 
useful plants to the Indians of New Mexico, Arizona, and 
Southern California. They cut the stems into slices, beat 
them into a pulp, and mix them with the water in washing, as 
a substitute for soap. 

The leaves are parched in ashes, to make them pliable, and 
are afterward soaked in water and pounded with a wooden 
mallet. The fibers thus liberated are long, strong, and dur- 
able, and lend themselves admirably to the weaving of the 
gayly decorated horse-blankets made by the tribes of Southern 
California. They also make from it ropes, twine, nets, hats, 
hair-brushes, shoes, mattresses, baskets, etc. 






Smilacina sessilifolia^ Nutt Lily Family. 

Rootstock. — Slender; branching; 'creeping; scars not conspicuous. 
Stem. — ^About a foot long (sometimes two); usually zigzag above; 
leafy. Leaves. — Alternate; sessile; lanceolate; two to six inches long; 
shining above; spreading in a horizontal plane. Flowers. — White; few; 
in a simple terminal raceme, on pedicels two to seven lines long. 
Perianth. — Of six, distinct, spreading segments. Segments. — One 
and one half to four lines long; lanceolate Stafnens. — Six; half the 
length of the segments. Ovary. — Three-celled. Style short. Berry. — 
Nearly black; three to five lines through. Hab. — Monterey to British 

The False Solomon's Seal is one of the prettiest plants in 
our woods in March, and in many places it almost hides the 
ground from view. It has a gracefulj drooping habit that 
shows its handsome, spreading leaves to full advantage, and 
its few delicate little white blossoms are a fitting termination 
to the pretty sprays. 

^. amplexicaulis^ Nutt., is a very handsome, decorative 
plant, with fine, tall, leafy stem, and large, feathery panicle of 
tiny white flowers. The broadened white filaments are the 
most conspicuous part of these blossoms, which are less than a 
line long. The berries are light-colored, dotted with red or 


Romanzoffia Sitchensis, Bongard. Baby-eyes or Water leaf Family. 

Leaves. — Six to eighteen lines across; smooth. Flowers. — White,, 
pink, or purple. Calyx. — Deeply five-parted. Corolla . — Funnel-form ; 
five-lobed; four lines long. Stamens. — Five. Ovary. — Two-celled. 
Hab. — Coast Ranges, from Santa Cruz northward. 

In appearance these delicate herbs resemble the saxifrages, 
and they affect much the same sort of places, decking mossy 
banks and stream borders with their beautiful scalloped leaves 
and small white flowers. 

The genus was named in honor of Nicholas Romanzoff*, a 
Russian nobleman, who, by his munificence, enabled some 
noted botanists to visit this coast early in the century. 



MIST-MAIDENS — Ramamoffia Silchemis. 



Mamillaria Goodridgii, Scheen Cactus Family. 

Oval, fleshy, leafless plants; mostly single, though sometimes 
clustered; three to five inches long; covered with prominences or 
tubercles. Tubercles. — Each bearing a flat rosette of short, whitish 
spines, with an erect, dark, fish-hook-like central one. Flowers. — 
Small; greenish- white. Outer Sepals. — Fringed. Petals. — About eight; 
awned. Stamens. — Numerous. Ovary. — One-celled. Stigmas five or 
six. Fruit. — Scarlet; an inch long. Hab, — San Diego and neigh- 
boring islands, and southward. 

The dry hill-slopes about San Diego aflford the most inter- 
esting field accessible to civilization, i, e, within our boundaries, 
for the gathering and study of the cacti. 

Nestling close to the ground, usually under some shrub or 
vine, you will find the little fish-hook cactus, one of the pret- 
tiest and most interesting of them all. Its oval form bristles 
with the little dark hooks, each of which emanates from a flat 
star of whitish spines. 

The flowers may be found in April or May, but it is ipore 
noticeable when in fruit. The handsome scarlet berries, like 
old-fashioned coral eardrops, protruding from among the 
thorns, are easily picked out, and they very naturally find their 
way to one's mouth. Nor is one disappointed in the expecta- 
tion raised by their brilliant exterior — for the flavor is deli- 
cious, though I cannot say it resembles that of the strawberry, 
as some aver. To me it is more like a fine tart apple. 


Rubus Nutkanus^ Mocino. Rose Family. 

Stems. — Three to eight feet high. Leaves. — Palmately and nearly 
equally five-lobed; cordate at base; four to twelve inches broad; the 
lobes acute; densely tomentose beneath. Flowers. — Few; clustered; 
white, sometimes pale rose; an inch or two across, with rounded pet- 
als. Stamens and Pistils. — Numerous. Fruit. — Large; red; "like an 
inverted saucer; '* sweet and rather dry. Hab. — Monterey to Alaska. 

The thimble-berry is unequaled for the canopy of pure 
light-green foliage which it spreads in our woods. It would 



take the clearest of water-colors to portray its color and tex- 
ture. The large white flowers, with their crumpled petals, are 
deliciously fragrant, but with us are never followed by an 
edible fruit, probably owing to the dryness of our summer 
climate. In Oregon and northward the berries are said to be 
luscious. There the bushes g^ow in the fir forests, where they 
seem most at home. 

Ruhus spectahilis, Pursh. , the salmon-berry, has leaves with 
three leaflets, and large solitary, rose-colored flowers, which 
are followed by a salmon-colored berry. These shrubs are 
exceedingly beautiful when in full bloom. 


Lathyrus vesiiius^ Nutt. Pea Family. 

Stems. — One to ten feet high; slender; not winged. Leaves. — 
Alternate; with small semi-sagittate stipules; pinnate, with four to six 
pairs of leaflets; tendril-bearing at the summit. Leaflets. — Ovate- 
oblong to linear; six to twelve lines lone; acute. Flowers. — White, 
pale rose or violet; seven to ten lines long. Lower Calyx-teeth. — 
About equaling the tube. Corolla. — Papilionaceous ; the standard veined 
with purple in the center. Stamens. — Nine united; one free. Ovary. 
— Flattened; pubescent. Style hairy down the inner side. (See Legu- 
minosa.) Hab. — Sonoma County to San Diego. 

The genus Lathyrus, which contains the beautiful sweet pea 
of the garden, affords us several handsome wild species, but 
most of them are difficult of determination, and many of them 
are as yet much confused. This genus is quite closely related 
to Vicia, but, in general, the leaflets are broader, the flowers 
are larger, and the style is hairy down the inner side as well as 
at the tip. 

Lathyrus vestitus is the common wild pea of the south. It 
is quite plentiful, and clambers over and under shrubs, hanging 
out its occasional clusters of rather large pale flowers. 

L. Torreyi, Gray, found from Santa Clara County to Napa 
in dry woods, is a slender plant, having from one to three 
small white or pinkish flowers. It is remarkable for and easily 
distinguished by its very fragrant foliage. 




Echinocystis fahacea^ Naudin. Gourd Family. 

Tendril-bearing vines, ten to thirty feet long. Root. — Enormous; 
woody. Leaves, — Palmately five- to seven-lobed; three to six inches 
broad. Flowers. — Yellowish white; monoecious. Calyx-tube. — Cam- 
panulate; teeth small or none. Corolla. — Five- to seven-lobed; three 
to six lines across. Staminate Flowers. — Five to twenty in racemes; 
their stamens two and a half, with short connate filaments and some- 
what horizontal anthers. Pistillate Flowers. — Solitary; from the same 
axils as the racemes. Ovary. — Two- to four-celled. Fruit. — Two 
inches long; prickly. Syn. — Megarrhiza Calif ornica^ Torr. Hab. — 
Near the coast, from San Diego to Point Reyes. 

The wild cucumber is one of our most graceful native vines. 
It drapes many an unsightly stump, or clambers up into 
shrubs, embowering them with its pretty foliage. Seeing its 
rather delicate ivy-like habit above ground, one would never 
dream that it came from a root as large as a man's body, 
buried deep in the earth. From this root, it has received two 
of its common names, ** big-root'* and * * man-in-the-ground. " 
Sometimes this may be seen upon the ocean beach or rolling 
about in the breakers, where it has been liberated by the wear- 
ing away of the cliffs. It is intensely bitter. 

The seeds have a very interesting method of germinating. 
The two large radical leaves remain underground, sending up 
the terminal shoot only. They are so tender and succulent 
that they would be eaten forthwith, if they showed them- 
selves above the ground. An oil expressed from the roasted 
seeds has been used by the Indians to promote the growth of 
the hair. 

Authorities have differed about the classification of these 
plants, and they have been variously called Megarrhiza^ 
Micrampelis, and Echinocystis^ the latter being latest approved. 
We have several species. One common in the South is E, 
macrocarpa^ Greene. This has a large oval, prickly ball, four 
inches or so long. When mature, this opens at the top, split- 
ting into several segments, which gradually roll downward, 
like the petals of a beautiful white lily, showing their pure- 
white inner surfaces and leaving exposed the four cells in the 


WILD CUCUMBER — EcAiNoO'i'"/''*' 


center, with lacelike walls, in which nestle the large, handsome 
dark seeds. These seeds are often beautifully mottled and 
colored, and in the early days served the Spanish-Califomian 
children for marbles. 


Layia glandulosa^ Hook, and Am. Composite Family. 

Stems. — Six to twelve inches high; loosely branching; hairy; often 
reddish. Leaves. — Sessile; linear; the upper all smaU and entire; the 
lower often lanceolate and incised pinnatifid. Heads. — Usually large 
and showy. Ray-flowers. — Bright, pure white, sometimes rose-color; 
ei^ht to thirteen; three-lobed; an inch or less long; six lines wide. 
Disk-flowers. — Golden yellow; five-toothed. Each scale of the invo- 
lucre clasping a ray-flower. Hab. — Columbia River to Los Angeles. 

These white daisies, as they are commonly called in the 
south, cover the fields and plains in early spring, jostling one 
another in friendly proximity and stretching away in an end- 
less perspective. They are of a charming purity, and to me 
are more attractive than their sisters, the tidy-tips. 

They love a sandy soil, and I have seen them flourishing in 
the disintegrated granite of old river-beds, where the dazzling 
whiteness of the stones was hardly distinguishable from the 
blossoms. The involucre is thickly studded with curious little 
glands, resembling small glass-k^aded pins. 


Galium Aparine, L. Madder Family. 

Climbing by the prickly stem-angles and leaf-margins. Stems. — 
Weak; one to four feet long. Leaves. — In whorls of six to eight; 
linear oblanceolate; one inch long. Peduncles. — Elongated; one- to 
two-flowered. Flowers. — Minute; one line across; greenish-white. 
Calyx-tube. — Adnate to the ovary; limb obsolete. Corolla. — Mostly 
four-cleft. Stafftens. — Four. Ovary. — ^Two-lobed, two-celled. Styles 
two, short. Stigmas, capitate. Fruit. — ^Two or three lines across, 
covered with hooked bristles. Hab. — Throughout the State. 

All through our moist woodlands, in early spring, the long 
stems of the bed-straw may be found, running about upon the 
ground or entangled amid the stems of other plants. The 



angles of these weak stems and the leaf-margins and midribs 
are all clothed with small backward-pointing bristles, which 
make the plants cling to surrounding objects. The flowers are 
greenish and minute, and are followed by tiny prickly balls. 

A cold infusion of this little plant is used as a domestic 
remedy in cases of fever, where a cooling drink is desired. 

The genus has received the common name of ** bed-straw," 
because it was supposed that one of the species, G. verum, 
filled the manger in which was laid the Infant Jesus. There 
are a dozen or so species in California. 

Very conspicuous all through the south is G, angustifoliutny 
Nutt., often three feet high, sending up very numerous slender, 
feathery stems from a woody base. This has its small leaves 
in whorls of four. 


Viola BeckTviihii, Torr. and Gray. Violet Family. 

Leaves. — Broadly cordate in outline; three-parted; the divisions 
cleft into linear or oblong segments. Peduncles. — About equaling the 
leaves. Petals. — Four to seven lines long; very broad; the upper 
deep purple, the others lilac, bluish, or white, veined with purple, with 
a yellowish base; the lateral bearded; the lowest emarginate. Stigma. 
— Bearded at the sides. Capsule. — Obtuse. (Otherwise as V. pedun- 
culata. ) Hab. —The Central Sierras. 

'* By scattered rocks and turbid waters shifting, 
By ftirrowed glade and dell, 
To feverish men thy calm, sweet face uplifting, 
Thou stayest them to tell 

** The delicate thought that cannot find expression — 
For ruder speech too fair, — 
That, like thy petals, trembles in possession. 
And scatters on the air." 

The poet, with a delicate insight, has made this mountain 
flower the reminder to the rugged miner of home and scenes 
far away. But the vision lasts but for a moment only; then, as 
he brushes away a tear, his uplifted pick — 



"Through root and fiber cleaves — 
And on the muddy current slowly drifting 
Are swept thy bruised leaves. 

*' And yet, O poet! in thy homely fashion, 
Thy work thou dost fulfill; 
For on the turbid current of his passion 
Thy face is shining still." 



Borage Family. 

The wild white forget-me-nots are among our most wel- 
come flowers. Though not showy, taken singly, they often 
cover the fields, presenting the appearance of a light snowfall, 
from which fact the Spanish-Califomians have bestowed the 
pretty name **nievitas,'* the diminutive of nieve^ snow. 

Their chief charm often lies in their pure, delightful fra- 
grance, which recalls the days of our careless, happy childhood. 
Children are keen observers of flowers, and are among their 
most appreciative lovers, and with them these modest, chaste 
little blossoms are special favorites. 

There are many species, and even genera, and their deter- 
mination is beset with serious difliculties. It requires endless 
study and patience to disentangle the facts about any one of 
them. They are comprised under several genera, Krynitzkia^ 
Plagiobothrys^ Eritrichium, PiptocalyXy etc. Some have fra- 
grant flowers and some have not. Children of the south call 
them * * pop-corn flowers. ' * 





Whipplea niodesta, Torr. Saxifrage Family. 

Slender, diffuse, hairy undershrubs. Leaves, — Opposite; short- 
petioled; ovate; toothed or entire; an inch or less long; three-nerved. 
Flowers. — White; barely three lines across; in small terminal clusters. 
Calyx. — White; five-cleft. Petals. — Five. Stamens. — Usually ten. 
Filaments awl-shaped. Ovary. — Three- to five-celled, globose. Styles 
of the same number. Hab. — Coast Ranges from Monterey to Mendo- 
cino County. 

Under the redwoods, or in moist canons in their vicinity, 
may be found this pretty undershrub trailing over banks or 
brushwood. In April its exquisite little clusters of pure white 
flowers, with a pleasant fragrance, make their appearance, and 
the plants have then been sometimes mistaken for a species of 


Tellima affinis^ Bolander. Saxifrage Family. 

Stems. — Slender; six to twenty inches high. Root-leaves. — Round- 
reniform; scalloped; rarely an inch across. Stem-leaves. — Three to 
five; temately cleft; variously toothed. Flowers. — ^White; in a loose 
raceme; nine lines across. Lalyx. — Small; campanulate; five-toothed. 
Petals. — Five; wedge-shaped, with three acute lobes. Stamens. — 
Ten. Filaments very short. Ovary. — One-celled. Styles, three, short, 
stout. Stigmas, capitate. Hab. — Shady places almost throughout the 

* * Star of Bethlehem ' ' is the common name by which many 
of our children know this fragile flower. Its slender stems rise 
from many a mossy bank, upbearing their few delicately 
slashed, pure-white stars, which seem to shed a gentle radiance 
about them upon the woodland scene. 


WHIPPLEA— Jf htt-plea 



Eriogonum fasciculatum^ Bentham. Buckwheat Family. 

Shrubby; very leafy. Leaves. — Alternate; nearly sessile; narrowly 
oblanceolate; acute; tomentose beneath; glabrous above; three to nine 
lines long; much fascicled. Flowers. — White or pinkish; in densely 
crowded compound clusters; several perianths contained in the invo- 
lucres. Involucres. — Campanulate; five- or six-nerved and toothed; 
two lines high. Perianth. — Minute; of six nearly equal segments. 
(See Eriogonum umbellatum.) Hab. — Santa Barbara and southward; 
east to Arizona. 

The wild buckwheat is a characteristic feature of the south- 
em landscape. It is a charming plant when in full bloom, and 
its feathery clusters of pinkish-white flowers show finely against 
the warm olive tones of its foliage. It is a very important 
honey plant, as it yields an exceptionally pure nectar and 
remains in bloom a long time. Growing near the sea, it is 
often close-cropped and shorn by the wind, and then it quite 
closely resembles the Adenostoma^ or chamisal. 

Another very widely distributed and common species is E. 
nudum, Dougl. Every one is familiar with its tall, green, 
naked, rushlike stems, bearing on the ends of the branchlets 
the small balls of white or pinkish flowers. Its leaves are 
all radical, smooth green above and densely white-woolly 


Prunus subcordata^ Benth. Rose Family. 

Trees or shrubs three to ten feet high, with ash-gray bark and branch- 
lets occasionally spinescent. Leaves. — Short-petioled; ovate; sharply 
and finely serrate; an inch or two long. Umbels. — ^Two- to four- 
flowered. Pedicels three to six lines long. Flowers. — White; six lines 
across. Fruit. — Red or purple; six to fifteen lines long; fleshy; 
smooth. (Otherwise as P. ilicifolia. ) Hab. — Mostly eastward of the 
Central Valley, from San Felipe into Oregon. 

The wild plum reaches its greatest perfection in the north, 
where the shrubs are found in extensive groves covering whole 
mountain slopes. 

The flowers, which are produced before the leaves, from 
March to May, are white, fading to rose-color. By August 


WILD BUCKWHEAT- EriBgmum/aicu 


and September, the bushes are loaded with the handsome 
fruit, richly mottled with red, yellow, and purple; and these 
colors are duplicated in the autumn foliage, which in the North 
becomes very brilliant. 

This fruit is excellent for canning, preserving, and making 
into jelly. Many families make annual pilgrimages to these 
wild-plum orchards of the mountains and carry away bushels 
of the fruit; but even then countless tons of it go to waste. 

P. demissa, Walpers, — the wild cherry or choke-cherry, — 
is found upon mountains throughout the State, but less abun- 
dantly near the coast. Its small white flowers grow in racemes 
three or four inches long, and these ripen into the pretty 
shining black cherries, half an inch in diameter. It often 
covers acres upon acres of rough land, and commences to bear 
when but two feet high. 

Housewives of our mountain districts make a marmalade 
of the fruit, which has a peculiarly delicious, tart flavor. 


Ellisia chrysanthemifolia, Benth. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

More or less hairy. Stems. — Loosely branching; a foot or so high. 
Leaves. — Mostly opposite; auricled at base; twice- or thrice-parted 
into many short, small lobes. Flowers. — In loose racemes; white; 
three lines or so across. Calyx:. — Five-cleft; without appendages at 
the sinuses; almost equaling the corolla. Corolla. — Open-campanu- 
late; having ten minute scales at base within. Stamens. — Five. 
Ovary. — One-celled; globose. Style slender; two-cleft. Hab. —San 
Francisco to San Diego. 

These little plants, with delicately dissected leaves, are 
common in moist, shaded localities; but, unfortunately, their 
foliage has a very strong odor, which just escapes being agree- 
able. Their general aspect is somewhat similar to that of some 
of the small species of Nemophila; but the lack of append- 
ages upon the calyx reveals their separate identity. It blooms 
freely from March to June, and is especially abundant south- 




Arbutus Menziesiiy Pursh. Heath Family. 

Shrubs or trees. Leaves, — Alternate; petioled; oblong; entire or 
serrulate; four inches or so long. Flowers. — White; waxen; in large 
clusters. Ca/y^r.— Five-cleft; minute; white. G?w/^i.— Broadly urn- 
shaped; three lines long; with five minute, recurved teeth. Stamens. — 
Ten; on the corolla. Filaments dilated; bearded. Anthers two-celled; 
saccate; opening terminally; furnished with a pair of reflexed horns 
near the summit. Ovary. — Five-celled. Style rather long. Fruit. — 
A cluster of scarlet-orange berries, with rough granular coats. Hab. — 
Puget Sound to Mexico and Texas; specially in the Coast Ranges. 

Captain of the Western wood. 
Thou that apest Robin Hood ! 
Green above thy scarlet hose, 
How thy velvet mantle shows; 
Never tree like thee arrayed, 
O thou gallant of the glade! 

When the fervid August sun 
Scorches all it looks upon, 
And the balsam of the pine 
Drips from stem to needle fine. 
Round thy compact shade arranged, 
Not a leaf of thee is changed! 

When the yellow autumn sun 
Saddens all it looks upon. 
Spreads its sackcloth on the hills, 
Strews its ashes in the rills. 
Thou thy scarlet hose dost doff, 
And in limbs of purest buff 
Challengest the somber glade 
For a sylvan masquerade. 

Where, oh where shall he begin 
W^ho would paint thee. Harlequin ? 
With thy waxen, burnished leaf. 
With thy branches' red relief, 
With thy poly-tinted fruit. 
In thy spring or autumn suit, — 
Where begin, and oh, where end, — 
Thou whose charms all art transcend ? 

— Bret Harte. 



The name * * madrono ' ' was applied by the early Spanish- 
Californians to this tree because of its strong resemblance and 
close relationship to the Arbtitus unido, or strawberry-tree of 
the Mediterranean countries, which was called madrono in 

Our madrono, though but a large shrub in the south, in- 
creases in size northward, and reaches its maximum develop- 
ment in Marin County, where there are some superb specimens 
of it. One tree upon the shores of Lake Lagunitas measures 
more than twenty-three feet in circumference and a hundred 
feet in height, and sends out many large branches, each two or 
three feet in diameter. 

A large part of the forest growth on the northern slopes of 
Mt. Tamalpais is composed of it; and as it is an evergreen, it 
forms a mountain wall of delightful and refreshing greenth the 
year around. The bark on the younger limbs, which is of a 
rich Indian red, begins to peel off in thin layers about mid- 
summer, leaving a clear, smooth, greenish-buff surface, and 
strewing the forest floor with its warm shreds, which mingling 
with the exquisite tones of its ripened leaves, which have fallen 
at about the same time, make a carpet equal in beauty of color- 
ing to that under the English beeches. It is thoroughly patri- 
cian in all its parts. The leaves which are clustered at the 
ends ol the slender twigs are rich, polished green above, and 
somewhat paler beneath. 

In the spring it puts forth great panicles of small, white, 
waxen bells, which call the bees to a sybaritic feast, and in the 
autumn it spreads a no less inviting repast in its great clusters 
of fine scarlet berries 'for the blue pigeons who visit it in large 

The wood of the madrone is hard and close-grained, of a 
light brown, shaded with red, with lighter-colored sap-wood. 
It is used in the manufacture of furniture, but is particularly 
valuable for the making of charcoal to be used in the composi- 
tion of gunpowder. The bark is sometimes used in tanning 




Ceanoihus velutinus^ Dougl. Buckthorn Family. 

Widely branching shrubs, two to six feet or more high. Leaves. — 
Alternate; petioled; roundish, or broadly ovate; eignteen lines to 
three inches long; polished, resinous above; somewhat pubescent be- 
neath; strongly three-nerved. Flowers. — White; three lines across; 
in large, dense, compound clusters four or five inches long and wide. 
(See Ceanothus, for flower structure.) Hab.— Qo2&\. Ranges; Colum- 
bia River, southward to San Francisco Bay; also eastward to Colorado. 

Its ample bright-green, highly varnished leaves and large 
white flower-clusters make this a very beautiful species of 
Ceanoihus, The foliage is glutinous with a gummy exudation, 
which has a rather disagreeable odor. Yet the shrub would 
be very handsome in cultivation. 


Nemophila atoniaria^ Fisch. and Mey. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

Corolla. — Pure white, closely dark-dotted nearly to the edge; an 
inch or less across; densely hairy within the tube. Scales of the corolla 
narrow, with long hairs. (Otherwise as A^. z»«]g'««5. ) Hab. — Central 

This delicate Nemophila haunts wet, springy places among 
the hills, and is at its best in early spring. There are a num- 
ber of small-flowered forms of Nemophila which have been 
hitherto referred to N, parviflora, but which the future will 
probably prove to constitute a number of species. 

-A^. maculata, Benth., found in Middle California and the 
High Sierras, is a charming form, with large flowers, whose 
petals bear strong violet blotches at the top. 




\v_ Astragalus leucopsis, Torr. and Gray. Pea Family. 

' Steins. — A foot or so high. Leaflets. — In many pairs; six lines or 

more long. Flowers. — Greenish- white; six lines long; in spikelike 
racemes an inch or two long. Calyx. — With teeth more than half the 
length of the campanulate-tube. Pod. — ^Thin; bladdery-inflated; an 
inch or more long, on a smooth stalk twice or thrice the length of the 
calyx-tube. (See Astragalus.) Hah. — Santa Barbara to San Diego. 

These plants are very noticeable and quite pretty, with their 
pale foliage, symmetrical leaves, and white flowers; but they 
are dreaded by the farmers of the region of their growth, who 
aver that they are deadly loco-weeds. It is said that native 
stock will not touch them; but animals brought from a dis- 
tance and unacquainted with them, eat them, with dreadful 
results of loco. 

We have numerous species, all rather difHcult of deter- 


Convolvulus luteoluSy Gray. Moming-Glory Family. 

^y^wj.— Twining and climbing twenty feet or more. Leaves, — 
Alternate; sagittate; two inches or so long; smooth. Peduncles, — 
Several-flowered; axillary, with two small linear-lanceolate bracts a 
little below the flower. Flowers. — Cream-color or pinkish, sometimes 
deep rose. Sepals. — Five; without bracts immediately below them. 
Corolla. — Open funnel-form; eighteen lines long; not lobed or angled. 
Stamens, — Five. Ovary. — Globose; two-celled or imperfectly four- 
celled. Style filiform. Stigmas two. Hab. — Throughout California. 

I remember long stretches of mountain road where the wild 
morning-glory has completely covered the unsightly shrubs 
charred by a previous year's fire, flinging out its slender 
stems, lacing and interlacing them in airy festoons, which are 
covered with the fragile flowers in greatest profusion. In these 
tangles, the industrious spiders have hung their exquisite 
geometrical webs, which catch the glittering water-drops in 
their meshes. When the sun comes out after a dense, cool 
fog-bath on a summer morning, nothing more charmingly 
fresh could be imagined than such a scene. 

The common morning-glory of the south — C, occidentalism 


RATTLE-WEED — ,<»/f0^o(»i liucupsis. 


Gray — is very similar to the above, but may be distinguished 
from it by the pair of large, thin bracts immediately below the 
calyx and enveloping it. 

Another very pretty species is C. villosuSy Gray. This is 
widely distributed, but not very common. Its trailing stems 
and foliage are of a velvety sage-gray throughout, and its 
small flowers of a yellowish cream-color. The hastate leaves 
are shapely, and the whole plant is charming when grown 
away from dust. 

The common European bindweed — C, arvensis^ L. — is to 
the farmer a very unwelcome little immigrant. In fields it 
becomes a serious pest; for the more its roots are disturbed 
and broken up the better it thrives. But despite its bad char- 
acter, we cannot help iadmiring its pretty little white funnels, 
which lift themselves so debonairly among the prostrate stems 
and leaves. 

In medicine a tincture of the whole plant is valued for sev- 
eral uses. 

Sphacele calycina, Benth. Mint Family. 

Woody at the base; two to five feet high; hairy or woolly. Leaves. 
— ^Two to four inches lon^. Flowers. — Dull white or purplish; an inch 
or more long; mostlv solitary in the upper axils. Calyx. — Five-cleft. 
Corolla. — Having a nairy ring at base within. Stamens. — Four, in two 
pairs. Ovary. — Oi four seedlike nutlets. Style filiform. Stigma two- 
lobed. Hab. — Dry hills. San Francisco Bay, southward. 

The wood-balm is closely allied to the sages, which fact is 
betrayed by its opposite, wrinkly, sage-scented leaves; but its 
flowers have quite a different aspect. These are ample and 
cylindrical, with a five-lobed border, one of the lobes being 
prolonged into somewhat of a lip. 

The generic name is from the Greek word meaning sage; 
and the specific name, signifying aiplike^ refers to the shape 
of the blossoms. 

The dwellers among our southern mountains, with that 
happy instinct possessed by those who live close to the heart 
of nature, have aptly named this ** pitcher-sage.'* 


PITCHER-SAGE — .SMoef/e calycit 


After the flowers have passed away, the large inflated, light- 
green calyxes, densely crowded upon the stems, become quite 


Yticca arborescens, Trelease. Lily Family. 

Scraggly trees; thirty or forty feet high; with trunks one or two feet in 
diameter. Leaves. — Eight inches long; crowded; rigid; spine-tipped; 
serrulate; the older ones reflexed and sun-bleached, the younger ashy- 
green. Flowers. — In sessile, ovate panicles, terminating the branches. 
Panicles several inches long. Perianth, — Narrowly campanulate; 
eighteen to thirty lines long. Fruit. Two or three inches long. (Other- 
wise as Y. Mohavensis.) Hab. — Southwestern Utah to the Mojave 

The traveler crossing the Mojave Desert upon, the railroad 
has his curiosity violently aroused by certain fantastic tree 
forms that whirl by the car windows. These are the curious 
Joshua-trees of the Mormons, which are called in California 
tree-yucca or yucca-palm. A writer in **The Land of Sun- 
shine'' thus aptly characterizes them: ** Weird, twisted, de- 
moniacal, the yuccas remind me of those enchanted forests 
described by Dante, whose trees were human creatures in tor- 
ment. In twisted groups or standing isolated, they may 
readily be imagined specters of the plains.*' 

Mr. Sargent tells us that, though found much to the east- 
ward of our borders, it abounds in the Mojave Desert, where 
it attains its largest size and forms a belt of gaunt, straggling 
forest several miles in width along the desert's western rim. 

Its flowers appear from March to May, but are not at all 
attractive, on account of their soiled white color and disagree- 
able, fetid odor. **The unopened panicles form conspicuous 
cones eight to ten inches long, covered with closely over- 
lapping white scales, often flushed with purple at the apex." 

The seeds are gathered and used by the omnivorous Indians, 
who grind them into meal, which they eat either raw or cooked 
as a mush. The wood furnishes an excellent material for paper 
pulp, and some years ago an English company established a 
mill at Ravenna, in Soledad Pass, for its manufacture. It is 



said that several editions of a London journal were printed 
upon it, but owing to the great cost of its manufacture, the 
enterprise had to be abandoned. 

The light wood is put to many uses now, and in the curio 
bazaars of the south it plays a conspicuous part, made into 
many small articles. By sawing round and round the trunk of 
the tree, thin sheets of considerable size are procured. A 
sepia reproduction of one of the old missions upon the ivory- 
tinted ground of one of these combines sentiment and novelty 
in a very pretty souvenir. Surgeons find these same sheets 
excellent for splints, as they are unyielding in one direction and 
pliable in the other; and orchardists wrap them around the 
bases of their trees to protect them from the gnawing of rabbits. 


Sambucus glauca^ Nutt. Honeysuckle Family. 

Shrubby or arborescent; often thirty feet high; with finely fissured 
bark. Leaves. — Opposite; petioled; pinnate. Leaflets. — Three to 
nine; lanceolate; acuminate; serrate; two inches or so long; smooth. 
Flowers,— Minute; two or three lines across; in large, flat, five- 
branched cymes; white. Calyx, — Five-toothed. G?ro//fl. — Rotate; 
five-lobed. Stamens. — Five; alternate with the corolla lobes. Ovary. 
—Three- to five-celled. Stigmas of same number. Berries. — Small; 
dark blue, with a dense white bloom. Hab. — Throughout the State; 

The elder is one of our most widely distributed shrubs, and 
is a familiar sight upon almost every open glade or plain. It 
is especially abundant in the south. Its flower-clusters, made 
up of myriads of tiny cream -white blossoms, make a showy 
but delicate and lacelike mat, while its berries are beautiful 
and inviting. The bears are especially appreciative of these, 
and we have sometimes seen their footprints leading along a 
lonely mountain road to the elder-berry bushes. The fruit is 
prized by our housewives for pies and preserves, and it would 
doubtless make as good wine as that of the Eastern species. 

Among the Spanish-Californians the blossoms are known 
as **sauco** and are regarded as an indispensable household 
remedy for colds. They are administered in the form of a tea, 



which induce^ a profuse perspiration. It is said that Dr. 
Boerhaave held the elder in such reverence for the multitude 
of its virtues, that he always removed his hat when he passed it. 
In ancient times the elder was the subject of many strange 
superstitions. In his interesting book, **The Folk-Lore of 
Plants,'' Mr. Thistieton Dyer says that it was reputed to be 
possessed of magic power, and that any baptized person whose 
eyes had been anointed with the green juice of its inner bark 
could recognize witches anywhere. Owing to these magic 
properties, it was often planted near dwellings to keep away 
evil spirits. By making a magic circle and standing within it 
with elder- berries gathered on St. John's Night, the mystic 
fern-seed could be secured which possessed the strength of 
forty men and enabled one to walk invisible. This was one 
of the trees suspected as having furnished wood for the Cross ; 
and to this day the English country people believe themselves 
safe from lightning when standing under an elder, because 
lightning never strikes the tree of which the Cross was made. 


Antirrhinum Coulterianum^ Benth. Figwort Family. 

Stems.— Tv^o to four feet high; smooth below. Leaves.— Mw^^x to 
oval; distant. Tendril-slioots long and slender, produced mostly 
below the flowers. Flowers.— V^\{\\!t or violet; in densely crowded 
villous-pubescent spikes, two to ten inches long. (Otherwise as A.* 
varans.) //ad.— Santa Barbara to San Diego. 

The flowers of this pretty snapdragon are usually white, 
and the lower lip, with its great palate often dotted with dark 
color, takes up the major part of the blossom. They are 
sometimes violet, however, when they much resemble the 
flowers of the toad-flax, but are without their long spur. 

A. Orcuttianum, Gray, is a similar species, but more slen- 
der, with fewer and smaller flowers, whose lower lip is not 
much larger than the upper, and whose flower-spikes are dis- 
poned to have the tortile branchlets in their midst. This is 
found near San Diego and southward. 




Heliotropium Curassavicum, L. Borage Family. 

Diffusely spreading; six to twelve inches high. Leaves. — ^Alternate; 
sessile; obovate to linear; an inch or two long; succulent; glaucous. 
Flowers, — Usually white, sometimes lavender; in dense, usually two- 
forked spikes, calyx, — Five-parted. Corolla, — Salver-form; border 
five-lobed, with plaited sinuses; three lines across. Stamens, — Five. 
Anthers sessile. Ovary. — Of four seedlike nutlets. Stigma umbrella- 
like. Hab, — Widely distributed. 

This, the only species of true heliotrope common within our 
borders, is widely distributed over the world. It affects the 
sand of the seashore or saline soils of the interior. It is 
in no way an attractive plant, as compared with our garden 
heliotrope, as its flowers have a washed-out look and are not 
at all fragrant, while its pale stems and foliage lack color and 

Its leaves, which contain a mucilaginous juice, are dried and 
reduced to powder by the Spanish-Califomians, who esteem 
them very highly as a cure for the wounds of men and ani- 
mals. They blow the dry powder into the wound. 


Marrubium vulgare^ Linn. Mint Family. 

The horehound has been introduced from Europe at various 
points along our Coast, but it is now so abundant as to seem 
like an indigenous plant. It has many white-woolly, square 
stems, and roundish, wrinkly opposite leaves, covered beneath 
with matted, white-woolly hairs. Its small, white, bilabiate 
flowers are crowded in the axils of the upper leaves so densely 
as to appear like whorls. It may be known from the other 
members of the Mint family by its campanulate calyx with ten 
strong, recurved teeth. 

This has long been used in medicine as a tonic, and is espe- 
cially esteemed by our Spanish-Califomians as a remedy for 
colds and lung troubles. 




(Enothera Calif ornica, Watson. Evening-Primrose Family. 

Hoary pubescent, and more or less villous. Stems, — A foot or so 
high. Leaves. — Oblanceolate or lanceolate; sinuately toothed or irreg- 
ularly pinnatifid; two to four inches long. Flowers. — White; turning 
to rose-color; two inches across. Ovary and Calyx-tube. — Over three 
inches long. Calyx-lobes. — One inch long; separate at the tips. (See 
(Enothera for flower-structure.) Hab. — Central and Southern Califor- 
nia; especially about the San Bernardino region; not plentiful. 

Perhaps the most beautiful of all our evening primroses is 
this charming white species. Late in the afternoon the hand- 
some silvery foliage begins to show the great white, opening- 
moons of the fragile blossoms. Their silken texture, delicate 
fragrance, and chaste look make them paramount among blos- 

It is a most interesting sight to watch the opening of one 
of the nodding silvery buds. I sat down by one which had 
already uplifted its head. The calyx-lobes had just commenced 
to part in the center, showing the white, silken corolla tightly 
rolled within. It grew larger from moment to moment, when 
suddenly the calyx-lobes parted with a jerk, and the petals, 
freed from their bondage, quickly spread wider and wider, as 
though some spirit within were forcing its way out, while one 
after another the calyx-lobes were turned downward with a 
quick, decisive movement. It was a wonderful exhibition of 
the power of motion in plants. I could now look within and 
see a magical tangle of yellow anthers delicately draped with 
cobwebby ropes of pollen. 

The stamens take a downward curve toward the lower 
petal. The anthers have already opened their stores of golden 
pollen before the unfurling of the buds, so that the somewhat 
sticky ropes are all ready to adhere to the first moth who visits 
the flower in search of the delicious and abundant nectar stored 
in the depths of the long calyx-tube. The day following their 
opening the blossoms begin to turn to a delicate pink, and the 
calyx-lobes have a fleshlike look. 


' *r 




Gilia dichotomay Benth. Phlox or Polemonium Family. 

Six inches to a foot high; erect; sparsely leaved. Leaves, — Oppo- 
site; mostly entire; filiform. Flowers, — Nearly sessile in the forks, oi 
terminal. Calyx. — With cylindric tube five lines long; wholly white, 
scarious, except the five filiform green ribs, continued into needle-like 
lobes. Corolla. — White; an inch or two across. Anthers linear. 
Hab. — Throughout the western part of the State. 

This is one of the most showy of our gilias. Miss East- 
wood writes of it : ** At about four o'clock in the afternoon 
Gilia dichotoma begins to whiten the hillside. Before expan- 
sion the flowers are hardly noticeable; the dull pink of the 
edges, which are not covered in the convolute corolla, hides 
their identity and makes the change which takes place when 
they unveil their radiant faces to the setting sun the more 
startling. They intend to watch all night and by sunset all are 
awake. In the morning they roll up their petals again when 
daylight comes on, and when the sun is well up all are asleep, 
tired out with the vigil of the night The odor is most sick- 
ening. . . . The same flower opens several times, and grows 
larger as it grows older." 


Viola ocellata, Torr. and Gray. Violet Family. 

Stems. — Nearly erect; six to twelve inches high. Leaves. — Cor- 
date; acutish; conspicuously crenate. Petals. — Five to seven lines 
long; the upper white within, deep brown-purple without; the others 
white or yellowish, veined with purple; the lateral with a purple spot 
near the base and slightlv bearded on the claw. (Flower structure as 
in V.pedunculata.) Hah. — Wooded districts from Monterey to Men- 
docino County. 

This dainty little heart' s-ease has nothing of the gay, joy- 
ous, self-assertive look of our yellow pansy, but rather the shy, 
timid mien belonging to all the creatures of the woodland. It 
ventures its pretty blossoms in late spring and early summer. 




Mesetnbryanthemum crystallinum^ L. Fig-Marigold Family. 

Prcx:umbent, succulent plants, covered with minute, elongated, glis- 
tening papillae. Leaves, — Flat; ovate or spatulate; undulate-margined; 
clasping. Flowers. — White or rose-colored; axillary; nearly sessile: 
rather small. Calyx. — With campanulate tube and usually five unequal 
lobes. Petals. — Linear; numerous. Stamens. — Numerous. Ovary. - 
Two- to many-celled. Stigmas ^v^. Hab. — The Coast and adjacent 
islands from Santa Barbara southward; also in the Mojave Desert 

The ice-plant spreads its broad, green leaves over the 
ground, often making large rugs, which, when reddened by 
the approach of drouth and glistening with small crystals, pro- 
duce a charming effect. The flat leaves of this plant are quite 
unexpectedly different from those of our other species of Me- 
sembryanthemuniy which are usually cylindrical or triangular. 
The leaf-stems and the calyx-tube, in particular, are beautifully 
jeweled with the clear, glasslike incrustation. The flesh-pink 
or almost white flowers resemble small sea-anemones, with their 
single row of tentacle-like petals and hollow tube powdered 
with the little white anthers. 

The plant grows so abundantly in the fields of the southern 
seasides as to be a dreadful pest to the farmer, and ^ it is very 
disagreeable to walk through, as it yields up the water of its 
crystals very readily, and this is said to be of an alkaline 
quality, which is ruinous to shoe-leather. 

This ice-plant grows plentifully in the chalky regions of 
France, and has there been recommended for use as a food, to 
be prepared like spinach. It also grows in the Canary Islands. 


Xerophyllum tenax, Nutt. Lily Family. 

Radical leaves. — Very numerous; two or three feet long; about two 
lines broad; gracefully flexile; serrulate. Scape. — ^Two to five feet 
high; with scattered leaves; bearing at top a dense raceme a foot or 
two long. Perianth segments. — Six; spreading rotately; four or five 
lines long; white. Stamens. — Six. Ovary. — Three-celled. Styles 
three; filiform. Hab. — Coast Ranges to British Columbia; also in the 
Northern Sierras. 

Often upon high ridges we notice the large clumps of 



certain plants with long, slender, grasslike leaves, which ray out 
in every direction like a fountain, and resemble a small pampas- 
grass before it flowers. We naturally wonder what the plants 
are, but it may be many years before our curiosity is satisfied. 
Suddenly some spring we find them sending up tall blossom- 
shafts, crowned with great airy plumes of pure- white flowers, 
fully worthy of our long and patient waiting. After putting 
forth this supreme effort of a lifetime, and maturing its seed, 
the plant dies. 

In the north, where it is sometimes very abundant, and 
occupies extensive meadows, it is known as ** sour-grass." The 
name ** squaw -grass" is also applied there, because the leaves, 
which are long, wiry, and tough, are used by the Indians in the 
weaving of some of their finest baskets. Baskets made from 
them are particularly pliable and durable. 


Orthocarpus versicolor ^ Greene. Figwort Family. 

Slender; seldom branching or more than six inches high. Herbage 
slightly reddish. Leaves. — Cleft into filiform divisions at the apex. 
Flowers, —Pure white, fading pinkish; very fragrant. Lower lip of the 
corolla with three very large sacs. Folds of the throat densely bearded. 
(See Orthocarpus,) Hab. — San Francisco and Marin County. 

During the spring the meadows about San Francisco are 
luxuriantly covered with the pretty blossoms of the owl's 
clover, which make snowy patches in some places. Unlike the 
other species of Orthocarpus^ this has delightfully fragrant blos- 

I do not know why this plant should be accredited to the 
owl and called clover, unless the quizzical-looking little blos- 
soms are suggestive of the w^ise bird. But with all his wisdom, 
I doubt if he would recognize his clover. 



V i 




Calochortus albus, Dougl. Lily Family. 

Stem, — One or two feet high; branching. Flowers, — White. 
Sepals, — Lanceolate. Petals, — Twelve to fifteen lines long; pearly 
white, sometimes lavender-tinged outside; covered within with long, 
silky white hairs. * Gland,- Shallow crescent-shaped, with four trans- 
verse scales fringed with short glandular hairs. (See Calochortus,) 
Hab. — Coast Ranges and Sierras, San Diego to Tehama County. 

Just before the oncoming of summer, our wooded hill-slopes 
and caiion-sides entertain one of the most charming of flowers; 
for the graceful stalks of the hairbell begin to hang out their 
delicate, white satin globes. Never was flower more exquisite 
in texture and fringing — never one more graceful in habit. If 
fairies have need of lanterns at all, these blossoms would cer- 
tainly make very dainty globes to hold their miniature lights. 

Wherever they grow, these flowers win instant and enthusi- 
astic admiration; and they have received a variety of common 
names in different localities, being known as "snowy lily-bell," 
** satin-bell," ** hairbell," ** lantern of the fairies," and ** white 
globe-tulip. ' * 


Datura tneteloides^ DC. Nightshade Family. 
Hab. — Southern California, and northward — at least to Stockton. 

The large-flowered Datura is a common plant along southern 
roadsides, producing in early May its enormous white or violet- 
tinged funnels, which are sometimes ten inches long. It 
resembles the common Jamestown-weed, of which it is a near 
relative, but may be distinguished by its large flower and its 
cylindrical calyx, which is not angled. It shares with the 
Jamestown-weed its narcotic poisonous qualities, and is a 
famous plant among our Indians. Dr. Palmer writes that they 
bruise and boil the root in water, and when the infusion thus 
made is cold, they drink it to produce a stupefying effect. In 
a different degree they administer it to their young dancing- 


HAIRBELL — Cofcr* 



women as a powerful stimulant, and before going into battle the 
warriors take it to produce a martial frenzy in themselves. 

By the Piutes it is called * * main-oph-weep/ ' The specific 
name, meteloides^ indicates the resemblance of this plant to 
Datura Metel, of India. 


Eriodictyon glutinosum, Benth. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

Shrubby; three to five feet high. Leaves. — Thick; glutinous; 
smooth above; light beneath, with prominent net-veining; three to six 
inches long. Flowers. — Purple, violet, or white. Calyx. — Five- 
parted. Corolla. — Six lines long; four lines across. Stamens. — Five; 
alternate with the corolla-lobes. Ovary. — Two-celled. Styles two. 
Hab, — Western California; common on dry hills. 

The bitter, aromatic leaves of the yerba santa are a highly 
valued, domestic remedy for colds, and many old-fashioned 
people would not be without it. 

Dr. Bard, one of our most eminent physicians, writes of 
this interesting little shrub: **It has been reserved for the 
Califomian Indian to furnish three of the most valuable vege- 
table additions which have been made to the pharmacopoeia 
during the last twenty years. One, the Eriodictyon glutino- 
SMtn, growing profusely in our foothills, was used by them in 
affections of the respiratory tract, and its worth was so appre- 
ciated by the missionaries that they named it yerba santa, or 
holy plant.'* 

The other plants referred to by Dr. Bard are the RhamnuSy 
or Cascara sagrada^ and the Grindelia, In the mountains of 
Mariposa County, it is known as **wild peach,*' probably be- 
cause the leaf somewhat resembles the peach -leaf. 

Dr. Behr writes that considerable quantities of it are ex- 
ported, partly for medicinal purposes, and partly as a harmless 
and agreeable substitute for hops in the brewing of certain 
varieties of beer, especially porter. 

In Ventura County this passes by insensible gradations into 
E, tomentosumy Benth., and there it is difficult to distinguish 
clearly between the two species. 


VERBA SAtfTA — EriadJc'yottg'alif 


E, tome^itosuniy Benth., is found from San Diego probably 
to Santa Barbara. This comely shrub is so disguised in its 
woolly coat that one does not at first detect its close relation- 
ship to the more common yerba santa. Its broad, oval leaves, 
ribbed like the chestnut and closely notched, and its generous 
clusters of unusually large violet flowers, ser\'e to bewilder us 
for the moment. The wool upon the foliage gives it a gray- 
green tone, harmonizing perfectly with the violet flowers. It 
is specially abundant all over the mesas by the seashore, near 
San Diego. 


Heuchera micrantha^ Dougl. Saxifrage Family. 

Rootstock,^Slo\xi. Leaves, — ^All radical; two to four inches long. 
Scaf>es, — Often two feet high. Flowers. — White; minute; in loose 
panicles. Calyx, Five-toothed; one or two lines long. Petals, — 
Five; one line long; on the sinuses of the calyx. Stamens, — Five. 
Ovary, — One-celled. Styles two. Hab, — Coast Ranges and Sierras 
from Monterey to British Columbia. 

Upon almost any drive or walk along a shaded road, we 
may find the alum-root hanging over a mossy bank. Its large, 
airy panicle is composed of minute flowers, and appears in 
early summer. But it is more conspicuous for its exquisite 
foliage than for its flowers. The leaves are usually mottied in 
light green and richly veined in dark brown or red, and they 
often turn to a rich red later in the season. 

The root is woody and astringent, to which latter fact the 
plant owes its English name, which it shares with the other 
members of the genus. These are very satisfactory plants to 
bring in from the woods, because they remain beautiful in 
water for many weeks. 





Adenostoma fasciculaiutn. Hook, and Am. Rose Family. 

Shrubs two to twenty feet high, with gray, shreddy bark and red- 
dish, slender branches. Leaves. — Two to four lines long; linear to 
awl-shaped; smooth; clustered. Stipules sm^l; acute. Flowers, — 
White; two lines across; in terminal racemose panicles. Calyx. — 
Five-toothed; with bracts below resembling another calyx; tube ten- 
ribbed. Petals. — Five. Stamens. — Ten to fifteen; in clusters between 
the petals. 6>z/fl!r>'.— One-celled. Fruit. — Adryakene. Hab. — Widely 

The chamisal forms a large part of the chaparral of our 
mountain slopes, and when not in bloom gives to them much 
the aspect imparted to the Scotch Highlands by the heather. 
It is an evergreen shrub, with small clustered, needle-like 
leaves. In late spring it is covered with large, feathery 
panicles of tiny white blossoms, which show with particular 
effectiveness against the rich olive of its foliage, and furnish 
the bees with valuable honey material for a considerable sea- 
son. When interspersed with shrubs of livelier greens, it 
gives to our hill-slopes and mountain-sides a wonderfully rich 
and varied character. In the summer of a season when it has 
flowered freely, the cinnamon- colored seed-vessels blending 
with the olives of the foliage lend a rich, warm bronze to whole 
hillsides, forming a charming contrast to the straw tints and 
russets of grassy slopes, and adding another to the many soft 
harmonies of our summer landscape. It is most abundant in 
the Coast Ranges, where, in some localities, it covers mile after 
mile of hill-slopes, with its close-cropped, uniform growth. 

When the chaparral, or dense shrubby growth of our 
mountain-sides, is composed entirely of Adenostoma^ it is 
called chamisal. 

Another species. A, sparsifoliuniy Torn, found in the 
south, and somewhat resembling the above, may be known 
from it by its lack of stipules, its scattered, not clustered 
leaves, which are obtuse and not pointed, and its somewhat 
larger flowers, each one pediceled. 

This is commonly known among the Spanish -Califomians 




as "Verba del Pasmo,*' literally the ** herb of the convulsion/' 
and among them and the Indians it is a sovereign remedy for 
many ailments, being considered excellent for colds, cramps, 
and snakebites, and an infallible cure for tetanus, or lockjaw. 
The foliage fried in grease becomes a healing ointment 
The bark of this species is reddish and hangs in shreds. 


Prunus iltcifolia^ Walp. Rose Family. 

Evergreen shrubs or small trees; eight to thirty feet hieh. Leaves, 
—Alternate; holly-like; an inch or two long. Flowers.— y^\i\\,^\ tliree 
lines across; in racemes eighteen lines to three inches long. Calyx. — 
Five-cleft. Petals. — Five; spreading. Stamens, — Twelve to twenty- 
five. Ovary, — Solitary; one-celled. Style terminal. Fruit.— K dark 
red cherry, becoming black; six lines in diameter. Hob. -CoasX. 
Ranges, San Francisco into Lower California. 

The holly-leaved cherry is a very ornamental shrub, with 
its shining, prickly evergreen leaves, and it is coming more and 
more into favor for cultivation, especiaUy as a hedge-shrub. 
In its natural state it attains its greatest perfection in the moun- 
tains near Santa Barbara and southward. On dry hills it is 
only a shrub, but in the rich soil of canon bottoms it becomes 
a tree. Some of the finest specimens are to be found in the 
gardens of the old missions, where they have been growing 
probably a century. 

Dr. Behr tells us that the foliage, in withering, develops 
hydrocyanic acid, the odor of which is quite perceptible. The 
leaves are then poisonous to sheep and cattle. 

The shrubs are especially beautiful in spring, after they have 
made their new growth of bright green at the ends of the 
branches, and put forth a profusion of feathery bloom. The 
blossoms have the pleasant, bitter fragrance of the cultivated 
cherry, and attract myriads of bees, who make the region 
vocal with their busy hum. The fruit, which ripens from Sep- 
tember to December, is disappointing, owing to its very thin 
pulp, though its astringent and acid flavor is not unpleasant. 

It was used by the aborigines as food, however, and made 



into an intoxicating drink by fennentation. The meat of the 
stones ground and made into balls constituted a delicate mor- 
sel with them. 


Micromeria Douglasii^ Benth. Mint Family. 

Aromatic trailing vines. Stems. — Slender; one to four feet long. 
Leaves. — One inch long; round-ovate. Flowers. — Solitary; axillary; 
white or purplish. Gz/yjir. — Five-toothed; two lines long. Corolla. — 
Five lines long; bilabiate. Stamens. — Four; in pairs on the corolla. 
Ovary. — Of four seedlike nutlets. Style filiform. Stigma unevenly 
two-lipped. Hab. — Vancouver Island to Los Angeles County. 

The yerba buena is as dear to the Californian as the May- 
flower to the New Englander, and is as intimately associated 
with the early traditions of this Western land as is that deli- 
cate blossom with the stormy past of the Pilgrim Fathers. Its 
delicious, aromatic perfume seems in some subtle way to link 
those early days of the Padres with our own, and to call up 
visions of the long, low, rambling mission buildings of adobe, 
with their picturesque red-tiled roofs; the flocks and herds 
tended by gentle shepherds in cowls; and the angelus sound- 
ing from those quaint belfries, and vibrating in ever-widening 
circles over hill and vale. 

Before the coming of the Mission Fathers, the Indians used 
this little herb, placing great faith in its medicinal virtues, 
so that the Padres afterward bestowed upon it the name of 
** yerba buena'* — **the good herb." It is still used among our 
Spanish-Californians in the form of a tea, both as a pleasant 
beverage and as a febrifuge, and also as a remedy for indigestion 
and other disorders. 

They designate this as ** Yerba Buena del Campo*' — /. e, 
the wild or field yerba buena, — to distinguish it from the 
** Yerba Buena del Poso** — *'the herb of the well,*' — which is 
the common garden-mint growing in damp places. 

Aside from its associations and medicinal virtues, this is a 
charming little plant. In half-shaded woods its long, graceful 
stems make a trailing interlacement upon the ground and yield 
up their minty fragrance as we pass. 


VERBA BVF.NA — MicromriiB Douglc 



Romneya Coulteri, Harv. Poppy Family. 

Steins, — Numerous; two to fifteen feet higli. Leaves. — Alternate; 
petioled; the lower pinnatifid; the upper pinnately cut into long nar- 
row segments; glaucous; three to five inches long; smooth. Flowers. 
— Solitary; six to nine inches across. Sepals. — Three; strongly arched, 
covered with bristly appressed hairs; caducous. Petals. — Six; white. 
Stamens. — Very numerous. Filaments filiform; yellow, purple below. 
Ovary. — Seven- to eleven-celled. Stigmas several. Hab. — Santa 
Barbara to San Diego. 

The Matilija poppy (^pronounced ma-til'li-ha) must be con- 
ceded the queen of all our flowers. It is not a plant for small 
gardens, but the fitting adornment of a large park, where it 
can have space and light and air to rear its imperial stems 
and shake out its great diaphanous flowers. It is one of the 
most wonderful of wild flowers, and it is difficult to believe that 
nature, without the aid of a careful gardener, should have pro- 
duced such a miracle of loveliness. It is justly far-famed, and 
by English gardeners, who now grow it successfully, it is re- 
garded as a priceless treasure, and people go from many miles 
around to see it when it blooms. It is to be regretted that 
our flowers must go abroad to find their warmest admirers. 

This plant was named in honor of Dr. Romney Robinson, 
a famous astronomer. Its common name was given it because 
it grows in particular abundance in the Matilija Canon, some 
miles above Ventura in the mountains. Many people havie the 
mistaken idea that it grows only in that region. It is not 
common, by any means; but it is found in scattered localities 
from Santa Barbara southward into Mexico. It is very abun- 
dant near Riverside, and also upon the southern boundary 
and below in Lower California, where the plants cover large 
areas. It not only grows in fertile valleys, but seeks the seclu- 
sion of remote canons, and nothing more magnificent could be 
imagined than a steep canon -side covered with the great 
bushy plants, thickly sown with the enormous white flowers. 

The round buds (which, however, are sometimes pointed) 
are closely wrapped in three overlapping hairy sepals. These 


MAT1L1JA POPPV-^om>Mj'n Co 


gradually open, and at dawn the buds unfurl their crumpled 
petals to the day, exhaling a pleasant fragrance. The blossoms 
remain open for many days. 

These plants have long been in use among the Indians of 
Lower California, who esteem them highly for their medicinal 
qualities. The seeds require a long period for germination, 
and they have been known to come at the end of two years. 
The better method of propagation is from root-cuttings. 

The plant has been called ** Mission poppy'' and "Giant 
Californian white poppy,'' but the pretty Indian name cannot 
be improved upon. 


Audibertia polystachya, Benth. Mint Family. 

Shrubby, three to ten feet high; many-stemmed. Leaves, — Oppo- 
site; lanceolate; narrowing into a petiole; severalinches long. Flowers, 
— VVhite or pale lavender, in loose panicles a foot or two long. Calyx. 
— Tubular; bilabiate. Corolla. — About six lines long, with short tube 
and bilabiate border. Upper lip small; erect. Lower lip three-lobed; 
the middle lobe large. Stamens. — ^Two; jointed. Ovary. — Of four 
seedlike nutlets. Style slender. Stigma two-cleft. Hab. — Santa Bar- 
bara to San Diego. 

The classic honey of Hymettus could not have been clearer 
or more wholesome than that distilled by the bees from the 
white sage of Southern California, which has become justly 
world-renowned. The plants cover extensive reaches of valley 
and hill-slopes, and are often called **greasewood." 

Certain it is that the white stems have a very greasy, gummy 
feel and a rank, aggressive odor. In spring the long, coarse, 
sparsely leafy branches begin to rise from the woody base, 
often making the slopes silvery; and by May these have fully 
developed their loose, narrow panicles of pale flowers and 
yellowish buds. 

The structure of thesQ blossoms is very interesting. The 
long, prominent lower lip curves downward and upward and 
backward upon itself, like a swan's neck, while the two stamens 
rising from its surface lift themselves like two long horns, and 
the style curves downward. 



A bee arriving at this flower naturally brushes against the 
stigma, leaving upon it some of the pollen gained from another 
flower. Then alighting upon the lower lip, his weight bends it 
downward, and he grasps the stamens as convenient handles, 
thus drawing the anthers toward his body, where the pollen is 
dusted upon his coat as he probes beneath the closed upper lip 
for the honey in the depths of the tube. The various sages of 
the south have a, very interesting way of hybridizing. 


Rhamnus Cali/amica, Esch. Buckthorn Family. 

Shrubs, — Four to eighteen feet high. Leaves. — Alternate; elliptic 
to oblong: denticulate or entire; leathery; one to four inches long; six 
to eighteen lines wide. Flowers. — Clustered; greenish white; small. 
Calyx. — Five-toothed. Petals. — Five; minute; on the sinuses of the 
calyx; each clasping a stamen. Ovary. — Two- to four-celled. Style 
short. Fruit.- Berry-like; black; four to six lines long; containmg 
two or three nutlets, like coffee-beans. Hab. — Throughout California. 

Long before the advent of the Spanish, the medicinal vir- 
tues of this shrub were known to the Indians, who used it as 
a remedy for rheumatism and, according to Dr. Bard, to cor- 
rect the effects of an acorn diet. The Mission Fathers after- 
ward came to appreciate its worth so highly that they bestowed 
upon it the name Cascara sagrada, or the ** sacred bark.'* 
Since those early days the fame of it has spread the world 
around. No more valuable laxative is known to the medical 
world to-day, and every year great quantities of it are exported 
from our shores. Though the shrub is found as far south as 
San Diego, the bark is not gathered in any quantity south of 
Monterey, as it becomes too thin southward. The shrub goes 
under a variety of names, according to the locality in which it 
is found. 

In Monterey County it is known as ** yellow-boy" or ** yel- 
low-root," and in Sonoma County it becomes ** pigeon-berry." 
because the berry is a favorite food of the wild pigeons, and 
lends to their flesh a bitter taste. 

Some years ago quite an excitement prevailed in the State 



when some visionary persons believed they had found a perfect 
substitute for coffee in the seeds of this shrub. To be sure, 
they do somewhat resemble the coffee-bean in form, but the 
resemblance goes no further; for upon a careful analysis they 
revealed none of the qualities of coffee, nor upon roasting did 
they exhale its aroma. After much discussion of the matter 
and the laying out in imagination of extensive, natural coffee- 
plantations upon our wild hill-slopes, these hopeful people were 


destined to see their project fall in ruins. 

This shrub is very variable, according to the locality where 
it grows. Under shade, the leaves become herbaceous and 
ample, and as we go northward that becomes the prevailing 
type, and is then called R, Purshiana, DC. It is then often 
very large, having a trunk the size of a man's body. In Ore- 
gon it is known as * * chittemwood " and ** bitter bark,** and 
also as **wahoo" and ** bear- wood. " The var, tomentella. 
Brew, and Wats. , is densely white-tomentose, especially on the 
under surfaces of the leaves. 



Gnaphalium decurrens, Ives. Composite Family 

Viscid-glandular under the loose hairs. Flower-heads. — In densely 
crowded, nattish clusters. Involucre. — Campanulate; of very numer- 
ous, scarious, yellowish-white, oval scales. (Otherwise similar to 
Anaphalis Margaritacea. ) Hab. — From San Diego through Oregon. 

The common everlasting flower, or cudweed, is plentiful 
upon our dry hills, blooming in early summer, where its white 
clusters are conspicuous objects amid the drying vegetation. 
In our rural districts it is believed that sleeping upon a pillow 
made of these flowers will cure catarrhal affections. 

G, Sprengelii, Hook, and Arn., may be known from the 
above by its densely gray, woolly herbage, which is not glan- 
dular-viscid. It is also common throughout the State. 

The beautiful edelweiss of the Alps is a species of Gnapha- 
lium, G, leontopodium, 




jEscuIus Californica, Nutt. Maple or Soapberry Family. 

Shrubs or trees ten to forty feet high. Leaves. — Opposite; petioled; 
with five palmate, stalked leaflets. Leaflets. Oblong; acute; three to 
five inches long; serrulate. Flowers. — ^W^hite; in a thyrse a foot long; 
many of them imperfect. Calyx. — Tubular; two-lobed. Petals. — 
Four or five; six lines or more long; unequal. Stamens, — Five to 
seven; exserted. Anthers buff. Ovary. — Three-celled. Nuts.— On^ 
to three inches in diameter; usually one in the pod. Hab. — Coast 
Ranges of Middle California; also the Sierra foothills. 

Our Califomian buckeye is closely allied to the horse- 
chestnuts and buckeyes of the eastern half of the continent. 
It is usually found upon stream -banks or the side- walls of 
canons, and reaches its greatest perfection in the valleys of our 
central Coast Ranges. It usually branches low into a number 
of clean, round, light-gray limbs, which widen out into a 
broad, dense, rounded head. Its leaves are fully developed 
before the flowers appear. When in full bloom, in May, it is 
considered one of the most beautiful of all our American 
species. Its long, white flower-spikes, sprinkled rather regu- 
larly over the green mound of foliage, are very suggestive of a 
neat calico print. Early to come, the leaves are as early to 
depart, and by midsummer the beautiful skeleton is often bare, 
its interlacing twigs making a delicate network against the deep 
azure of the sky. 

Though lavish in its production of flowers, usually but one 
or two of the large cluster succeed in maturing fruit. By Oc- 
tober and November the leathery pods begin to yield up their 
big golden-brown nuts, which are great favorites among the 
squirrels. The Indians are said to resort to these nuts in times 
of famine. Before using them, they roast them a day or two 
in the ground, to extract the poison. 

The inner wood of the root, after being kiln-cured for sev- 
eral weeks, becomes very valuable to the cabinet-maker. It is 
then of an exquisite mottled green, and when highly polished 
can hardly be distinguished from a fine piece of onyx. 




Spraguea umbellata^ Torr. Purslane Family. 

Radical-leaves. — Spatulate or oblanceolate; six lines to four inches 
long. Stem-leaves. — Similar, but smaller, often reduced to a few 
bracts. Scapes, — Several; two to twelve inches high. Flowers. — In 
dense spikes. Sepals. — Two; orbicular; thin; papery; two to four 
lines across; whitish; equaling the petals. Petals. — Four; rose-color. 
Stamens. — Three. Ovary. — One-celled. Style bifid. Hab. — The 
Sierras, from the Yosemite to British Columbia. 

Pussy' s-paws is a very plentiful plant in the Sierras, usu- 
ally growing upon dry, rocky soil. It varies much in aspect, 
sometimes sending up a stout, erect flower-scape, and again 
growing low and matlike with its prostrate flower-stems radi- 
ating from the center. It blooms from early summer onward, 
often almost covering the ground with its blossoms. The 
flower-clusters grow in a bunch, much like the pink cushions 
on pussy's feet, whence the pretty common name. 


Yucca Whipplei, Torr. Lily Family. 

Without a trunk. Leaves. — All radical in a bristling hemisphere; 
sword-like. Flower -panicles. — Distaff- shaped; three or more feet 
long; at the summit of a leafless bracteate scape, ten or fifteen feet 
high. Perianth. — Rotately spreading; waxen-white (sometimes rich 
purple), often green- or purple-nerved. Filaments. — Clavate; pure 
white. Anthers transverse; yellow. Style very thick; three-angled. 
Stigma stalked; green; covered with tmy prominences. Fruit. — A 
dry capsule. (Structure otherwise as in Y. Mohavensis. ) Hab. — Mon- 
terey to San Diego and eastward. 

In spring and early summer the chaparral-covered hillsides 
of Southern California present a wonderful appearance when 
hundreds of these Spanish bayonets are in bloom. From day to 
day the waxen tapers on the distant slopes increase in height as 
the white bells climb the slender shafts. At length each cluster 
reaches its perfection, and becomes a solid distaff" of sometimes 
two — yes, even six —thousand of the waxen blossoms! 

A friend writing of them, once said: ** Nearly every poet- 
aster in the country has sung the praises of the yellow pop- 
pies and the sweet little Nemophilas, but not one, so far as I 




know, has ever written a stanza to these grand white soldiers 
and their hundred swords." There is, indeed, something 
glorious and warlike about them, as they marshal themselves 
to the defense of our hillsides. 

This surpasses all known species in the height and beauty 
of its flower-panicles; but, once the season of flowering and 
fruiting has been consummated, its life mission is fulfilled, and 
the plant dies. The dead stalks remain standing sometimes 
for years upon the mountain-sides. 

The seeds of this species, as well as those of the tree-yucca, 
are made into flour by the Indians; and from the leaves they 
obtain a soft, white fiber, which they use in making the linings 
of the coarse saddle-blankets they weave from Yucca Mohaven- 
sis. The undeveloped flowering shoots they consider a great 
delicacy, either raw or prepared as mescal. They gather 
great numbers of the plants when just at the' right stage, 
and strip off" the leaves, leaving round masses. These they 
prepare after the manner of a clam-bake, and when the 
pile is pulled to pieces and the mescal is taken out, it has a 
faint resemblance to a baked sweet apple, and is of about the 
same consistency. The whole mass is a mixture of sweet, soft 
pulp and coarse white fibers much like manilla rope-yarn. 


Lilium rubescens, Wats. Lily Family. 
Hab, — ^The Coast Ranges, from Marin County to Humboldt County. 

This is the most charming of all our Californian lilies, even 
surpassing in loveliness the beautiful Washington lily; and it 
is said to be the most fragrant of any in the world. It resem- 
bles the Washington lily; but its flowers are fuller in form, 
with wider petals and shorter tube, and it has a smaller bulb. 
It sends up a noble shaft, sometimes seven feet high, with 
many scattered whorls of undulate leaves, and often bears at 
the summit as many as twenty-five of the beautiful flowers. 
These are at first pure white, dotted with purple, but they soon 


RUBY LILV — ii/ium ™*«i 


take on a metallic luster and begin to turn to a delicate pink, 
which gradually deepens into a ruby purple. Mr. Purdy men- 
tions having seen a plant with a stalk nine feet high, bearing 
thirty-six flowers. 

The favorite haunts of this lily are high and inaccessible 
ridges, among the chaparral, or under the live-oak or redwood. 
Comparatively few people know of its existence, though living 
within a few miles of it, because they rarely ever visit these 
out-of-the-way fastnesses of nature. 

Mr. Burroughs has somewhere said: ** Genius is a spe- 
cialty; it does not grow in every soil, it skips the many and 
touches the few ; and the gift of perfume to a flower is a special 
grace, like genius or like beauty, and never becomes common 
or cheap." Certainly these blossoms have been richly en- 
dowed with this charming gift, and their delicious fragrance 
wafted by the wind often betrays their presence upon a hillside 
when unsuspected before, so that one skilled in woodcraft can 
often trace them by it. 


Argemone platyceraSy Link and Otto. Poppy Family. 

Stems. — One to two and one half feet high; hispid throughout, or 
armed with rigid bristles or prickles. Sap yellow. Leaves. — Thistle- 
like; three to six inches long. Flowers. — White; two to four inches in 
diameter. Sepals. — Three; spinosely beaked. Petals. — Four to six. 
Stamens. — Numerous. Filaments slender. Ovary. — Oh\on%\ one- 
celled. Stigma three- or four-lobed. Capsule very prickly. Hab. — 
Dry hillsides from Central California southward. 

The thistle- poppy would be considered in any other country 
a surpassingly beautiful flower, with its large diaphanous white 
petals and its thistly gray-green foliage, but in California it 
must yield precedence to the Matilija poppy. It resembles the 
latter very closely in its flower, and is often mistaken for it. It 
may be known by its yellow juice, its prickly foliage, and its 
very prickly capsules. I believe the flowers are somewhat 
more cup-shaped than those of Romneya, 

It affects dry hill-slopes and valleys, often otherwise barren, 



where it grows luxuriantly, and sometimes attains a height of 
six feet, being in full bloom in May. There, where one is 
unprepared for such a sight, it becomes an object of startling 

Malacothrix saxatilis^ Terr, and Gray. Composite Family. 

Stems. — Stout; afoot or two high; woody. Leaves. — Lanceolate 
ID spatulate; one or two inches lon^; entire or pinnatifid; somewhat 
succulent. Flower-heads. — Terminating: the paniculate branches; large; 
two inches or so across; white, changing to rose or lilac; of ray-flowers 
only. Involucre. — Campanulate or hemispherical; six lines high, with 
many imbricated scales passing downward into loose, awl-shaped 
bracts. Hab. — The Coast, from Santa Barbara southward. 

This beautiful plant is a dweller upon the ocean cliffs, and 
may be seen in abundance from the car-windows just before 
the train reaches Santa Barbara going north. The stems are 
woody and very leafy, and the plants are usually covered all 
over the top with the showy flower-heads. 

M. tenuifolia^ Torn and Gray, is a very tall, slender, 
sparsely leafy plant with fragile, airy white flowers. This is 
common along the dusty roadsides of the south in early 


Gaultheria Shallofi^ Pursh. Heath Family. 

Shrubby, and one to three or more feet high or prostrate. Leaves. 
—Alternate; short-petioled; ovate to elliptical; pomted; two to four 
inches long; leathery; bristle-toothed when young; evergreen. Flowers. 

— Manzanita-like; slenderer; glandular-viscid; white or pinkish. Ovary. 

— Five-celled. Style single. Fruit. — Black; berry-like; aromatic; 
edible. (Otherwise like Arctostaphylos Manzanifa.) Hab. — Coast 
woods, from Santa Barbara County to British Columbia. 

The floor of the redwood forest in our northern coast 
counties is often carpeted with this little undershrub, while in 
other places one can wade waist-deep in it. It grows much 
larger north of us, and upon Vancouver Island it forms dense, 
impenetrable thickets. Its dark-purple berries have a very 
agreeable flavor, and form an important article of diet among 
the Oregon Indians, who call them **salal.'* 




Aralia Californica^ Wats. Ginseng Family. 

Root. — Thick; aromatic. Stetns. — Eight to ten feet high. Leaves. 
— Bipinnate; or the upper pinnate, with one or two pairs of leaflets. 
Leaflets. — Cordate-ovate; lour to eight inches long; serrate. Flowers. 
— White; two lines long; in globular umbels, arranged in loose pani- 
cles a foot or two long. Pedicels four to six lines long. Calyx. — 
Five-toothed or entire. Petals and Stamens. — Five. Ovary. — ^Two- 
to five-celled. Styles united to the middle. Fruit. — A purple berry. 
Hab. — ^Widely distributed; on stream-banks. 

In moist, cool ravines, where the sun only slants athwart 
the branches and a certain dankness always lingers, the Call- 
fomian spikenard scents the air with its peculiar odor. It 
closely resembles A. racemosa of the Eastern States, but it is 
a larger, coarser plant in every way. It throws up its tall 
stems with a fine confidence that there will be ample space for 
its large leaves to spread themselves uncrowded. Its feathery 
panicles of white flowers are followed by clusters of small pur- 
ple berries, and are rather more delicate than we should exp)ect 
from so large a plant. 


Anemopsis Californica, Hook. Verba Mansa Family. 

Rootstock creeping. Radical-leaves. — Long-petioled; elliptic ob- 
long; two to ten inches long. Stems. — Six inches to two feet high. 
Flowers. — Without sepals and petals, sunk in a conical spike; six to 
eighteen lines long; a small white bract under each flower. Spikes. — 
Subtended by from five to eight white petal-like bracts, six to fifteen 
lines long. Stamens. — Three to eight. Ovary. — Apparently one- 
celled. Stigmas one to five. Hab. — Southern to Central California. 

Just as the fervid glow of the sun is beginning to transform 
the green of our southern hill-slopes to soft browns, the still 
vividly green lowland meadows suddenly bring forth myriads 
of white stars, which in their green setting become grateful 
resting-points for the eye. These are the blossoms of the 
famous Yerba Mansa of the Spanish-Californians. Among 
these people the plant is an infallible remedy for many disor- 
ders, and so highly do they prize it, that they often travel or 
send long distances for it. 


VERBA MANSA-^n-rmo^i') Cslifoi' 


The aromatic root, which has a strong, peppery taste, is 
very astringent, and when made into a tea or a powder, is 
applied with excellent results to cuts and sores. The tea 
is also taken as a blood-piuifier; and the plant, in the form of 
a wash or poultice, is used for rheumatism, while the wilted 
leaves are said to reduce swellings. In the medical world it is 
beginning to be used in diseases of the mucous membrane. 


Capsella Bursa-pastoris, Medic. Mustard Family. 

Among our commonest and most harmless weeds is tte 
shepherd's purse, which has been introduced from Europe in 
the past It may be easily recognized by its tiny white cru- 
ciferous flowers and its shapely littie triangular, flat pods, which 
have a peppery taste. It is used medicinally, and valued as a 
remedy for many different maladies. In Europe, a common 
name for the plant is ** mother's heart,'* and Mr. Johnston says 
that children play a sort of game with the seed-pouch. * ' They 
hold it out to their companions, inviting them to * take a haud 
o* that ' It immediately cracks, and then follows a triumphant 
shout, * You 've broken your mother's heart!' " 

Equally common is the Lepidium^ or pepper-gfrass, the 
small round, flat pods of which also have a peppery taste. 
Both of these belong to the great Mustard family. 


Calochortus venustus, Benth. (and varieties). Lily Family. 

Stents.— K foot or two high; branching. Leaves, — Narrow; grass- 
like; channeled; glaucous; decumbent. Flowers. — Erect; cup-shaped; 
^^ white, lilac, pink, claret, magenta, purple, or rarely light yellow; of uni- 
' form color or shaded; plain or vanously oculated, stained, or blotched. 
Petals. — One or two inches long; slightly hairy below. Gland. — Large; 
roundish; densely hairy. Capsule. — Lanceolate; four or five lines 
broad. (See Calochortus.) Hab. — Dry sandy soil, in the Coast Ranges 
and Sierra foothills, from Mendocino County to Los Angeles. 

I once emerged from the dense chaparral of a steep hillside 
upon a grassy slope, where myriads of these lovely flowers 

78 --. 



tossed their delicate cups upon the breeze. As I passed from 
flower to flower, I noticed many insect guests regaling them- 
selves upon the nectar. Bees and flies jostled one another 
and crawled amid the hairs below, and beautifully mottled 
butterflies hovered over them. 

As originally described, this flower was white or pale lilac, 
with a more or less conspicuous, usually reddish, stain, or 
blotch, near the top, a brownish spot bordered with yellow in 
the center, and a brownish striate base. But it varies so widely 
from this type, in both color and spots, that neither is a reliable 
character from^which to determine the species. Some of the 
oculated forms of C. luteus are so similar that they are readily 
confused with this, but a careful examination of the gland and 
the form of the capsule, together with the character of the soil 
in which the plants grow, will identify the species. 


Solatium nigrum, L. Nightshade Family. 
Hab. — Along streams near the coast. 

This may be easily distinguished from S, Xanti by its very 
small white flowers, whose corollas are but three or four lines 
across, and much more deeply and pointedly lobed, the lobes 
hating a tendency to turn backward as the flowers grow older; 
also by its thinner, duller leaves, and much smaller, black ber- 
ries, the size of peas. 

It is considered a violent narcotic poison, both berries and 
leaves having caused death when eaten. It is used in the med- 
ical world, in the form of a tincture for various maladies, and 
it is said that in Bohemia the blossoming plant is hung over the 
cradles of infants to induce sweet slumber; while in Ddmatia 
the root is fried in butter and eaten to produce sleep, and is 
also used as remedy for hydrophobia. 

Solarium Douglasii, Dunal, is a similar species, with larger 
flowers, which are usually white, though sometimes light blue. 




Calochortus luteus^ var. oculatus^ Wats. Lily Family. 
Hab. — Sierras and Coast Ranges, from Fresno County to Oregon. 

Of all our lovely Mariposa tulips, this charming form is 
perhaps the most like the insect for which it is named. Its 
creamy or purplish flowers have an exquisitely tinted dark- 
maroon eye, surrounded by yellow, and it is often streaked in 
marvelous imitation of the insect's wing. It was doubtless 
this form Miss Coolbrith had in mind when she wrote the beau- 
tiful lines below: 

** Insect or blossom? Fragile, fairy thing, 
Poised upon slender tip and quivering 
To flight! a flower of the fields of air; 
A jeweled moth, a butterfly with rare 
And tender tints upon his downy wing 
A moment resting in our happy sight; 
A flower held captive by a thread so slight 
Its petal-wings of broidered gossamer 
Are, light as the wind, with every wind astir. 
Wafting sweet odor, faint and exquisite. 
O dainty nursling of the field and sky! 
What fairer thing looks up to heaven's blue, 
And drinks the noontide sun, the dawning' s dew? 
Thou winged bloom! thou blossom butterfly!" 


Boykinia occidentalism Torr. and Gray. Saxifrage Family. 

'Sy^ww.— Slender; a foot or two high. Leaves. — Round-reniform; 
Palmately three- to seven-lobed; one to three inches broad; the lobes 
coarsely toothed. Flowers. — In long-peduncled, loose panicles; white; 
four lines across; parts in fives. Calyx, — With acute teeth. Petals. — 
On the sinuses of the calyx. Stamens. — On the calyx, opposite its 
teeth. Filaments short. Ovary. — With its two cells attenuate into the 
slender styles. Hab, — Coast Rdnges, from Santa Barbara to Wash- 

The tufted leaves, and exquisitely delicate saxifrage-like 
clusters of the BoykiniUy fringe our streams in early summer. 




Chlorogalum pomeridianum, Kunth. Lily Family. 

Bulb. — One to four inches in diameter; densely brown-fibrous. 
Leaves, — Six to eighteen inches long. Scape. — One to five feet high; 
bearing a loosely spreading panicle. Perianth. — White; of six spread- 
ing, recurved segments nine lines long. Stamens.- Six; shorter than 
the segments. Ovary. — ^Three-celled. Style filiform. Stigma three- 
lobed. //ad.— Widely distributed. 

The leaves of the soap-plant have been with us all the 
spring, increasing in length as the season has advanced. You 
can easily recognize them, as they resemble a broad, wavy- 
margined grass, usually lying flat upon the ground, with some 
of the ragged brown fibres of the bulb showing aboveground, 
like the fragment of an old manilla mat. 

In early summer, from their midst begins to shoot a slender 
stalk. When the process of its growth is complete, it stands 
from two to five feet high, with slender, wide-spreading 
branches and rather sparsely scattered flowers. 

If you would find its flowers open, you must seek it in the 
afternoon. At a little distance, it appears as though the truant 
summer wind had lodged a delicate white feather here and 
there upon the branches. In themselves, these blossoms are 
not ill-favored, with their slender, recurved petals; but to us 
the root is the most interesting part of the plant. This the 
early Spanish-Californians used extensively in lieu of soap, and 
esteemed greatly as a hair tonic, and it was known by them 
as **amole.'' Even now it is much used among their descend- 
ants, and we know of one aged senora over ninety who refuses 
to use anything else for washing. Her grandsons keep her 
supplied with the bulbs, which they dig by the sackful from 
the neighboring hill-slopes and mesas. She takes her linen 
down to the brookside, and there, in primitive fashion, upon 
her knees she scours and rinses it till it is as white as the driven 

The Indians of the Sierra foothills have a curious use for 
the bulb. After the June freshets have subsided, many fish 
are usually left in small pools in the streams. The squaws go 


SOAP-PLANT— C&fo'Ofi-j/BW psmeridi 


to these pools with an abundance of soap-root, and kneeling- 
upon the banks, rub up a great suds with it. The fish soon 
rise to the surface stupefied, and are easily taken. 

We are told that in the early days of the gold excitement, 
when commodities were scarce and brought fabulous prices, 
the fibrous outer coats of the bulb were used for stuffing 

The inner portion of the bulb, when reduced to a paste, is 
said to be an excellent remedy for oak-poisoning, applied as a 

This is not the only plant popularly known as soap-plant 
among us. Several others share the title, among them the 
goose-foot, the yucca, and the California lilac. There are 
several other species of Chlorogalum. 


Ceanothus integerrimuSy Hook, and Am. Buckthorn Family. 

Shrubs or small trees; five to twelve feet high; with cylindrical, 
usually warty, branches. Leaves. — Alternate; on slender petioles two 
to six lines long; ovate to ovate-oblong; one to three inches long; 
entire or rarely slightly glandular-serrulate; thin. Flowers. — White; 
sometimes blue; in a thyrse three to seven inches long, one to four 
thick. Fruit. — Not crested. (See Ceanothus.) Hob, — Mountains 
from Los Angeles to the Columbia River. 

When in flower, this is one of the most attractive of all our 
Ceanothi, It often covers great mountain-sides with its white 
bloom as with drifted snow. The trip to the Yosemite is 
often diversified by this beautiful spectacle, which comes as an 
exhilarating surprise. 

Among the mountaineers this shrub is highly valued as 
forage for their cattle, which they turn upon it after the low- 
land pastures have dried up. 

The young twigs and leaves have the spicy fragrance of the 
black birch of the Eastern States. The foliage is deciduous, 
and of rather a pale though bright green. The bark of the 
root of this shrub is becoming celebrated as a remedy for vari- 
ous disorders, such as malaria, catarrh, and liver trouble. 




Lupinus densifloruSy Benth. Pea Family. 

Stems. — Stout; simple below; parted in the middle into numerous 
wide-spreading branches; two feet high; succulent; sparsely villous. 
Flowers. — In long-peduncled racemes; six to ten inches long; with 
usually five or six dense whorls. Bracts bristle-like, from a broad base. 
Calyx. — Upper lip scarious; deeply cleft; lower long, toothed. Co- 
rolla. — ^White or rose-color; seven lines or so lone; the standard dark 
dotted. Pod. — Two-seeded. Hab. — Wide-spread; Sacramento Valley 

In the days when we went fishing in the brook with a pin 
for minnows, a company of these pretty white lupines in a 
field represented to our childish fancy so many graceful dames 
in flounced skirts dancing in a sylvan ballroom. 


Spircea discolor ^ Pursh. Rose Family. 

Shrubs two to six feet high. Leaves. — Alternate; short- petioled; 
an inch or two long; oval or ovate; crenately lobed above; the lobes 
often toothed; silky pubescent beneath. Flowers. — White; two lines 
across; in feathery panicles several inches long. Calyx. — Five-parted; 
petaloid. Petals. — Five; equaling the sepals. Stamens. — About 
twenty. Pistils. — Five; distinct; one-celled. Hab. — Coast Ranges, 
mostly from Monterey County northward. 

Not until midsummer is upon us does the common meadow- 
sweet make itself noticeable by its large feathery clusters of 
minute white flowers, which have a pleasant odor, reminiscent 
of slippery-elm. 

We have two species of Spircea with pink flowers — ►$*. 
Doi4glastt^ Hook., the Californian hardback, having its blos- 
soms in long clusters, (found in Northern California, ) and S, 
betulifoliay Pall., having flat- topped flower-clusters, (found in 
the Sierras). 

Another shrub closely resembling the Spirceas is Neillia 
opulifolia^ Benth. and Hook., the wild bridal-wreath, or nine- 
bark. Indeed, this has been classed by some authorities 
among the Spirceas, It may be easily recognized by its 
hemispherical clusters of white flowers. These clusters are 



an inch or two across. Though the shrub is quite showy 
when in bloom, it is almost equally attractive when its carpels 
are beginning to redden. 


Rhododendron occidentale^ Gray. Heath Family. 

Shrubs two to twelve feet high. Leaves. — Clustered at the ends of 
the branches; obovate to lanceolate; two to four inches long; herba- 
ceous. Flower-clusters, — Large, from a special terminal bud. Calyx. 
— Deeply five-cleft. Corolla. — ^With funnel-form tube, and five-cleft 
border; white; the upper lobe blotched with corn-color; sometimes 
tinged with pink; glanciular- viscid without. Stamens. — Five. Anthers 
two-celled, opening terminally. Ovary. — Five-celled. Capsule. — Very 
woody. Hab.— Stream-banks throughout the State. 

One of the most deservedly admired of all our shrubs is the 
lovely Californfen azalea. In June and July, the borders of 
our mountain streams are covered for miles with the bushes, 
whose rich green foliage is often almost obscured from view by 
the magnificent clusters of white and yellow, or sometimes 
pinkish, flowers. Its delicious, spicy perfume is always subtly 
suggestive of charming days spent with rod and line along 
cool streams, or of those all too brief outings spent far from 
the haunts of men, in some sequestered mountain-cabin among 
redwood groves or by rushing waters. 

In Oregon it is commonly known as ** honeysuckle,'* and 
there in the autumn its life ebbs away in a flood of glory, 
showering the forest floor with flecks of scarlet and crimson. 
Its root is said to contain a strong narcotic poison, and the 
leaves are also reputed to be poisonous if eaten, but they are 
not at all harmful to the touch. 


CALIFORNIA^ AZAl^EA— ghododtadum trei 



Vancouver ia parviflor a ^ Greene. Barberry Family. 

Stems. — One or two feet high. Leaves. — All radical; twice to 
thrice temately compound. Leaflets. — One to two inches broad; rich 
shining green; persisting; undulate and membrane-margined. Flowers. 
— ^Twenty-five to fifty, in loose panicles; small; with six to nine sepal- 
like bracts. Parts in sixes all in front of one another. Sepals. — Peta- 
loid; two lines long. Petals. — White to lavender. Stamens. — Erect; 
closely appressed to the pistil. Ovary. — One-celled. Style stoutish. 
Hab. — Coast Ranges of Central California. 

There is no more exquisite plant in our coast woods than 
the American barrenwort. Its delicate threadlike stems, which 


are yet strong and wiry, hold up its spreading evergreen 
leaves, every leaflet in its own place. There is a likeness in 
these leaves to the fronds of our Califomian msddenhair, and 
one could easily imagine the maidenhair amplified, strength- 
ened, and polished into this form. The leaflets are also some- 
what ivy-like in form. 

In June its delicate, airy panicles of small white blossoms 
appear. These are especially interesting as belonging to the 
Barberry family, where all the floral organs stand in front of 
one another, and the anthers open by cunningly contrived 
little uplifting valves. These plants are said to grow upon 
bushy hillsides, in masses sometimes several feet across. But 
I have never seen it with other than an exclusive and rather 
solitary habit, growing in shaded forests. We have one or 
two other species. 


Amelanchter alnifoha^ Nutt. Rose Family. 

Deciduous shrubs, three to eight feet high. Leaves. — ^Alternate; 
petioled; from rounded to oblong-ovate; serrate usuallj^ only toward 
the apex; six to eighteen lines long. Flowers. — ^White, m short 
racemes. Calyx-tube. — Campanulate; limb five -parted. Petals. — 
Five; oblong; six lines or so long. Stamens. — Twenty; short. Ovary. 
—Three- to five-celled. Styles three to five. Fruit. — Small; berry- 
like; dark purple, //a^.— Throughout the State and northward; also 
eastward to the Western States. 

The service-berry seems to be at home throughout our 
borders, but it reaches its greatest perfection north of us, on 



the rich bottom-lands of the Columbia River. In spring the 
bushes are beautiful, when snowily laden with masses of ragged 
white flowers; and from June to September they are no less 
welcome, when abundantly hung with the black berries, which 
usually have a bloom upon them. These berries are an im- 
portant article of food among our Western Indians, who make 
annual pilgrimages to the regions of their growth, gathering 
and drying large quantities for winter use. The drying they 
effect by crushing them to a paste, which they spread upon 
bark or stones in the sun. It is said that many a party of 
explorers, lost in the woods, has been kept alive by this little 

Almost the same shrub in the Atlantic States is called 
"shad-bush,*' because it blooms at about the season when the 
shad are running up the streams. 


Heteromeles arhutifolia^ Roemer. Rose Family. 

Shrubs four to twenty-five feet high. Leaves. — ^Alternate; short- 
petioled; oblong; serrate; leathery; two to four inches long. Flowers. 

— Small; white; four lines across; in dense terminal panicles. Calyx. 

— Five-toothed. Petals. — Five; roundish; spreading. Stamens. — ^Ten; 
on the calyx. Filaments awl-shaped; flat. Ovaries. — Two; one- 
celled. Styles slender. Berries. — Red; four lines in diameter; in 
large clusters. Hab. — Coast Ranges, from San Diego to Mendocino 

Christmas could hardly be celebrated among us without our 
beautiful Californian holly. Florists* windows and the baskets 
of street-venders at that season are gay with the magnificent 
clusters of rich cardinal berries, which are really ripe by 
Thanksgiving. The common name, ** Californian holly,'* 
refers more to the berries than to the leaves, as the latter have 
not the form of holly-leaves. We have often seen the venders 
mix the berries with the prickly foliage of the live-oak, to make 
them seem more like holly. 

The large clusters of spicy white flowers appear in July and 
August. Nothing in all our flora yields a finer contrast of 



lavish scarlet against rich green. The berries have a rather 
pleasant taste, somewhat acid and astringent, and are eaten by 
the Indians with great relish. The Spanish-Califomians used 
them in the preparation of an agreeable drink. 
This is a very handsome shrub in cultivation. 


Clematis ligusticifolia, Nutt. Buttercup or Crowfoot Family. 

Nearly smooth. Stems. — Woody; sometimes climbing thirty feet 
Leaves, — Opposite; long-petioled; fi ve-foliolate. Leaflets. — Ovate to 
lanceolate; eighteen lines to three inches long; three -lobed and 
coarsely toothed; rarely entire or three-parted. Flowers.— \y\c&z\o\js\ 
in axillary panicles. Sepals. — Four; petaloid; four to six lines long; 
thin. Petals. — ^Wanting. Stamens. — Numerous. Pistils. — Many; be- 
coming long-tailed, silky akenes. //iid.— Widely distributed. 

The virgin's bower usually looks down upon us from among 
the branches of some tree, where it entwines itself indistin- 
guishably with the foliage of its host. It climbs by means of 
the stalks of its leaflets, which wrap themselves about small 
twigs. This species is not so noticeable during the season of 
its blossoming as it is later, when the long plumes of its seed 
have twisted themselves into silvery balls, making feathery 
masses. Mrs. Blochman writes that among the Spanish-Cali- 
fornians, it is called **yerba de chivato,** and valued as a 
remedy for barbed-wire cuts in animals. It is used in the 
form of a wash, and remarkable cures are effected. 

Another widespread species — C, lasiantha^ Nutt. — is far 
more showy than the above. It is found in the Coast Ranges, 
from Los Angeles to Napa County at least, and in the Sierras 
to Plumas County. Its long-peduncled flowers are solitary; 
but they are so numerous and grow so closely together, that 
they make dense masses of white, conspicuous at a long dis- 
tance. The flowers are larger, the sepals being an inch long, 
and covered with a silky pubescence, which makes them like 
soft cream-colored velvet. The three ovate leaflets are also 





Cornus Nuttalliiy Audubon. Dogwood Famay. 

'-^ Shrubs or trees, fifteen to seventy feet high. Leaves, — Opposite; 

obovate; acute at each end; three to five inches long. Flowers. — 
Numerous; small; greenish; in a head surrounded by an involucre of 
four to six large, yellowish or white bracts, often tinged with red, and 
eighteen lines to three inches long. Calyx. — Four-toothed. Petals 
and Stamens, — Four. Ovary. — Two-celled. Fruit. — Scarlet; five or 
six lines long. Hab. — The Coast Ranges and Sierras, from Monterey 
and Plumas Counties to British Columbia. 

Our large-flowered dogwood more nearly resembles the 
Eastern C florida than any "other species, but it is a much 
handsomer shrub than the latter. It reaches its maximum 
size in Northern Oregon and Washington, where, in the season 
of its blossoming, it is a sight never to be forgotten. Its 
masses of large white flowers, like single Cherokee roses, con- 
trast finely with the deep, rich greens of the fir forests, in 
which it often grows. In its northern range, its leaves turn 
beautifully, and it becomes one of the most brilliant mas- 
queraders in the autumn pageant. 

The wood is very hard, close-grained, and tough, and is 
used as a substitute for boxwood in the making of bobbins 
and shuttles for weaving, and also in cabinet-work. 


Habenaria leucostachysy Wats. Orchis Family. 

Root. — A fusiform tuber. Stems. — One to four feet high; leafy 
throughout. Leaves. — Lanceolate; diminishing upward. Flowers. — 
Bright white, in a spike. Perianth segments. — Two or three lines 
long. Ltp. — Four lines long, with a slender spur four to six lines long. 
Anther. — On the column just above the stigma. Ovary. — One-celled. 
Hab. — Mountains throughout California. 

From July to September we may look for the milk-white 
rein-orchis in moist meadows. It is especially abundant in 
the Sierras, where its charmingly fragrant, pure- white spikes 
are particularly eflfective against the lush green of the alpine 






Datura Stramonium^ L. Nightshade Family. 

Stems, — Two or three feet high; stout Leaves. — Alternate; ovate- 
coarsely angled; long-petioled. Fiowers, — In the forks of the stem; 
short-pediceled; white. Ca(v^.— Tubular; angled; five-toothed; over 
an inch long. G?rt?//a.— Funnel-form; three inches long; with an ex- 
panded five-angled border. Stamens, — Five; included. Filaments 
long and slender; adnate to the corolla below. Style long. Ovary. — 
Two-celled; each cell nearly divided again. -FrwiV.^ Larger than a 
walnut; prickly. Hab. — Waste grounds near habitations; introduced. 

The jimson-weed, which is a native of Asia, has become 
quite common in waste places. It is a rank, ill-smelling, nau- 
seating weed, possessing narcotic, poisonous qualities, but its 
flowers are rather large and showy. The leaves and seeds 
are made into the drug called ** stramonium,'' which is used 
as a remedy in neuralgia, spasmodic cough, and other dis- 

As the plant usually grows by roadsides or in the vicinity 
of dwellings, children are not infrequently poisoned by its fruit 
and leaves. The poison manifests itself in dryness of the 
throat, rapid pulse, and delirium; and even death may ensue, 
preceded by convulsions and coma. 

This plant is also called ** mad-apple," ** apple of Peni,''- 
and ** Devil's apple." 

It has a near relative — D, suaveolens^ HBK., — a large 
shrub with dark-green leaves and very large, pendulous white 
flowers. This is common in Califomian gardens, and is known 
popularly as **floriponda," or ** angels' trumpets." It sheds a 
powerful fragrance upon the air at night, which is not notice- 
able by day. 




Achillea Millefolium^ L. Composite Family. 

Stems, — ^A foot or two hig;h. Z^az'^^.— Alternate; sessile; twice- 
pinnately parted into fine Imear, acute, three- to five-cleft lobes; 
lanceolate in outline; two to four inches long; strong-scented. Flower- 
heads. — Crowded in a flat cluster; white, sometimes pink; four lines 
across, includii^ the rays; made up of white disk-flowers and obovate 
white rays, ilab, — All around liie Northern Hemisphere. 

The yarrow, which is a common weed in most countries 
of the Northern Hemisphere, has long been known to botanists 
and herbalists, and was formerly in high repute for its many 
virtues. The leaves steeped in hot water are still considered 
very healing applications to cuts or bruises; and among the 
Spanish -Californians the fresh plants are used for stanching the 
blood in recent wounds. 

This plant received the name Achillea^ because the great 
hero of the Trojan war was supposed to have been the first to 
discover its virtues. 

In Sweden it is used as a substitute for hops in the brewing 
of beer. Among the superstitious, even of the present day, 
it is regarded as a most potent love-charm, when plucked 
by a love-lorn maiden from the grave of a young man, while 
repeating the proper formula. 

In the spring, the plants first develop a rosette of finely 
dissected, feathery leaves, which lie flat upon the ground. 
Later, when these are well grown, it sends up its tall flower- 
stalks, crowned with close, flat clusters of small white blossoms. 

M. Naudin, who has an intimate knowledge of the plants 
of dry countries, recommends the yarrow for lawn-making 
where irrigation is impossible. **It grows freely in the driest 
of weather, and makes a handsome turf It must be frequently 
cut, however, to prevent it from throwing up flower-stems. It 
will not succeed on a lime- impregnated soil.'* 

Among children the yarrow is commonly known as **old 




Goodyera Menziesii, Lindl. Orchis Family. 

Leaves, — Two or three inches long; leathery; dark green, veined 
with white. Scape. — Six to fifteen inches high, with scattered lanceo- 
late bracts. Spike. — Many-flowered. Perianth. — White; two to four 
lines long; downy. Lateral sepals. deflexed; upper and two petals 
coherent. Lip erect, saccate below, concave above, and narrowing 
into the recurved summit. Anther. — On the base of the column 
behind. Ovary, — One-celled. Hab. — Mountains, from Mendocino 
and Mariposa Counties to British Columbia. 

The ratdesnake plantain is frequently met under the con- 
iferous trees of our northern woods. Its common name comes 
from the mottling of its leaves, which is similar to that of the 
rattlesnake's skin. In midsummer, or later, the plant sends 
up a stalk of small but shapely little blossoms. These are so 
modest, one would hardly suspect they belonged to the showy 
orchis family. 


Cephalanthus occidentalism L. Madder Family. 

Shrubs eight to ten feet high. Leaves. — Opposite, or in whorls of 
three or four; petioled; ovate to lanceolate; three to five inches long. 
Flowers. — Small; white; in spherical heads an inch in diameter. 
Calyx. — Four-toothed. Corolla. — Long funnel-form with four-cleft 
limb. Stamens. — Four; short; borne on the throat of the corolla. 
Ovary. — Two- to four-celled. Style long-exserted. Stigma capitate. 
Hab. — Throughout the State. 

The button-bush is a handsome shrub, found upon stream 
borders, often standing where its roots are constantly under 
water. Its leaves are willow-like, and its spherical flower- 
heads, poised gracefully at the ends of the branches, resemble 
small cushions filled with pins. The blossoms often have a 
jessamine-like fragrance. 

A tincture made of the bark is used by physicians as a tonic 
and laxative and as a remedy for fevers and coughs. 

This shrub is especially abundant in the interior, on the 
lower reaches of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers, 
where it is in blocm from June to August. 





Pyrolapicta^ Smith. Heath Family. 

Leaves, — Leathery; dark green, veined with white; one or two 
inches long. Scape, — Four to niqe inches high. Calyx, — Five-parted. 
Petals, — Six lines or so long; white. Stamens. — Ten. Anthers open- 
ing terminall)^. Ovary. — Five-celled. Style long; curved. Hob. — 
The Middle Sierras and Mendocino County, and northward. 

The great coniferous forests of our higher mountains afford 
homes for many interesting members of the Heath family. A 
trip to the Sierras in August will yield many a prize to the 
flower-lover. Pyrolas^ with waxen clusters, vie with Pipsissi- 
was; the weird looking Pterospora rears its uncanny, gummy 
stems, clothed with small, yellowish bells, while an occasional 
glimpse of a blood-red spike betrays the most wonderful of 
them all — the snow-plant. 

Of the Pyrolas we made the acquaintance of three in this 
region. These pretty plants are called **shinleaf,'* because 
the leaves of some of the species were used by the English 
peasantry as plasters which they applied to bruises or sores. 
Pyrola picta^ with its rich leathery, white-veined leaves and 
clusters of whitish, waxen flowers, was quite plentiful and 
always a delight to meet. Pyrola dentaia^ Smith, we often 
found growing with it. This has spatulate, wavy-margined 
leaves, which are pale and not veined with white, and its scapes 
are more slender. It never was so attractive or vigorous a 
plant as the other. 

A ramble in the woods one day brought us to the brink of 
a charming stream, whose pure, ice-cold waters babbled along 
most invitingly. Following its course, we found ourselves in 
a delightfully cool, moist thicket, where, nestling in the deep 
shade, we found the beautiful, rich, glossy leaves of Pyrola 
rotundifolia^ var, bracteata^ Gray. The leaves are roundish, 
of a beautiful, bright chrome green, highly polished, and the 
delicate flowers-are rose-pink. This is called ** Indian lettuce" 
and ** canker lettuce,'' and a tincture of the fresh plant is used 
in medicine for the same purposes as chimaphila. P, aphylla, 




would be an excellent thing to have it widely planted as a 
means of reducing these bands of "hoofed locusts/* as Mr. 
Muir terms them — these marauders who trample down so 
much beauty, and leave desolation everywhere in their wake. 


Chimaphila Menziesiiy Spreng. Heath Family. 

Stems. — Six inches high. Leaves. — Six to eighteen lines long; 
dark green, sometimes variegated with white; leathery. Flowers. — 
One to three. Calyx. — Five-parted; white. Petals. — Five; waxen- 
white or pinkish. Stamens. — Ten. Filaments enlarged and hairy in 
the middle. Anthers two-celled; opening terminally. Ovary. — Five- 
celled. Style short. Stigma button-like. Hab,—The Middle Sierras 
and Mendocino County. 

The prince's pine is a charming little plant, and may be 
found beneath the undergrowth in the great coniferous woods 
of the Sierras, where it sits demurely with bowed head, like 
some cloistered nun engaged with her own meditations. It 
has an exquisite perfume, like that of the lily of the valley. 

The common prince's pine of the Eastern States — C. urn- 
bellata — is moye rare with us, though it is found through 
somewhat the same range as the above. It is a more vigorous 
plant than the other, has from four to seven purplish flowers 
in the cluster, while its leaves are never spotted. 

In the East, from the leaves of this species is manufactured 
the drug ** chimaphila,'' which is valued as a tonic and astrin- 
gent, also as a remedy for cataract. 


Baccharis pilularis, DC. Composite Family. 

Evergreen dioecious shrubs, one to twelve feet high, with angled or 
striate branches. Leaves. — Alternate; sessile; obovate; cuneate; ob- 
tuse; coarsely toothed; leathery; one inch or less long. Flower-heads. 
— Crowded at the ends of the branchlets; four lines long; one or two 
across; without ray-flowers. Involucres. — Oblong; of many imbri- 
cated scales. Sterile heads. — With funnel-form, five-lobed corollas. 
Fertile heads. — With filiform corollas, mixed with a dense white silky 
pappus, which soon elongates. Hab. — All along the Coast. 

In the fall, the dark -green foliage of the groundsel-tree is 
relieved by its abundant small white flower-clusters. The 

1 04 



Smith, is easily distinguished by the absence of leaves. It has 
flesh-colored stems, and its flower? are sometimes of the same 
color, and sometimes whk6* ::Tfiis isJound in the Coast Ranges. 


\ •;•. •-r* ^ Anaphalis Margaritaceay Benth. Composite Family. 

" *« ' * 

Stems. — One to three feet high; leafy up to the flowers. Leaves. — 

Alternate; sessile; lanceolate or linear-lanceolate; two to four inches 
long; white- woolly, at length becoming green above. Heads. — Of fili- 
form disk-flowers only. Involucre. — Of many rows of pearly white, 
pKDinted scales, not longer than the flowers, resembling ray-flowers. 
Hab. — ^Widely distributed over the northern parts of America and Asia. 

Our wild everlasting flowers are very difficult of determina- 
tion, and are comprised under at least three genera, Gnapha- 
lium, Anaphalis, and Antennaria. The word Anaphalis is 
from the same root as the word Gnaphalium, and the species 
have quite the aspect of Gnaphalium. 

The flowers of the pearly everlasting have a peculiarly pure 
pearly look before they are entirely open, and their sharp- 
pointed little scales give them a prim, set look, like very regu- 
lar, tiny white roses. There is a hint of green in them, but 
they are never of the dirty yellowish-white of the cudweed, nor 
have they the slippery-elm -like fragrance of the latter. When 
fully expanded, the centers are brown. The leaves, which at 
length become a dark, shining green, make a fine contrast with 
the permanently white-woolly stems. The flower-clusters are 
loosely compound. 


Lilium IVashingtonianum^ Kell. Lily Family. 

Hab- Throughout the Sierras from three to six thousand feet 

I shall never forget the thrill of delight I felt on first behold- 
ing this noble white lily, some years ago, in an open fir forest 
near Mt. Shasta. I had often heard of it, but never dared 
hope it would be my privilege to gather it for myself in its own 
native haunts. 

1 02 


The blossoms somewhat resemble those of the ruby Hly, but 
the petals have longer claws and are more loosely put together. 
They are fragrant, but their perfume is not to be compared with 
that of the ruby lily. 

Mr. Purdy once saw, upon a single great mountain-side, 
ten thousand of these wonderful plants, upbearing their beau- 
tiful, pure lilies — a sight outrivaling the poet's vision of the 
golden daffodils. 

The Shasta lily is never found in the Coast Ranges. An- 
other species, L. Parryi, Wats., resembling this in the form 
of its flowers, is found in the San Bernardino Mountains. This 
is known as the ** lemon lily," and has clear yellow flowers, 
dotted sparingly with deeper yellow. It is a charming flower, 
and is always found in shaded, springy places in cool caflons. 


Ledum glandulosum, Nutt Heath Family. 

Shrubs two to six feet high. Z^az^^5.- Alternate; short-petioled; 
oblong or oval;, an inch or two long; coriaceous; sprinkled beneath 
with resin-dots. Flowers. — White; in terminal and axillary clusters, 
pz/yjr.— Five-cleft. Petals.- Ywe; three lines long; rotately spread- 
ing. Stamens. — Four to ten. Anthers opening terminally. Ovary. — 
Five-celled. Style filiform, persistent. Hab. — ^The Coast Ranges, from 
Mendocino County northward, and through the Sierras. 

Our Labrador tea is a comely shrub, found in the moun- 
tains at an elevation of four thousand feet and upward. Its 
small, leathery leaves are miniature copies of those of the Cali- 
fornian rhododendron, differing from them, however, in the 
sprinkling of resin-dots upon the under surface. 

Upon seeing the flowers of this shrub for the first time, one 
^s apt to imagine it a member of the Rose family, something 
^kin to the cherry, with its clusters of small white flowers of a 
bitter fragrance; but a glance at the anthers, with their ter- 
minal pores, tells the story quickly. 

A tea made from the leaves is, with many people, a valued 
remedy for rheumatism. 

This little shrub is much dreaded by sheepmen, who claim 
that it poisons their flocks. It has been suggested that it 



flowers of the male shrub are never very beautiful, being usu- 
ally of a yellowish or dirty white; indeed, so little resembling 
the other, as to appear like a separate species. But when the 
white silk down of the female shrub is fully expanded, its 
boughs are laden as with drifted snow. This lavish pro\dsion 
of silk is designed by nature for the wafting abroad of the 

It varies greatly in size and habit Upon exposed, wind- 
swept sandhills it is low and close-cropped, but in more favor- 
able localities, where the soil is rich and the climate more 
genial, it responds graciously to the changed conditions, be- 
coming one of our most picturesque shrubs. 

Growing and blooming at the same time with the above, 
may be found its near relative — B, Douglasii^ DC. This does 
not aspire to shrubhood, but its tall stems, with their lanceo- 
late, somewhat glutinous leaves, sometimes reach four feet in 
height, bearing at summit their pretty Ageratum-like, white 
flower-clusters. It loves the sandy soil of creek-banks and 
low fields, and is abundant from San Francisco to Los Angeles. 


Erigeron Coulteri^ T. C. Porter. Composite Family. 

Stem. — Six to twenty inches high; leafy; bearing solitary or rarely 
two or three large, slender-peduncled heads. Leaves, — Obovate to 
oblong; entire or with several sharp teeth; thin. Flower -heads. — Of 
yellow disk-flowers, and usually pure white ray-flowers. Disk. — Half 
an inch wide. Rays. — Fifty to seventy; narrowly linear; six lines or 
more long. Hab. — The Sierras; also the Rocky Mountains of Colo- 

** High on the crest of the blossoming grasses, 

Bending and swaying, with face toward the sky, 
Stirred by the lightest west wind as it passes. 
Hosts of the silver-white daisy-stars lie.*' 

No fairer sight could be imagined than a mountain meadow 
filled with these large, pure- white, feathery daisies. 


BACCHARIS-Boc£*flni Diughii 



Veratrum Californicum, Durand. Lily Fcimily. 

Stems, — Stout; three to seven feet high. Leaves. — O/al; narrow- 
ing to lanceolate; sessile; sheathing; raur to twelve inches long. 
Flowers. — Greenish-white in a large panicle, with usually ascending 
branches. Stafnens and pistils in the same flowers, or in separate 
ones. Pedicels. — ^About two lines long. Perianth segments. — Six; 
spreading; oblanceolate; their bases thickened and green or brownish; 
upper mai^ns sometimes minutely toothed; three to eight lines long. 
Stamens. — Six. Anthers confluently one-celled. Ovary. — Three-celled. 
Styles three, divergent. Hab. — The Middle Sierras and Mendocino 
County northward to the Columbia; also eastward. 

The false hellebore may be found in midsummer in the 
mountains. It grows along watercourses, and often covers 
rich, moist meadows, where its stems rise from three to seven 
feet, with their coarsely ribbed, boat-shaped leaves and large 
panicles of greenish-white flowers. When at its best it is a 
rather fine, showy thing, but its leaves are often perforated by 
some insect, and present a ragged, untidy appearance. 

The mountaineers commonly call this plant ** skunk cab- 
bage,'* a deplorable misnomer, because it is in no sense 
merited; and, moreover, we have a plant to which the tide 
more rightfully belongs. The root and young shoots are a 
violent poison, and are fatal to animals which are unfortunate 
enough to crop them. 

Arfother species — V, fimhyiatuniy Gray — a smaller plant, is 
found upon the plains in Mendocino County. It may be dis- 
tinguished from the above by its more slender leaves, its woolly 
flower-panicle, and its decidedly fringed flower-petals. 

1 08 


[Yellow or occasionally or partially yellow flowers not described 

in the Yellow Section, 

Described in the White Section: — 

Calochortus venustus — Mariposa Lily, or Tulip. 
LiLiUM Parryi Lemon-Lily. 
Viola ocellata — Heart's-ease. 

Described in the Pink Section: — 

Lessingia Germanorum — Yellow Lessingia. 

Described in the Blue and Purple Section : — 

Fritillaria pudica — Yellow Fritillary. 
Iris macrosiphon — Ground-Iris. 
SiSYRiNCHiuM Californicum — Goldcn-eycd Grass. 
Trillium sessile — Californian Trillium. 

Described in the Red Section: — 

Castilleia parviflora — Indian Paint-Brush. 

Cereus Emoryi — Velvet Cactus. 

Pentstemon cENTRANTHiFOLius — Scarlet Bugler. 

Described in the Miscellaneous Section: — 

Cypripedium Californicum — Californian Lady's Slipper.] 




CEnothera ovata^ Nutt. Evening-Primrose Family. 

Root, — A thick tap-root Leaves. — All radical; oblong-lanceolate; 
smooth; cUiate. Flowers. — Solitary in the axils; bright golden yellow. 
Calyx-tube. — Filiform; one to five inches long; limb of four lanceolate, 
reflexed divisions. Petals. — Four; three to ten lines long. Stamens. 
— Eight. Ovar^. — Four-celled; underground. Style filiform. Stigma 
capitate. Fruit. — A ribbed capsule. Hab. — Near the coast from San 
Francisco to Monterey. 

This little evening primrose is an exceedingly interesting 
plant, although it is not of very wide distribution. The flat 
rosettes of leaves sometimes measure over a foot across, and 
are thickly sown with the bright golden flowers, large in pro- 
portion to the size of the plants. A flower or bud is found in 
the axil of every leaf, diminishing in size toward the center, 
one plant sometimes having a hundred blossoms and buds. 
These flowers are peculiarly fresh and winsome, and were they 
not so abundant where they grow they would, doubtless be 
considered very beautiful. 

A strange feature of the plant is its flower-stem, which is 
not a flower-stem at all, but a very much prolonged calyx-tube, 
the seed-vessel being just within the surface of the ground. 

We wonder how these imprisoned seeds are going to 
escape and find lodgment to start new colonies elsewhere. 
Perhaps the moles and gophers could tell something about it 
if they would. 

The leaves of these little plants are sometimes used for 

These blossoms are often erroneously called ** cow-slips." 


Ranunculus Californicus^ Benth. Buttercup or Crowfoot Family. 

Stems. — Slender; branching; six to eighteen inches high. Radical- 
leaves. — Commonly pinnately temate; the leaflets cut into three to 
seven usually linear lobes. Divisions of the stem-leaves usually nar- 
rower. Flowers. — Five to ten lines in diameter; shining golden yellow. 
Sepals. — Green; strongly reflexed. Petals. — Ten to fourteen; obovate; 
each with a small scale at the base. Stamens. — Numerous. Pistils. — 



Numerous; on a receptacle. Ovaries flattened. Stigmas recurved. 
Hab, — ^Throughout Western California into Oregon. 

** The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice; 
And there *s never a leaf nor a blade too mean 
To be some happy creature's palace.'* 

The first clear, beautiful note of a lark has been heard; 
skies are blue and fields are green; little frogs are filling the air 
with their music; — and the buttercups are here. The fields 
are full of them, and their bright golden eyes starring the 
meadows, bring a gladness to the face of nature. The children 
wade knee-deep in their gold, filling their hands with treasure; 
and yonder, where their golden masses cover the slopes. King 
Midas may have passed, transforming the earth with his magi- 
cal touch. 

Because some of the buttercups grow where frogs abound, 
Pliny bestowed the Latin name Ranunculus^ meaning ** little 

The Indians, who seem to have a use for everything, parch 
the seeds of our common buttercup and beat them to a flour, 
which they eat without the further formality of cooking. This 
flour is said to have the peculiar rich flavor of parched com. 

We have a number of other species of buttercup — some of 
them denizens of marshy spots; but the common field butter- 
cup is widest-spread and best known. 


Platystemon Californicus^ Benth. Poppy Family. 

Delicate hairy herbs. Stems, — A span or two high. Leaves, — 
Mostly opposite; sessile; two to four incnes long. Flowers. — Axillary; 
long-peduncled; an inch or so across. Sepals,— 'Y\iX^^\ falling early. 
Petals. — Six; in two rows; cream-color, often with a yellow spot at 
base. Stamens. — Numerous. Filaments broad; petaloid. Pistils, — Six 
to twenty-five; united in a ring at first; afterward separating. Stigmas 
terminal. Hab. — Throughout California 

The cream-cups are delicate, hairy plants of the eariy 

springtime, which often grow in masses and take possession 

f whole fields. They seem to be more vigorous in the south, 


CREAM-CUPS — Wotn/^inoii Cali/om 


and produce larger flowers there than in the north, often hav- 
ing as many as nine petals. The delicate, nodding green buds 
(like miniature poppy-buds) soon throw off* their outer wrap- 
pings, and, emerging from captivity, gradually assume an erect 
position and unfurl their lovely, pure, straw-colored petals to 
their widest extent. These blossoms open for several succes- 
sive days. 

The genus takes its name from the flat filaments. The nu- 
merous slender pistils are so cleverly joined together into a 
cylinder, that they appear like a hollow, one-celled ovary. But 
a cross-section will show the separate ovaries under a glass. 

Some people like the odor of these flowers; but I must con- 
fess to a lack of appreciation of it. I suspect its charm must 
exist in some pleasant association. 


Eschscholtzia Californica^ Cham. Poppy Family. 

Stents, — Twelve to eighteen inches high; branching. Leaves. — 
Alternate; finely dissected; glaucous. Flowers, — Two or three inches 
across; usually orange; but ranging from that to white. Summit of 
the peduncle enlarging into a cup-shaped torus or disk, upon the upper 
inner surface of which are borne the calyx, corolla, and stamens. 
Calyx, — A pointed green cap, falling early. Petals. — Four. Stamens. 
— Numerous, in four groups, in ft'ont of the petals. Anthers linear. 
Ovary. — One-celled. Style short. Stigmas four to six; unequal. 
Capsule. — Cylindrical; ten-nerved; two or three inches long. Hob, — 
Throughout California. 

Thy satin vesture richer is than looms 

Of Orient weave for raiment of her kings! 

Not dyes of olden Tyre, not precious things 
Regathered from the long-forgotten tombs 
Of buried empires, not the iris plumes 

That wave upon the tropics* myriad wings. 

Not all proud Sheba*s queenly offerings 
Could match the golden marvel of thy blooms. 
For thou art nurtured from the treasure-veins 

Of this fair land; thy golden rootlets sup 
Her sands of gold — of gold thy petals spun. 
Her golden glory, thou! On hills and plains. 

Lifting, exultant, every kingly cup 
Brimmed with the golden vintage of the sun. 



CALIFORNIA VOPVV — EschichoUzia Califon 


It is difficult to exaggerate the charms of this wonderful 
flower. When reproduced in countless millions, its brilliant 
blossoms fairly cover the earth; and far away upon distant 
mountain-slopes, bright patches of red gold denote that league 
after league of it lies open to the sun. It revels in the sun- 
shine, and not until the morning is well advanced does it begin 
to unfurl its tightly rolled petals. 

In the early days, when Spanish vessels sailed up and down 
the newly-discovered coast, the mariners, looking inland, saw 
the flame of the poppies upon the hills and called this ** the land 
of fire.'' They said that the altar-cloth of San Pascual was 
spread upon the hills, and, filled with a devotional spirit, they 
disembarked to worship upon the shore. 

This flower is now cultivated in many parts of the world. 
But one can form no conception of it, pale and languishing in 
a foreign garden. One must go to its native hillsides to get 
any idea of its prodigal beauty. 

The common title, ** California poppy,*' though it has been 
widely used, is open to the objection that it belongs more 
properly to another flower, Papaver Californicum, The gen- 
eric name is dissonant and harsh. Why not replace it by one 
of the more euphonious Spanish titles — **amapola,'' **dormi- 
dera,'* **torosa,'' or, most charmingly appropriate of all, 
**copa de oro,'* — **cup of gold'* ? 

There are many forms of Eschscholtzia^ and of late the orig- 
inal species, E, Californica^ has been divided into a number of 
new species, which are, however, difficult of determination. 

The Indians of Placer County, it is said, boil the herbage, 
or roast it by means of hot stones, lay it in water afterward, 
and then eat it as a green. A drug made from this plant is 
used in medicine as a harmless substitute for morphine and as 
a remedy for headache and insomnia, and it has an especially 
excellent effect with children. The Spanish-Californians make 
a hair-oil, which they prize highly, by frying the whole plant 
in olive oil and adding some choice perfume. This is said to 
promote the growth of the hair and to make it glossy. 





Cucurlnta fcetidissima^ HBK. Gourd FamUy. 

Stems, — Long; coarse; trailing. Leaves, — Alternate; petioled; 
triangular-cordate; six to twelve inches long; acute; rough. Tendrils. 
—Three- to five-cleft Flowers, — Solitary; yellow; three or four 
inches long; monoecious. Calyx-tube, — Six lines long, equaling the 
five linear lobes. O?ro//a.— Campanulate; five-cleft to the midole or 
lower; with recurved lobes. Stamens.— In the male flowers two with 
two-celled anthers, and one with one; in the female all three rudimen- 
tary. Ovary, — Three-celled. Style short. Stigmas three; two-lobed. 
/r«zV.— Orange-like, but with a hard rind. ^>«. — C perennis^ Gray. 
//a3.— San Diego to San Joaquin County. 

The rough, ill-smelling foliage of the Chili-cojote is a com- 
mon sight in Southern California, where it may be seen trailing 
over many a field; but woe to the negligent farmer who allows 
this pest to get a foothold — for it will cost him a small fortune 
to eradicate it. It sends down into the earth an enormous 
root, six feet or so long, and often as broad. When the 
gourds are ripe, these vines look like the dumping-ground for 
numerous poor, discarded oranges. 

Notwithstanding its unsavory character, the various parts 
of this vine are put to use — specially among the Spanish- 
Californians and the Indians. The root is a purgative more 
powerful than croton-oil. When pounded to a pulp, it is used 
as soap by the Spanish-Californians, who aver that it cleanses 
as nothing else can; but rinsing must be very thorough — for 
any particles remaining in the garments prove very irritating 
to the skin. The leaves are highly valued for medicinal pur- 
poses, and the pulp of the green fruit, mixed with soap, is said 
to remove stains from clothing. The Indians eat the seed, 
when ground and made into a mush. The early Californian 
women used the gourds as darning-balls. 

This vine is a near relative of the pumpkins and squashes 
of our gardens. 

The flowers are said to be violet-scented. 




Berheris nervosa^ Pursh. Barberry Family. 

Stem, — Simple; a foot or so high; bearing at summit a crown of 
large leaves, mixed with many dr>% chaffy, persistent bracts. Leaves. 
— One or two feet long, with from eleven to seventeen ovate, acu- 
minate, prickly, somewhat palmately nerved leaflets. Flowers, — Yel- 
low, in elongated, clusterea racemes. Bractlets, sepals, petals, and 
stamens six, standing in front of one another. Anthers two-celled; 
opening by uplifting valves. Ovary. — One-celled. Style short or 
none. Fruit, — P'^rk-blue, glaucous berries; four lines in diameter. 
Hah. — Deep coast woods, from Monterey to Vancouver Island. 

The water-holly is one of the beautiful plants to be found 
in our deep coast woods within the cool influence of the sea- 
fogs. The plants are very symmetrical, with their crown of 
dark, shining leaves, with numerous prickly leaflets, and in 
spring, when the long graceful racemes of yellow flowers are 
produced in abundance, and hang amid and below the leaves, 
they are very ornamental. The stems are densely clothed 
with numerous dry, awl-shaped scales, an inch or more long. 

Another species — B. repens — the creeping barberry, or 
Oregon grape, is a low, prostrate shrub, less than a foot high, 
with from three to seven leaflets. These leaflets are pinnately 
veined, and have not the beautiful, shining upper surface of 
those of the water-holly, and the few racemes of yellow .flowers 
which terminate the branches are quite short — only an inch or 
two long. This is found throughout the State and northward 
upon rocky hills. 


Dendromecon rigidum, Benth. Poppy Family. 

Shrubs two to eight feet high. Leaves. — One to three inches long; 
leathery. Flowers. — Solitary; yellow; one to three inches across. 
Sepals. — Two; falling early. Petals. — Four. Stamens. — Many. Ovary. 
— Linear; one-celled. Stigma two-lobed. Capsule. — Eighteen to thirty 
lines long. Hab, — Dry hills from San Diego to Butte County. 

The tree-poppy is the only truly woody plant in the poppy 
family. Its pale leaves are quite rigid, and resemble those of 
the willow in form. The bright golden flowers are sometimes 


TREE-eOPPY — DfHdramtceH riridfm. 


three inches across, and one can readily imagine the fine effect 
produced when many of them are open at once upon a hillside. 
Though found through quite a range, this shrub attains its 
most perfect development in Santa Barbara Couirty. 


Viola pedunculata, Torr. and Gray. Violet Family. 

Stems. — Leafy; two to six inches or more high. Leaves. — ^Alter- 
nate; long-petioled; ovate; cuneate; K:renate; with lanceolate stipules. 
Flowers. — Large; long-peduncled; deep golden yellow. Calyx. — 
Five-parted. Petals. — ^The two upper tinged with brown outside; the 
three lower veined with purple; the two lateral bearded; the lower one 
with a short spur at base. Stamens. — Five. Anthers nearly sessile; 
erect around the club-shaped style. Ovary. — One-celled. Hab. — 
Southern to Middle California. 

Pansies! Pansies! How I love you, pansies! 
Jaunty-faced, laughing-lipped, and dewy-eyed with glee; 
Would my song might blossom out in little five-leaved stanzas 

As delicate in fancies 

As your beauty is to me! 

But, my eyes shall smile on you and my hands infold you. 

Pet, caress, and lift you to the lips that love you, so 

That, shut ever in the years that may mildew or mold you. 

My fancy shall behold you 

Fair as in the long ago. 

— J AS. Whitcomb Riley. 

On wind-swept downs near the ocean, on the low hills of the 
Goast Ranges, or upon the plains of the interior, this charm- 
ing golden pansy spreads itself in profusion in early spring. It 
is the darling of the children, who on their way to school 
gather great handfuls of its brown-eyed blossoms. 

You may often see myriads of them dancing on their long 
stems in the breeze, and showing glimpses of red-brown where 
their purplish outer petals are turned toward you for the mo- 
ment. In the shelter of quiet woodlands, its stems are longer 
and more fragile. 

1 20 

YELLOW PANSY- Kioto ^^rfM« 



Lonicera involucrata, Banks. Honeysuckle Family. 

Shrubs eight to ten feet high. Leaves. — Three inches lone or so. 
Flowers, — A pair; at the summit of an axillary peduncle; with a con- 
spicuous involucre of four bracts, tinged with red or yellow. CcUysc. — 
Adherent to the ovary; the limb minute or obsolete. Corolla, — Tubu- 
lar; irregular; half an inch or more long; viscid-pubescent; yellowish. 
Stamens, — Five. Ovary. — Two- or three-celled. Style filiform. Stigma 
capitate. Berries. — Black-purple. Hab. — Throughout the State; east- 
ward to Lake Superior. 

A walk through some moist thicket, or along a stream -bank 
in March, will reveal the yellow flowers of the twin-berry amid 
its ample, thin green leaves. These blossoms are always borne 
in pairs at the summit of the stem, and are surrounded by a 
leafy involucre, consisting of two pairs of round, fluted bracts. 
As the berries ripen and become black, these bracts deepen to 
a brilliant red and make the shrubs much more conspicuous 
and ornamental than at blossoming-time. 



Berberis Aquifolium, Pursh. Barberry Family. 

Shrubs two to six feet high; branching. Leaves. — Alternate; pin- 
nate. Leaflets. — Seven to nine; glossy; ovate to oblong-lanceolate; 
one and one half to four inches long; acuminate; sinuately dentate, 
with numerous spinose teeth; the lowest pair distant from the stem. 
Racemes. — Eighteen lines to two inches long; clustered near the ends 
of the branches. (Otherwise as B. nervosa.) Hab. — Coast Ranges 
and Sierras from Monterey and Kern County northward into Oregon. 

The holly-leaved barberry, or Oregon grape, is a very orna- 
mental shrub and one much prized in our gardens, where it is 
known as Mahonia Aquifolium, In the spring, when yellow 
with its masses of flowers; or in its summer dress of rich, shin- 
ing green; or in the autumn, when its foliage is richly touched 
with bronze or scarlet or yellow, amid which are the beautiful 
blue berries, it is always a fine shrub. In its native haunts it 
affects greater altitudes than our other species. 

Among our Califomian Indians, a decoction made from the 



root is a favorite tonic remedy, and it has become a recognized 
drug in the pharmacopoeia of our Coast, being used as an 
alterative and tonic. The root is tough and hard, of a bright 
golden yellow, and intensely bitter. The bark of the root is 
the part that is used medicinally. 

The shrub is very plentiful in the woods of Mendocino 
County, where it covers considerable areas. 


Baeria gracilis y Gray. Composite Family. 

Six inches or so high; branching freely. Leaves. — Mostly opposite; 
linear; entire; an inch or so long. Flower-heads, — Yellow; of disk 
and ray-flowers. Rays. — ^Ten to fourteen; three or four lines long. 
Involucre. — Campanulate; of a single series of small lanceolate, herba- 
ceous scales. Hab. -From San Francisco southward. 

Considered singly, the blossom of this plant is a simple, 
unassuming little flower; but when countless millions of its 
golden stars stud the nether firmament, it becomes one of the 
most conspicuous of all our Compositce, It literally covers the 
earth with a close carpet of rich golden bloom, and other 
plants, such as scarlet paint-brushes, blue Phacelias, and yellow 
and white tidy-tips, rise out of its golden tapestry. Mile after 
mile of it whirls by the car-window as we journey along, or 
long stretches of it gild the gently rounded hill-slopes of the 
distant landscape. 

There are several other species of Baeria^ but this is the 
most abundant and wide-spread. In some localities this little 
plant is so much frequented by a small fly, which feeds upon 
its pollen, that it is called ** fly-flower." It then becomes a 
serious nuisance to horses and cattle, which grow wild and 
restive under the persecution of this insect. 

In the Spanish deck of playing-cards in the early days, the 
''Jack of Spades" always held one of these flowers in his 
hand. By the Spanish-Californians it was called **Si me 
quieres, no me quieres" — "Love me, love me not," — because 
their dark-eyed maidens tried their fortunes upon it in the 
same manner that our own maidens consult the marguerite. 





Growing in brilliant beds by themselves, or intermingling 
their gold with that of the Baeria^ the charming feathery blos- 
soms of PentachcBta aurea^ Nutt., are found in midspring. 
They have from fifty to seventy rays and their involucres con- 
sist of several rows of scarious-margined bracts. 


^ ^ ' Floerkia Douglasii^ Baillon. Geranium Family. 

Smooth, succulent herbs. Stems. — A foot or so long. Leaves. — 
Much dissected. Flowers. — Axillary; solitary. Sepals. — Narrow; 
acute. Petals. — Nine lines long or so; yellow, sometimes tipped with 
white, white, or rose-tinged. Stamens. — Ten, in two sets; a gland at 
the base of those opposite the sepals. Ovary. — Of five carpels, be- 
coming distinct. Style five-clefl at the apex. Syn. — Limnanthes Dou- 
glasiiy R. Br. Hab. — Oregon to Southern California. 

When the spring is well advanced, our wet meadows are all 
a-cream with the meadow-foam, whose dense masses blend 
exquisitely with the rich red of the common sorrel, which is 
in blossom at the same time. 

This plant is a near relative of the redwood-sorrel, and its 
flowers are similar in size and veining, and also in their habit 
of closing at night. It is much admired and has long been in 


Anagallis arvensis, L. Primrose Family. 

Stems. — Prostrate; spreading. Leaves. — Usually opposite; sessile; 
ovate. Flowers.— SoWXajy on axillary peduncles; orange-vermilion 
(rarely blue or white); six lines or so across. Calyx and rotate corolla 
five-parted. Petals. — Rounded; purple at base. Stamens. — Five; 
opposite the petals. Filaments purple, bearded. Capsule. — Globose; 
the top falling off as a lid. Hab. — Common everywhere. Introduced 
from Europe. 

The little orange-vermilion flower of the pimpernel is a 
plain little blossom to the unassisted eye, but it becomes truly 
regal when seen under a glass, where its rich purple center dis- 
plays itself in glistening splendor. It is a forcible example of 
the infinite care bestowed upon all of Nature's children, even 
to the humblest weeds. 


MEAUOW-FOAM - Fiirrtia Douglas, 


This little plant has come to us from Europe, and it makes 
itself perfectly at home among^ us in many widely-differing 
situations. From the ^ct that it fiirls its petals upon cloudy 
days, or at the approach of rain, it is called in England "poor- 
man*s weather-glass.'' 

The plant is an acrid {x>ison and was extensively used in 
medicine by the andents. It seems to act particularly upK)n 
the nervous system, and was used as a remedy for convulsions, 
the plague, gout, and hydrophobia. 

Encelia Californica^ Nutt. Composite Family. 

Bushy; ti*'o to four feet high; strong-scented. Leaves. — Mostly 
alternate; short-petioled; ovate-lanceolate; an inch or two long. 
Flower-heads. — Solitary; long-peduncled; large. Disk. — Eight lines 
across; of black-purple, tubular flowers, with deep-yeDow styles. 
Rays. — Sterile; over an inch long; five lines wide; four-toothed. In- 
volucre. — Open-campanulate of several series of coriaceous, imbri- 
cated scales. HaJ). — Santa Barbara to San Diego. 

This shrubby Composila is quite abundant in the south, and 
when covered with its large yellow flowers with purple-brown 
centers is very showy. We have seen mesas covered with the 
bushes, which have much the same spreading habit as the 
white marguerite of the garden. It thrives particularly well 
near the coast, but is also at home upon some of the hills of 
interior valleys as well. It is quite strong-scented, but the 
flowers are very handsome, rivaling in decorativeness many of 
the cherished plants of our gardens. 


Amsinckiay Lehm. Borage Family. 

Hispid annuals. Leaves. — Alternate; oblong-ovate to linear. 
Flowers. — Small; yellow or orange, in coiled spikes or racemes. 
Calyx. — Five-parted; persistent. Corolla. — Salver-shaped, or some- 
what funnel-form; with five-lobed border; the throat naked or with 
minute hairy tufts opposite the lobes. Stamens. — Five. Ovary. — Of 
four seedlike nutlets. Style filiform. Stigma capitate. 

We have several species of Amsinckiay all of which have 
small yellow flowers, resembling in form oiu* little white forget- 
me-nots. The genus is a Western American one, and the 



Species are very difficult of determination. They are all hispid 
plants, very disagreeable to handle, and are generally of rank 
growth. They often occur in great masses, when they become 
rather showy. 

The largest-flowered species, which is also the most com- 
mon one in the south, is A. spectabiliSy Fisch. and Mey. The 
corolla of this is often half an inch long and half an inch across, 
of an orange-yellow, with deeper orange spots in the throat. 


Nicoiiana glauca, Graham. Nightshade Family. 

Loosely branching shrubs, fifteen feet or so high. Leaves, — Alter- 
nate; petioled; ovate; smooth. Flowers. — Clustered at the ends of 
the branches. Calyx, — Campanulate; five-toothed. Corolla, — ^Tubu- 
lar; eighteen lines long; with constricted throat; and border shortly 
five-toothed. Stamens, — Five, on the base of the corolla, adnate to 
the tube below. Anthers with two diverging cells. Ovary, — One- 
celled. Style slender. Stigma capitate; two-lobed. Hab, — Through- 
out Southern California; introduced. 

The tall, loosely branching, spreading form of the tree- 
tobacco is a familiar sight in the south about vacant lots and 
waste places. Its clusters of long, greenish-yellow flowers 
hang gracefully from the ends of the slender branches, and the 
ovate leaves are rather long-stalked. It is supposed to have 
been introduced from Buenos Ayres, and old inhabitants re- 
member the time when but one or two plants were known. 
In thirty years it has spread rapidly, and is now exceedingly 


Meconopsis heterophylla^ Bei>th. Poppy Family. 

Smooth herbs. Stems. — Slender; afoot or two high. Leaves, — 
Mostly petioled; pinnately divided into variously toothed, oval to linear 
segments. Flowers, — Solitary; on long peduncles; orange-vermilion 
to scarlet. Sepals. — Two; falling early. Petals. — Four; two to twelve 
lines long. Stamens, — Numerous. Filaments filiform; purple. Anthers 
vellow. Ovary. — ^Top-shaped; ribbed; one-celled. Style short. Stigma 
large; capitate; four- to eight-lobed. Hab. — Throughout Western 

The wind-poppy is an exceedingly variable flower. In the 
central part of the State it is large and showy, its beautiful 



flame-colored blossoms being two inches across; while in the 
south it is usually very small, making tiny flecks of red in the 
grass, for which reason it is there called ** blood-drop/' It is 
an exquisite thing. Its petals have the delicate satin texture 
of the poppy; and their showy orange or scarlet blends sud- 
denly at the center into a deep maroon. The bright-green, 
top-shaped ovary stands up in the midst of the slender sta- 
mens, whose yellow anthers show brilliantly against the dark 
maroon of the petals. 

It blossoms in spring upon open hillsides, seeming to prefer 
those which are shaded for at least part of the day. It is very 
fragile, and falls to pieces at a touch, which makes it an un- 
satisfactory flower to gather. 


Emmenanthe penduliflora^ Benth. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

Six inches to a foot high; branched above; hairy; somewhat viscid. 
Leaves. — An inch or more long; pinnatifid. Flowers. — Straw-colored; 
at length pendulous. Corolla. — Campanulate; about six lines long. 
(Flower structure as in Phacelia.) Hab. — Lake County to San Diego. 

In midspring, when passing among the plants upon our 
dry, open hillsides, our attention is often attracted by a certain 
delicate, rustling sound, which we find emanates from the little 
papery bells of the dried blossoms of the Emmenanthey which 
retain the semblance of their first freshness for many weeks. 

Though not at first apparent, a little examination will reveal 
the fact that these plants are very closely related to the Pha- 
celiaSy the chief difference being in the yellow corollas. 


Calochortus Benthami^ Baker. Lily Family. 

Leaves. — Much elongated; two to five lines broad. Stems. — Slen- 
der; three to six inches high. Buds. — Nodding. Flowers. — Erect; 
yellow. Petals. — Six or seven lines long; spreading; mostly obtuse; 
rather densely covered with yellow hairs. Gland. — Shallow; lunate. 
Capsule. — Nodding; six to nine lines long. Hah. — Sierra Nevada 
foothills, throughout their length. 

This is a very pretty little star tulip, with graceful, flexuous 


WHISPERING SELLS -Ef^MenaHthifiindu/.J/on 


Stems and erect flowers, whose spreading petals are covered 
with hairs. Sometimes there is a dark-brown, almost black, 
spot upon the petals, and when such is the case the plant is 
called C Benthamiy var. Wallacei. 


Erysimum grandiftorum^ Nutt Mustard Family. 

Stems, — Six to eighteen inches high. Leaves, — Spatulate or oblan- 
ceolate; entire, toothed or lobed; lower long-petioled. Sepals, — Four; 
one pair strongly gibbous at base. Petals.— An inch long; long- 
dawed; cream-color or yellowish. Stamens. — Six; two shorter. 
Oz^ary.— One-celled: linear. Style stout; short. Stigma capitate. 
/t?flr.— Nearly flat; thirty lines or less long. Syn.—Cheiranthus asper^ 
Cham, and Schlecht. //a^.— The seaboard from Los Angeles to 

Growing along sandy stretches, or upon open mesas by the 
seashore, we may find the showy blossoms of the cream- 
colored wall-flower from February to May. These flowers 
are less stocky and much more delicate than the garden 
species; and when seen numerously dotting a field carpeted 
with other flowers, they stand out conspicuously, claiming the 
attention peculiarly to themselves. They have not the deli- 
cious fragrance of the Western wall-flower. At first yellowish, 
they become pale cream-color after fertilization has taken place. 

E, asperum^ DC, the Western wall-flower, is widely dis- 
tributed, and may be known from the above by its four-sided 
pods, and by its flowers, which are usually orange-color — 
though they occasionally vary to yellow or purple. These 
blossoms are especially abundant in the mountains and valleys 
of the south, where their brilliant orange is conspicuous amid 
the lush greens of springtime. They are very fragrant, and 
are feivorites among our wild flowers. 


Medtcago denticulata, Willd. Pea Family. 

Stems. — Prostrate or ascending. Leaves. — Trifoliolate. Leaflets. 
— Cuneate-obovate or obcordate; toothed above. Flowers. — Papilio- 
naceous; small; yellow; two or three in a cluster. Stamens.— Nine 


CREAM-COLORED VJALh-FhOWER — Erysimum gnndiffarum. 



united, one free. Pods. — Cofled into two circles; armed with hooked 
prickles. Hab. — Common everywhere; introduced. 

The bur- clover is a little European weed which has become 
very wide-spread and very much at home among us. It is 
an excellent forage-plant, and in late summer, when our cattle 
have eaten everything else, they feed upon the little burs, 
which are very nutritious in themselves. But these same littie 
coiled burs, with their numerous firm hooks, work great 
damage to wool, imbedding themselves in it so firmly as to 
make it very difficult to remove them without seriously in- 
juring its quality. These plants invade our lawns, where they 
become very troublesome. 


Mimulus luteus, L. Figwort Family. 

'^' Varying greatly in size. Stents. — One to four feet high. Leaves. — 

Mostly.smooth; ovate-oval or cordate; coarsely notched. Flowers. — 
Yellow. Calyx. — Sharply five-angled; unevenly five-lobed. Corolla. 
— One or two inches long; lower lip usually spotted with brown pur- 
ple. Stamens. — Four; in pairs. Anthers with tw^o divergent cells. 
Ovary. — ^Two-celled. Style long and slender. Stigma with two 
rounded lips. Hab, — Common throughout California. 

The bright canary-colored blossoms of the common monkey- 
flower are a familiar sight upon almost every stream-bank. 
The plant varies greatiy in size, according to the locality of 
its growth. I once saw it flourishing in the rich soil of a lake- 
shore, where its hollow stems were as large as an ordinary 
cane, and its blossoms grotesquely large. 

M. moschatus, Dougl. , the common musk-plant of cultiva- 
tion, is usually found along mountain-streams. It may be 
known by its clammy, musk-scented, light-green herbage. 
Its flowers are larger than in cultivation. 

M, brevipes, Benth., is common from Santa Barbara to San 
Diego, upon hillsides in spring. It has stems a foot or two 
high, lanceolate Reaves one to four inches long, and large, 
handsome yellow flowers, having a pair of ridges running down 
their open throats. 




(Enothera bistorta^ Nutt Evening-Primrose Family. 

From several inches to a foot or two high. Leaves. — ^Three or four 
inches long; denticulate; the upper mostly rounded at base. Petals, 
— Yellow; four to seven lines long; with usually a brown spot at the 
base. Stigma. — Lar^e and spherical. Capsute. — Four to nine lines 
long; a line or so wide; attenuate upward; contorted. (See (Eno- 
thera.) Hab, — ^Ventura to San Diego. 

This is a very common species of evening primrose in the 
south, and may be found blooming until June. It is very 
variable in its manner of growth. In moist, shaded localities 
it becomes an erect plant a foot or two high; while upon open, 
exposed plains it is often only two or three inches high, but 
seems almost to emulate the ** sunshine*' in its. attempt to gild 
the plain with its bright blossoms. It frequently grows in 
gravelly washes. Its flowers have a peculiarly clean, brilliant, 
alert look, and may usually be known by the brown spot at 
the base of the petals. The specific name is in reference to 
its twice-twisted capsule. 

The ** beach primrose,'* CE. cheiranthifolia, var. suffruti- 
cosa, Wats., often grows in great beds upon the dry sands of 
the seashore, from Monterey to San Diego. Its decumbent 
stems are thickly clothed with small, ovate, stemless leaves, 
and its silvery foliage makes a beautiful setting for its large 
golden flowers. 


Erythroniufn giganteutn^ Lindl. Lily Family. 

Corm. — Usually elongated. Leaves. — Oblong; six to ten inches 
long; dark green, usually mottled in mahogany and dark brown. 
Scape. — One- to many-flowered. Perianth. — Broadly funnel-form, 
with six deciduous segments; at length revolute to the stem. Seg- 
ments. — Straw-color, with orange base, with often a transverse, brown- 
ish band across the base; broadly lanceolate; eighteen lines or so long. 
Stamens. — Six. Filaments filiform. Anthers basifixed. Ovary. — 
Three-celled. Style slender. Stigma three-lobed. Hab. — The inte- 
rior of the Coast Ranges, from Sonoma County to the Willamette Valley. 

The dog's-tooth violets expand into larger, finer creations 
upon our shores than were ever dreamed of elsewhere. They 



seem to imbibe new vigor in the sweet life-giving air of our 
Coast Range forests. In Southern Oregon, they reach their 
maximum development, manifesting themselves in numerous 
beautiful species. With us the common title becomes still more 
inappropriate than for the Atlantic species — for nothing could 
be farther from a violet than these large pale flowers, which 
in reality look far more like lilies. Indeed, in Mendocino 
County they are commonly known as **chamise-lilies.'' An- 
other name is **Adam and Eve,'' bestowed because the plant 
often bears a large and a small flower at the same time. 

Personally, I am inclined to favor Mr. Burroughs* sugges- 
tion of ** fawn-lily." It is both appropriate and pretty. The 
two erect leaves are like the ears of a fawn; their beautiful 
mottiing is not without a hint of the fawn's spots; and the 
blossom is lily-like. The plant is shy, too, keeping to the 
seclusion of our deep canons. In such situations we may find 
them in groups of a few, or occasionally in beds of hundreds. 
No more delightful surprise could be imagined than to come 
suddenly upon such a garden far from the habitations of man. 
The pale flowers, with orange centers, when fully open, roll 
their petals back to the stem, like those of the leopard-lily; 
but in cloudy weather they often maintain a campanulate outline 
Plants have frequently been seen with from eight to sixteen 
flowers upon a stem, the flowers three or four inches across! 

These are great favorites in gardens, and in cultivation are 
known as E. grandiflorum. We have several species of Ery- 
thronium^ all of them beautiful. 


Mimulus glutinosus^ Wend. Figwort Family. 

Glutinous shrubs two to six feet high. Leaves. — Narrowly oblong 
to linear; one to four inches long; with margins at length rolled back- 
ward. Flowers. — Corn-color to red; eighteen lines to three inches 
long. Calyx. — Irregularly five-toothed. Corolla. — Funnel-form; five- 
lobed; the lobes gnawed. Stigma. — White. (See Mimulus,) Hab. 
— San Francisco to San Diego, and southward. 

During a walk upon the hills, at almost any time of year, 
we may find the corn-colored blossoms of the sticky monkey- 


MONKEV-FLOWER — Mwa/Bi ebitm 


flower, but they are most abundant in spring and summer. 
When in full flower the small bushes are very ornamental, as 
they are a perfect mass of bloom. They are said to be espe- 
cially handsome as greenhouse plants. 

The flowers vary through a wide range of color, from 
almost white to a rich scarlet, but the commoner hue is the 
corn-color. The scarlet-flowered form, found at San Diego, 
constitutes the var, puniceus^ Gray. Another form, with red- 
brown to salmon-colored flowers on very short pedicels, is the 
var, linearis^ Gray. The very long-flowered form is the var, 
brachypus^ Gray. The sensitive lips of the stigma close upon 
being touched or after receiving pollen. 


Viola sarmentosa, Dougl. Violet Family. 

Stems, — Creeping. Leaves. — Round-cordate; six to eighteen lines 
broad; finely crenate; often rusty beneath; usually punctate with dark 
dots. Feduncies.- S\&^dQX. Flowers. — Small; light yellow without 
and within. (Flower structure as in V. pedunculata.) Hab, — Coast 
Ranges, from Monterey to British Columbia. 

This modest little violet is found commonly in woods, — 
often in redwood forests, — where it carpets the ground with its 
shapely little round leaves. 

Its specific name refers to its running habit. 


Brassica nigra, Koch. Mustard Family. 

Stems. — Six inches to twelve feet high. Lower leaves, — Lyrate; 
with large terminal lobes. Upper leaves. — Lobed or entire. Flowers. 
Yellow. Sepals. — Four. Petals. — Four; three to four lines long. 
Stamens. — Six. Ovary. — ^Two-celled. Style long. Pod. — Six to nine 
lines long, with seeds in one row. Hab. — Common everywhere; in- 

I can give no truer idea of the manner of growth of this 
common plant in California than by quoting Mrs. Jackson's 
charming description of it from ** Ramona'* : — 

**The wild mustard in Southern California is Hke that 
spoken of in the New Testament, in the branches of which the 



birds of the air may rest. Coining up out of the earth, so 
slender a stem that dozens can find starting-point in an inch, it 
darts up a slender, straight shoot, five, ten, twenty feet, with 
hundreds of fine, feathery branches locking and interlocking 
with all the other hundreds around it, till it is an inextricable 
network, like lace. Then it bursts into yellow bloom, still 
finer, more feathery and lace-like. The stems are so infinites- 
imally small and of so dark a green, that at a short distance 
they do not show, and the cloud of blossoms seems floating in 
the air; at times it looks like a golden dust. With a clear, 
blue sky behind it, as it is often seen, it looks like a golden 

The tall stems are favorite haunts of the red-winged black- 
bird, who tilts about among them, showing his scarlet wings 
and occasionally plunging into the depths below, as though he 
found a spot there much to his mind. 

A very superior oil is made from the seed of the mustard, 
which is one of the strongest antiseptics known. It is espe- 
cially adapted to the needs of the druggist, because it does not 
become rancid. The flour of mustard is now much used by 
surgeons to render their hands aseptic. Tons of the seed are 
exported from California every year. 


Cotyledon lanceolata^ Benth. and Hook. Stonecrop or Orpine Family. 

Fleshy plants, with tufled radical leaves. Leaves, — Narrowly lan- 
^late; the outer ones two to four inches long; acuminate. Scapes. — 
J'lfteen inches high; their lower leaves lanceolate; becoming above 
woadly triangular-ovate, clasping, acute; bearing on their summit a 
branching flower-cluster. Oz/v-^.— Five-parted. Corolla,— QyXva&ci- 
^\ of five almost distinct, oblong, acute petals, four to six lines long, 
reddish-yellow. Stamens, — ^Ten. Ovaries, — Five; distinct; one-celled. 
Hab.—'LQS Angeles to San Diego. 

These plants, which are of frequent occurrence in the south, 
usually affect dry, sandy soils. The fleshy foliage is of a warm 
tone, owing to a suffusion of pink in the leaves. These have 
a loose, erect habit, and are not crowded in dense rosettes, as 
are those of some species, and they are so weak that they pull 



apart easily. The tall flowering stems have but few leaves, 
and are sometimes nearly naked. 

In early summer these plants put forth a strong effort, 
quickly sending up several tall, vigorous flower-shoots, drawing 
upon the nourishment stored in the fleshy leaves, which then 
become limp and shriveled. 

Growing upon the coast at San Diego is a very curious and 
interesting species — C, edulis. Brew. This has cylindrical 
leaves, about the size of a lead-pencil, which grow in tufts, 
often a foot or two across. Its flowers are greenish-yellow. It 
is commonly known as ** finger-tips.*' Its young leaves are 
considered very palatable by the Indians, who use them as a 


Cotyledon Cahfornicutn, Trelease. Stonecrop or Orpine Family. 

(For flower structure, see Cotyledon lanceolata.) Hab. — Central 

The word * * cotyledon ' ' signifies any cup-shaped hollow or 
cavity, and has been applied to the plants of this genus on 
account of the manner of growth of the leaves, which is usually 
in a hollow rosette. The fleshy leaves are often covered with a 
bloom or a floury powder. These plants are familiar to most 
of us, as some of the species are extensively cultivated in our 
gardens as border-plants. Owing to their habit of producing 
a circle of young plants around the parent, they are com- 
monly called **hen-and- chickens.'* We have several native 
species, which are usually found upon warm, rocky hill-slopes, 
or upon rocks near the sea. 

C Califor7iicum is a beautiful form, with pointed, ovate 
leaves, of a light glaucous green, often tinged with pink. Its 
flowers are yellow, and have their petals distinct almost to the 
base, and its carpels are distinct. We are told that the Indians 
make soothing poultices of these leaves. * 

Another species — C, pulverule7ita^ Benth. and Hook., — 
found from Santa Barbara to San Diego, is a very beautiful 


HEN-AND-CHICKENS-CKj'/iifon Cal'/omicum. 


plant. It bears its leaves in a symmetrical rosette, like a 
diminutive century-plant. These leaves are usually covered with 
a dense white bloom, and the outer ones are spatulate, abruptly 
pointed, and two to four inches broad at the tip, while the 
inner are pointed. The plants are sometimes a foot and a half 
across, and send up as many as eight of the leafy flowering 
stems, which look like many-storied, slender Chinese pagodas. 
The blossoms are pale-red. 


Isomeris arhorea^ Nutt. Caper Family. 

Shrubby; evil-scented. Leaves. — Alternate; compound, with three 
leaflets. Flowers. — With their parts in fours. Petals. — Yellow; five 
to eight lines long. Stamens. — Eight; of equal length. Ovary. — One- 
celled. Style short. Pod. — Pendulous; inflated; pear-shaped; on a 
long stalk. Hah. — Santa Barbara to San Diego. 

This low shrub is somewhat plentiful upon the mesas of the 
south. Its yellow flowers attract one to it, only to be repulsed 
by the dreadful odor of its foliage. It certainly ought to have 
some compensating utility for so repellent a characteristic. 
The ovary is so long-stalked, even in the flower, that it looks 
like an abnormal, inflated stigma. 

This is the only species of the genus. 



Calochortus pulchelluSy Dougl. Lily Family. 

Stems, — Somewhat flexuous, with spreading branches; two inches 
to a foot or more high. Radical leaf . — Equaling or exceeding the 
stem; four to twelve lines broad. Sepals. — Greenish or yellow; eight 
to twelve lines long. Petals. — Yellow; strongly arched; glandular- 
ciliate. Gland. —A deep pit, conspicuously prominent on the outside 
of the petals, covered within by appressed hairs. (S^e Calochortus.) 
Hah — Coast Ranges, from Monterey to Mendocino County. 

We have no more charmingly graceful flower than the yel- 
low globe-tulip. A single, long, grasslike leaf precedes the 
flexuous stem, with its quaintly arched and delicately fringed 
blossoms. There is a certain quizzical look about these 



flowers — something akin to the inquiring look of Diogenes, as 
he thrust his lantern into all sorts of out-of-the-way places in 
broad daylight. The margins of the petals look as though 
they had been snipped into a very fine, delicate fringe, unlike 
the slender, tapering hairs of C, alba. 

The Indians are fond of the bulbs, which they eat with great 
relish, calling them **Bo." 


Abronia latifolia, Esch. Four-o'clock Family. 

Stents, — Prostrate; rubbery. Leaves. — Opposite; unequal; round- 
ish; an inch or so across; petioled; leathery; gummy. Flowers, — 
Yellow; five or six lines long; in dense clusters, subtended by an invo- 
lucre of five distinct bracts. Perianth, — Salver-shaped. Tube green; 
its base strongly angled or winged. Limb yellow; four- or five-lobed. 
Stamens. — Mostly five, within the perianth. Ovary. — One-celled. Style 
filiform. Stigma club-shaped. Mab, — The seashore from Vancouver 
Island to Monterey. 

The fragrant blossoms of the yellow sand-verbena may be 
found upon the beach at almost any time of year. The stout 
root, which often becomes several feet long, is sometimes eaten 
by the Indians. 


Leptosyne maritima^ Gray. Composite Family. 

Z^az/^5.— Alternate; sometimes six inches long; two or three times 
divided into rather sparse, linear divisions; quite succulent. Flower- 
heads, — Solitary; on naked peduncles from six inches to two feet long; 
large; three or four inches across; yellow; of disk- and ray-flowers. 
Rays. — Narrowly oblong; ten-nerved; three-toothed. Involucre. — 
Double; the outer part of several loose, leafy scales; the inner of eight 
to twelve, erect, more chaffy ones. Hab. — The seashore of San Diego 
and the islands. 

On the cliffs overlooking the sea, where its merry yellow 
faces can watch the white-crested breakers as they chase one 
another ashore in never-ending succession, and where the peli- 
cans sail lazily over in lines, and gulls circle and scream, the 
sea-dahlia flaunts its large yellow flowers. They closely re- 
semble the yellow single dahlias of our gardens; but the foliage 


SAND-VERBENA — ^JrCRia latifoH: 


is cut into long lobes, and has the appearance of a coarse, very 
open lace. The odor of the flowers is not especially agreeable, 
but the plant merits a place in the garden for its beauty. 


Thermopsis Californica^ Wats. Pea Family. 

Stems,— l^'wo feet tall. Leaves. — With leafy stipules an inch long. 
Leaflets. — Three; obovate to oblanceolate; an inch or two long; 
somewhat woolly. Flowers. — Yellow; in long-peduncled recemes. 
Calyx. — Deeply five-cleft; the two upper teeth often united. Corolla, 
— Papilionaceous; eight lines long. Stamens. — ^Ten; all distinct. 
Ovary. — One-celled. Pod. — Silky ; six- to eight-seeded. Hab. — Marin 
County and southward. 

The false lupine very closely resembles the true lupines, but 
may be distinguished from them by the stamens, which are all 
distinct, instead of being united into a sheath. Its silvery 
foliage and racemes of rather large canary-colored flowers are 
common upon open hill-slopes by April. 


Layia platyglossa. Gray. Composite Family. 

Stems.— A foot or so high; loosely branching. Leaves. — ^Alternate; 
sessile; the lowecy linear and pinnatifid, the upper entire. Flower- 
heads. — Solitary; terminal; of disk- and ray-flowers. Disk-flowers. — 
Yellow, with black stamens. Rays. — Bright yellow, tipped with white; 
six lines long; four lines wide; three-lobed. Had. — Throughout 
Western California; in low ground. 

Among the most charming of our flowers are the beautiful 
tidy-tips. In midspring, countless millions of them lift them- 
selves above the sheets of golden Baeria on our flower- 
tapestried plains. The fresh winds come sweetly laden with 
their delicate fragrance. Were they not scattered everywhere 
in such lavish profusion, we would doubtless cherish them in 
our gardens. 

Growing among these blossoms is often found another 
flower, somewhat similar to them.. This is Leptosyne Dou^ 
glasii, DC, the false tidy-tip. It has not the clean, natty 
appearance of Layia platyglossa ; for the gradu^il blending of 


FALSE TlDY-VlPS — leptev*t Oangiasu. TIDV-TIPS -ioj'io PMyglatsa. 


the light tips into the darker yellow below gives it an indefi- 
nite, unattractive look. There is a difference in the involucre, 
which has two series of bracts, and there are no touches of 
black among the disk-flowers. 


Calochortus clavatus, Wats. Lily Family. 
Hab, — Los Angeles County to San Luis Obispo and El Dorado County. 

Of all our Mariposa tulips, this is the largest-flowered and 
stoutest-stemmed, and once seen is not readily forgotten. Its 
magnificent flowers are sometimes six inches across, though 
not usually so large, and have the form of a broad-based cup. 
The sturdy, zigzagging stems and glaucous leaves and bracts, 
combined with the large rich, canary-colored or golden flowers, 
make a striking plant. The first glance within the cup shows 
the ring of club-shaped hairs, characteristic of this species, and 
the anthers radiating starlike in the center; and as the latter 
are often a dark, rich prune-purple, the effect can readily be 

I saw this charming Mariposa blooming in abundance in 
May near Newhall, where its golden cups were conspicuously 
beautiful against the soft browns of the drying fields and hill- 
slopes. It is usually found growing upon lava soil. 

C. Weediiy Wood., found from San Diego to San Luis 
Obispo, is a charming species, somewhat similar to the above. 
Its flowers are yellow, purple, or pure white, and it may be 
known by several characteristics. Its bulb is heavily coated 
with coarse fibers; it has a single, long radical leaf, like C 
albus, but unusual among the Mariposas; and its cups are 
covered all over within with silky hairs. 



Malacothrix Californica, DC. Composite Family. 

Leaves, PA\ radical; pinnately parted into very narrow linear divi- 
sions. Scape, — Six inches to a foot high; bearing a solitary, large, 
light-yellow head. Flower-head, — Coniposed of strap-shaped ray- 
flowers only; five-toothed at the apex, fuvolucres, — Oinarrow, acute 
scales in two or three series. Receptacle, — Nearly naked, rlab, — 
San Francisco to San Diego, and eastward. 

These beautiful Composites are conspicuous upon our open 
plains in late spring, and are among the handsomest plants of 
the fcimily. The fine flowers seem to be sown like disks of 
light over the flower-carpet of the plain. 


Orthocarpus erianthus^ Benth. Figwort Family. 

Slender, with many erect branches; stems and bracts usually dark- 
reddish; soft pubescent. Corolla, — Deep sulphur-yellow; the slender 
falcate upper lip dark purple; the tube very slender, but the sacs of 
the lower lip large and deep, their folds hairy within. (See Orthocar- 
pus.) Had, — Monterey County and northward; very common. 

There are many species of Orthocarpus^ and they are more 
numerous in Middle and Northern California and in the Sierras, 
few of them reaching the south. They are very difiicult of 
determination, and are not well understood by botanists yet 
A common name for the plants of this genus is ** owl's clover." 


Cotula coronopifolia^ L. Composite Family. 

Stems. S\i/i inches to a foot long. Leaves. —Alternate; lanceolate 
or oblong-linear; pinnatifid or entire. Flower-heads. — Solitary; yellow; 
three to six lines across; without rays. Involucre. — Of two ranks of 
nearly equal, scarious-margined scales. Hab. — Common everywhere. 

These little weeds are natives of the Southern Hemisphere, 
but are now common everywhere. They affect wet places, 
and their little flowers, like brass buttons, are very familiar 
objects along our roadsides. The foliage when crushed gives 
out a curious odor, between lemon-verbena and camphor. 




Hosackia glabra^ Torr. Pea Family. 

Woody at base; two to eight feet hi^h; erect or decumbent. Stems. 
Many; slender; branching; reed-like. Leaves. — Sparse; short- 
petioled; mostly trifoliolate. Leaflets three to six lines long; oblong to 
linear-oblong; nearly glabrous. Flowers. — In numerous small axillary 
umbels; yellow; four Tines lon^. Calyx. — Less than three lines long; 
five-toothed. Corolla. — Papilionaceous. Stamens. — Nine united and 
one fi'ee. Pod. — Elongated; exserted. Seeds two. (See Legum^i- 
nosce.) Hah. — Common throughout the State. 

This graceful, willowy plant, whose slender branches are 
closely set with small golden-yellow flowers, in which there is 
often a hint of red, is as ornamental as any of the small-flowered 
foreign GenestaSy or brooms, we grow in our gardens; but be- 
cause it is so very abundant throughout our borders, we have 
become blind to its merits. It is especially beautiful and sym- 
metrical in the south, where the low, bushy plants often spread 
over several feet of ground; and on the mesas of Coronado, 
the plants growing not far removed from one another, lend to 
the natural scene the aspect- of a garden. There it is in full 
flower in April; but in the north the blossoms are usually later 
in arriving, and it is often June before they show themselves; 
then making whole hill-slopes dull-yellow among the chapar- 

It is a great favorite with the bees, and for them holds un- 
told treasure in honey-making sweets. Among the moun- 
taineers it is known as ** deer- weed" and ** buck-brush, " as 
both deer and stock are said to feed upon it and flourish, when 
pasturage is scarce, though they rarely touch it when other 
food is plenty. 



Rhus CanadensiSy var. trilohata^ Gray. Poison-Oak or Cashew Family. 

Shrubs two to five feet high; spreading. Leaves. — Three-foliolate. 
Leaflets. — Sessile; wedge-shaped; six lines to an inch long; pubescent, 
becoming smooth. Flowers. — Yellowish; minute; borne in short, scaly- 
bracted spikes preceding the leaves. Fruit. — Viscid; reddish; two or 


DEER-WEED — //fftaciia glaira. 


three lines in diameter; pleasantly acid. Syn. — R. aromatica, var. M- 
lobata^ Gray, //iz^.^ Dakota to Texas, and west to California and 

The dense foliage of these little bushes has a strong odor, 
which is not altogether agreeable, while their small fruit has a 
pleasant acid taste, and is much relished by the Indians. 

Dr. Edward Palmer writes that this shrub furnishes the In- 
dians of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California 
with one of the most valuable of basket materials. The young 
twigs, which are much tougher than those of the willow, are 
soaked, scraped, and split. The baskets are then built up 
of a succession of small rolls of grass, over which the split 
twigs are closely and firmly bound. The baskets thus made 
are very durable, will hold water, and are often used to cook 
in, by dropping hot stones into them till the food is done. The 
wood exhales a peculiar odor, which is always recognizable 
about the camps of these Indians, and never leaves articles 
made from it. 

This is grown in England as an ornamental shrub. 


Blootneria aurea^ Kell. Lily Family. 

Bulb. —Six lines in diameter. Leaf. — Solitary; about equaling the 
scape; three to six lines broad. Scape. —Six to eighteen inches high. 
Flowers. — Yellow; fifteen to sixty in an umbel. Perianth, — About an 
inch across. Stamens. — Six; with cup-shaped appendages. Ovary. — 
Three-celled. Style club-shaped. Stigma three-lobed. Hob. — The 
Coast Ranges, from Monterey to San Diego. 

Just as the floral procession begins to slacken a little before 
the oncoming of summer, the fields suddenly blossom out anew 
and twinkle with millions of the golden stars of the Blootneria, 
These plants are closely allied to the Broditsas, and by some 
authorities are classed as such. They are especially char- 
acterized by the structure of the stamens, which rise out of a 
tiny cup. Under a glass this cup is seen to be granular, 
somewhat flattened, and furnished with two cusps, or points. 
~"^e anthers are a very pretty Nile or peacock green. 



Another species — B, Clevelandi^ Wats. — is easily distin- 
guished from the above by its numerous narrow leaves and 
its green-nerved perianth. This is found at San Diego, upon 
the mesas in midspring, growing abundantly in spots which, 
earlier in the season, have been mud-holes. Its open flowers 
are so outnumbered by the numerous undeveloped green buds, 
that, even though it grows in masses, it is not very showy, but 
makes the ground a dull yellow. But its flower-clusters are 
feathery and delicate. 

There is another plant which closely resembles the Blootn- 
ertas. This is the ** golden Brodiaea*' — Brodusa ixioideSy 
Wats. But the filaments, instead of having a cuplike app)en- 
dage, are winged, with the little anthers swinging prettily upon 
their summits. This is found in the Coast Ranges, from Santa 
Barbara northward, also in the Sierras. It is a beautiful flower; 
especially when seen starring^ the velvet alpine meadows in 

Another plant — Brodicea lactea^ Wats. — the ** white Bro- 
disea," has flowers similar to the above, but pure white (some- 
times lilac), with a green mid-vein. This is common in late 
spring from Monterey to British Columbia. 


Melilotus parviflora, Desf. Pea Family. 
Hab,— Widely naturalized from Europe. 

In early summer the breezes come laden ^ith fragrance 
from the sweet clover. This is easily recognized by its tall 
stems, its fragrant leaves, with three small, toothed leaflets, 
and its small crowded racemes of minute yellow flowers a line 

A white form — Melilotus alba^ Lam. — is found in the 
north. Its flowers are vanilla-scented. 

This plant is a highly valued remedy in the pharmacopoeia 
for various ailments, and its sweet-scented flowers have been 
used for flavoring many products, such as Gruy^re cheese, 



snuff, and tobacco. In Europe the blossoms are packed 
among furs to give them a pleasant odor and keep away 



Wyethia angustifolia, Nutt Composite Family. 

Stems. — Six inches to two feet high. Leaves. — Long-lanceolate; 
pointed at both ends; the radical and lower ones six to twelve inches 
long; the upper sessile, shorter, and often broader. Flower-heads. — 
Yellow; composed of ray- and disk-flowers. Plume-like styles of the 
latter conspicuous. Hay-flowers. — Numerous; one inch long; six lines 
wide; .early deciduous. Involucre. — Broadly campanulate, of numer- 
ous erect, loose, foliaceous, ciliate scales, in several rows. Hab, — 
Monterey, east to the Sierra foothills and north to Oregon. 

In late spring our open plains and hillsides are often plen- 
tifully sown with the large golden flowers of these Califomian 
compass-plants, called * * sunflowers * * by many people. There 
is a belief prevalent that their erect leaves always stand with 
their edges pointing north and south, whence the common 
name. This trait is said to be true of all the species. 

W. helenioides^ Nutt. , has large, broad leaves, which are 
white-woolly when young. Its flower-heads are often four 
inches or more across. 

This plant is used as a common domestic remedy for coughs 
and colds by Californian housewives, and goes under the un- 
merited name of ** poison-weed." It has also been adopted 
among physicians as an oflicinal drug. The root, which is 
slightly bitter and aromatic, is made into a tincture and admin- 
istered for asthma, throat disorders, and epidemic influenza, 
with excellent results. It blooms in early spring, and is com- 
mon upon hillsides. 

Another species, very similar to the above, is W. glabra^ 
Gray. This may be known by its smooth green leaves, which 
are often very viscid. It is found from Marin County south- 
ward, in the Coast Ranges, and probably northward. 

W. mollis^ Gray, or "Indian wheat," is very abundant in 
tne Sierras, growing all through the open woods, and covering 
S^rcat tracts of dxy gravelly soil. Its large, coarse, somewhat 



woolly radical leaves stand erect and clustered, usually having 
a flower-stalk or two in their midst, bearing some smaller 
leaves, and several yellow flower-heads, which resemble small 
sunflowers with yellow centers. It has a strong odor, and 
gives a characteristic smell to the region where it grows. The 
common name, ** Indian wheat,'* has been bestowed upon it 
not because it in the least resembles wheat, but because the 
Indians gather the seed in great quantities and grind it into a 
flour. IT 


Fremontia Cali/ornica, Torr. Hand-tree Family. 

Shrubs or trees from two to twenty feet high. Leaves. — Alternate; 
petioled; round-cordate to round-ovate; moderately three- to five-lobed 
or cleft; woolly or whitish beneath; the larger two inches Vrtde. Flow- 
ers,— Short-peduncled on very short lateral branches; numerous; one to 
three inches across; having three to five small bractlets. Calyx^, — 
Corolla-like; brilliant gold, five-cleft nearly to the base; the lobes hav- 
ing a rounded, hairvpit at base. Corolla, — Wanting. Filaments. — 
United to their micidle; each bearing a linear, adnate, curved, two- 
celled anther. Ovary. — Fiye-celled. Style filiform. Hab. — Dry Sierra 
foothills, from Lake County southward. 

No more beautiful sight is often seen than a slope coMered 
with the wild slippery-elm in blossom. The bushes are almost 
obscured from view by the masses of large golden flowers. 
This shrub takes on various forms; sometimes sending out in 
every direction long slender branches, which are solid wreaths 
of the magnificent blooms; and again assuming a more erect, * . 
treelike habit. It has been hailed with delight in the gardens 
of our Southern States, and heartily welcomed in France and 
England. Why do not we honor it with a place in our own 
gardens, instead of giving room to so many far less beautiful 
exotics ? 

It flowers in early summer, and its season of bloom is said 
to last only about two weeks, but the brilliant hibiscus-like 
blossoms, drying upon their stems, maintain for a long time a 
semblance of their first beauty. The branches are tough and 
flexible, and are often cut for whips by teamsters. Among the 




mountaineers it is generally known as **leatherwood.'' But 
this name properly belongs to another entirely different plant, 
Dirca palustris. 

The bark of the Fremontia so closely resembles that of the 
slippery-elm in taste and other qualities, that it is difficult to 
distinguish between them; and it is used in the same manner 
for making poultices. 

We are told that this shrub thrives best upon a disintegrated 
granite soil, and reaches its finest development upon the arid 
slopes bordering such rainless regions as the Mojave Desert. 
It was first discovered by General Fremont when crossing the 
Sierras, about half a century ago, and was named in his honor. 
It is closely related to the mallows. 


Cuscuta^ Toum. Moming-Glory Family. 

Leafless plants with filiform, yellow or orange-colored stems; ger- 
minating in the soil; soon breaking off and becoming parasitic upon 
other plants. Flowers. — Small; white; densely clustered. Calyx. — 
Usually five-cleft or parted. Corolla. — Tubular or campanulate; four- 
or five-toothed or lobed. Stamens. — On the corolla, alternate with its 
lobes. Filaments with fringed scales below. Ovary. — Globose; two- 
celled. Styles two. 

*' while everywhere 
The love-vine spreads a silken snare, 
The tangles of her yellow hair." 

Though popularly known as the love- vine, because of its 
clinging habit, it must be confessed that this pernicious plant 
in no respect merits the title. On the other hand, it might 
with propriety be called the octopus of the plant world. If 
you break a branch from a plant which has become its victim, 
you can see how it has twined itself about it, drawing its very 
life-blood from it at every turn, by means of ugly, wartlike 

It is no wonder, however, that people are generally deceived 
as to the moral character of this plant — for it is indeed a beau- 
tiful sight, when it spreads its golden tangle over the chamisal, 

1 60 


wild buckwheat, and other plants, often completely hiding them 
from view. 

We have a number of species. C. salina often covers our 
salt marshes with brilliant patches of orange. 


Lupinus arboreuSy Sims. Pea Family. 

Shrubby; four to ten feet high. Flowers. ^l^r^e- in a loose, 
whorled raceme; sulphur-yellow; very fragrant. Leaflets, — Four to 
eleven; generally about nine; narrowly lanceolate; nine to twenty lines 
long. Pods. — ^Two to three inches long; ten- to twelve-seeded; silky 
pu&scent. (See Lupinus.) Had. — Common from the Sacramento to 
San Diego. 

The large yellow lupine is a common plant upon our wind- 
swept mesas, growing in sandy soil. Its shrubby form, some- 
what silvery foliage, and large canary-colored, very fragrant 
flowers make it always a conspicuous and beautiful plant. 

This species, together with L. albifronSy have been found 
most useful in anchoring the shifting sands of the dunes near 
San Francisco. It was accidentally discovered in a deep cut- 
ting that these lupines sent their roots down sometimes twenty 
feet, and the idea was conceived of making use of them in the 
above manner. Barley, which grows more rapidly than the 
lupine, was sown to protect the plants while very young. In a 
single year the lupines covered the sands with a dense growth, 
two or three feet high, sufficient to prevent them from shifting 
during the severest storms, and to allow of the subsequent 
planting of various pines, willows, and other trees. Thus the 
way was prepared for one of the most beautiful of pleasure- 
grounds — the Golden Gate Park of San Francisco — which 
can hardly be rivaled anywhere for natural situation and diver- 
sity of scene. 

One of our handsomest species is L. Stiveri, KelL, found 
in the Yosemite. Its blossoms have yellow standards and 
rose-colored wings. 




Hypericum concinnum^ Benth. St. John's-wort Family. 

Stems. — Three to eighteen inches high; branching from a woody 
base. Leaves, — Opposite; often in four ranks; linear to oblong; six 
lines to an inch or more long; usually folded; translucently dotted. 
Flowers, — Golden yellow; over an inch across. Sepals. — Five. Petals. 
— Five; margins black-dotted. Stamens. — Numerous; in three bunches. 
Ovary. — Usually three-celled. Styles three. Hab. — Central California. 

Just as spring is merging into summer, we may look for 
the bright golden flowers of our common St. John's-wort. 
The numerous stamens give these blossoms a feathery appear- 
ance, and the leaves often group themselves characteristically 
in four ranks upon the stems. 

All the plants of the genus are known as St. John's-wort, 
because certain of the species were supposed to flower upon 
the anniversary of this saint. Perhaps there are no other 
plants around which tradition has thrown such a glamour. 
Mr. Dyer says, in his interesting book, **The Folk-Lore of 
Plants," that the St. John's-wort was supposed to be an excel- 
lent amulet against lightning, and that it had the magic prop- 
erty of revealing the presence of witches; whence in Germany- 
it was extensively worn on St. John's Eve, when the air was 
supposed to be peopled with witches and evil spirits, who 
wandered abroad upon no friendly errands. In Denmark it 
is resorted to by anxious lovers who wish to divine their future. 


Dicentra chrysantha^ Hook, and Am. Bleeding-heart Family. 

Stems. — Glaucous and smooth; two to five feet high. Leaves. — 
The larger ones a foot long or more; finely dissected into small linear 
lobes. Flowers. — Erect; yellow; six to nine lines long; in a loose ter- 
minal panicle a foot or two long. Sepals. — ^Two; small; caducous. 
Corolla. — Flattened and cordate; of two pairs of petals; the outer 
larger, saccate at base, and with spreading tips; the inner much nar- 
rower, spoon-shaped, their tips cohering and inclosing the anthers and 
stigma. Stamens. — Six. Ovary. — One-celled. Style slender. Stigma 
two-lobed. Hab. — Dry hills, I^ke County to San Diego. 

The arrangement of the essential organs in the genus Dicen- 
tra is very curious and interesting. The six stamens are borne 


ST. JOHN'S-WORT — ^/*f 


in two companies of three each, which stand in front of the 
outer petals, and have their filaments more or less united at 
the base. The central stamen in each group has a two-celled 
anther, while its neighbor on either hand has but a one-celled 
anther. The stigma-lobes often bend downward prettily, like 
the flukes of 5, little anchor. 

To this genus belongs the beautiful Oriental bleeding-heart 
of the garden; and we have two or three interesting native 

D, chrysantha is usually a somewhat coarse plant, lacking 
the grace of D, formosa^ the Califomian bleeding-heart. The 
pale leaves, which are minutely and delicately dissected, are 
suggestive of the fronds of certain Japanese ferns. But the 
flower-stalks are often stiff" and sparsely flowered, and the blos- 
soms, which are erect, not pendulous, have an over-powering 
narcotic odor, much like that of the poppy. These plants may 
be found upon dry hillsides or in sandy washes in early summer, 
where the brilliant yellow blossoms are quite conspicuous. 
One view of these flowers is not unlike the conventionalized 

This species is said to thrive well in cultivation and make a 
very effective plant when grown in rich garden soil. 


Troximon grandiflorum. Gray. Composite Family. 

Herbs with woody tap-root and milky juice. Leaves. — ^All radical; 
lanceolate or oblanceolate; mostly laciniately pinnatifid. Scapes. — One 
to two and one half feet high. Heads. — Solitary; two inches or so 
across; of strap-shaped yellow rays only. Involucre. — Of several 
series of imbricated scales, the outer foliaceous and loose. Receptacle. 
— Mostly naked; pitted. Akenes. — Two lines long; tapering into a 
filiform beak six or eight lines long, surmounted by a tuft of silk. HcLb. 
— Washington to Southern California near the Coast. 

The common dandelion of the East has found its way into 
our lawns, but it never adapts itself as a wild plant to the vicis- 
situdes of our dry summer climate. Nature has given us a 
dandelion of our own, of a different genus, which is quite as 



beautiful, though its flowers are not so vivid a gold. They are 
larger than those of the Eastern plant, and are borne upon 
taller stems. In early summer the large, ethereal globes of the 
ripened seed are conspicuous objects, hovering over our straw- 
tinted fields. 

Mr. Burroughs writes of the dandelion: — * 'After its first 
blooming, comes its second and finer and more spiritual inflo- 
rescence, when its stalk, dropping its more earthly and carnal 
flower, shoots upward and is presently crowned by a globe of 
the most delicate and aerial texture. It is like the poet*s 
dream, which succeeds his rank and golden youth. This 
globe is a fleet of a hundred fairy balloons, each one of which 
bears a seed which it is destined to drop far from the parent 
source. * * 

If gathered just before they open and allowed to expand in 
the house, these down-globes will remain perfect for a long 
time and make an exquisite adornment for some delicate vase. 

We have several other species of Troximoriy but this is our 

Hosackia bicolor^ Dougl. Pea Family. 

Smooth throughout; erect; two feet high. Leaves. — With rather 
lai^e, scarious, triangular stipules; pinnate. Leaflets. — Five to nine; 
obovate or oblong; six to twelve lines lon^. Peduncles. — Three- to 
seven-flowered; naked or with a small scarious, one- to three-leaved 
bract Flowers. — Seven lines long. Calyx-teeth. -Triangular; half 
as long as the tube. Standard. — Yellow; wings and keel white. 
Stamens. — Nine united; one free. Pod. — Linear; nearly two inches 
long; acute. Hab. — Middle California to the State of Washington. 

The yellow and white blossoms of this pretty Hosackia are 
quite showy, and are usually found upon low ground near the 

Another similar species, also having a yellow standard and 
white wings and keel, is H. Torreyi, Gray. This is more or 
less silky pubescent; its wings are not spreading, its leaflets are 
narrower, and the bract of the umbel is sessile. This is found 
along shaded stream-banks both in the higher Coast Ranges 
and in the Sierras, and blooms in summer. 



H, gracilis f Benth. , with the standard yellow and the wide- 
spreading wings and shorter keel of rose-color, occurs in moist 
meadows along the coast from Monterey to the Columbia. It 
blooms by the middle of April. 

H. crassifolia, Benth., a very large species, two or three' feet 
high, with greenish-yellow or purplish flowers, is abundant in 
the Yosemite Valley about the borders of meadows. It is also 
common in the foothill region. 


Lysichiton Camtschatcensis^ Schott. Arum Family. 

Rootstock. — ^Thick; horizontal. Leaves. — All radical; oblong-lanceo- 
late; acute; one to three feet or more long; three to ten inches broad; 
narrowed to a short petiole or sessile. Flowers, — Small, crowded 
on a spadix, at the summit of a stout peduncle becoming six to twelve 
inches long. Spadix, — With an erect, spoon-shaped spathe, one and 
one-half to two feet long; bright yellow. Perianth, — Four-lobed. 
Stamens. — Four. Filaments short, flat. Ovary, — Conical; two-celled. 
Stigma depressed. Fruit. — Fleshy, coalescent and sunk in the rachis. 
Hab. — Peat bogs; from Mendocino County northward to Alaska; also, 
perhaps, in the Rocky Mountains. 

In our northwestern counties, before the frost is entirely 
out of the ground, the leaves of the skunk-cabbage may be 
seen pushing their way up through the standing water of 
marshy localities. They soon attain a great size, and resemble 
the leaves of the banana- tree. They are of a rich velvet-green, 
slightly mottled, and are said to rival some of the tropical pro- 
ductions of our greenhouses. 

There seems to be a difference of opinion as to the dis- 
agreeableness of these leaves. I suspect the odor lies mostly 
in the slimy, soapy sap, and is not very noticeable if they are 
not bruised or cut. 

When the plants are in bloom, in May and June, they are 
very handsome, the large spoon-shaped, golden spathes being 
conspicuous at some distance. As this spathe withers away, 
the flower-stalk continues to grow, and its little greenish-yellow 
blossoms become brown. 

The peppery root is highly esteemed for medicinal pur- 


ffoiacUa gratUis. 


poses, and is gathered and made into a salve, which is con- 
sidered a specific for ringworm, white swelling, inflammatory 
rheumatism, etc. The root is said to enter largely into the 
composition of a patent medicine called * * Skookum. ' * 

Mr. Johnson, of the U. S. Forestry Department in Oregon, 
tells me that the bears are very fond of this root, and dig 
industriously for it, often making a hole large enough to bury 
themselves, and he mentions having seen whole fields plowed 
up by them in their search for it. 

This plant belongs to the same family as the skunk-cabbage 
of the East and the calla-lilv. It has been found in the Santa 
Cruz Mountains. 


Mentzelia ksvicaulisy Terr, and Gray. Loasa or Blazing-star Family. 

Stems. — Stout; two or three feet high; white. Leaves, — Alternate; 
sessile; lanceolate; sinuate-toothed; two to eight inches long. Flow- 
ers. — Sessile, on short branches; light yellow or cream-color; three or 
four inches across. Calyx-tube. — Cylindrical; naked; limb five-cleft 
nearly to the base. Petals. — About ten; oblanceolate; acute. Sta- 
mens. — Numer6us on the calyx; almost equaling the petals. Ovary. — 
One-celled; truncate at summit. Style three-cleft. Capsule. — Fifteen 
lines long. Hab. — San Diego to the Columbia River, and eastward to 

After most other flowers have departed, the magnificent 
blossoms of the Mentzelia come forth. It seems as though 
they had waited for the firmament to be clear of other stars 
beibre bursting upon the sight. Their enormous blossoms are 
crowned by the soft radiance of the long stamens, * * like the 
lashes of light that trim the stars.'' 

These plants are furnished with barbed hairs, which cause 
them to cling to whatever they come in contact with. They 
are of tall and spreading habit, and are often found in the dry 
beds of streams, where their flowers open in the daytime — 
unlike those of M. Lindleyi^ which open at night. 

M. Lindleyi, Torr. and Gray, is one of the most brilliantly 
radiant of all our flowers. Its charming blossoms, which open 
on the edge of evening, are of a delicate silken texture, and 

1 68 

XK, > 



oi tlie richest gold. When the flowers first open, the stamens 
He flat upon the petals; but they gradually rise up, forming a 
large tuft in the center <^ the flower. The £ided sepals crown 
the long seed-vessel, like the flame of the conventional torch 
seen in old pictures. This grows in the Monte Diablo Range; 
and Niles and Alum Rock are convenient places to find it It 
is cultivated in Elastem gardens under the name of Bartonia 


Sedum spathulifolium. Hook. Stonecrop or Orpine Family. 

Leaves. — ^Ahnnate; fleshy; spatulate; six to ten lines long; sessile; 
crowded in rosetfes at the ends of the decumbent branches. Scapes.— 
Four to six inches h^h. Flowers, — In compound, one-sided, loose 
cymes; their parts four or five; pale-yellow. Sepals. — ^United at base. 
Petals. — Lanceolate; three lines loi^. Stamens. — Twice the number 
of the petals. Pistils — Equaling the number of the petals; attenuate 
into the short styles. Ovaries. — One-cdled. Hob. — Midclle Califor- 
nia to Vancouver Island. 

Blooming somewhat earlier than the "hen-and-chickens," 
but in similar situations, the stonecrop often clothes rock- 
masses with beautiful color. The common name, "orpine," 
was given on account of the yellow, or orpine, flowers; and 
the name "stonecrop," fi*om its always growing in stony 


Opunda Engelmanni, Salm. Cactus Family. 

Erect, bushy, spreading shrubs without leaves, with flattened stems 
produced in successive, compressed oval joints. Joints. — Six to twelve 
mches long; studded sparsely with bundles of stout spines. Flowers.— 
Solitary; sessile; yellow or red; about three inches across. .S^^o/y, pet- 
als, and stamens numerous in many series, their coheriiw^ bases coating 
the one-celled ovary and forming a cup above it. Petals. — Spreading. 
Style one, with several stigmas. Fruit. — Purple; oval; pulpy; juicy; 
two inches long. Hab. — Southern California, Los Angeles, San 
Diego, etc. 

The genus Opuntia is divided into two sections, consisting 
respectively of flat-stemmed and cylindrical-stemmed plants, 
the former commonly known as "prickly-p)ear,*'. or "tuna,'* 
the latter as Cholla cactus, 



Of the former, O, Engelmanni is our commonest wild 
species. It is the one seen from the car-windows growing in 
great patches upon the Mojave Desert, and it is abundant 
upon dry hills all through the south. There are two varieties 
of it — var, occidentalism Engelm., the form prevalent in the 
interior, and var, littoralis^ Engelm., found upon the sea-coast 
from Santa Barbara to San Diego. 

These plants have a very leathery, impermeable skin, from 
which evaporation takes place but slowly, which enables them 
to inhabit arid regions. The fruit is sweet and edible, and 
the Indians, who are especially fond of it, dry large quantities 
for winter use. They make of the fresh fruit a saiice, by long- 
continued boiling, which they regard as especially nutritious 
and stimulating after it is slightly fermented. They also roast 
the leaves in hot ashes and eat the slimy, sweet substance 
which is left after the outer skin and thorns have been removed. 

Cattle-men of the southern plains plant the different species 
as hedges about their corrals, and feed the succulent joints to 
their stock after burning off the spines. 

Several Mexican species were planted in the early days 
about the Missions by the Padres, as defensive hedges, and 
remnants of these redoubtable fortifications, ten to fifteen feet 
high, are still to be seen stretching for miles through our 
southern fields. 

In Mexico the Opuntia tuna is largely cultivated for the 
rearing of cochineal insects. 


Venegasia carpesioides, DC. Composite Family. 

Several feet high; leafy to the top. Leaves. — Alternate; slenderly 
petioled; cordate or ovate-deltoid; crenate; two to four inches long; 
thin. Flower-heads. — Large; two-inches across, including the rays; 
yellow; slender-peduncled; composed of ray- and disk-flowers. Rays. 
—Over an inch long; six lines wide; two- or three- toothed; fertile; 
about fifteen. Involucre.— ^ro2i<\\ of many roundish-green scales; be- 
coming scarious inward. Hab. — Santa Barbara and southward. 

This plant, with its ample thin leaves and large yellow 
flowers, would arrest the attention an)rwhere. It often grows 



under the shade of trees in cool canons, where its blossoms 
brighten the twilight gloom. It is an admirable plant, and has 
but one drawback — its rather unpleasant odor. It is the only 
species of the genus which was named in honor of an early 
Jesuit missionary, Michael Venegas. It is especially abundant 
and beautiful about Santa Barbara. 


Hypericum anagalloides, Cham, and Schlecht St. John*s-wort Family. 

Stems. — Numerous; weak; low; spreading; rooting at the joints. 
Leaves. — Two to six lines long; oblong to round; clasping. Flowers. 
— Three or four lines across; salmon-colored. Stamens. — Fifteen to 
twenty. Capsule. — One-celled. Hab. — Lower California to British 
Columbia, eastward into Montana. 

In moist places the prostrate stems of this little plant often 
make dense mats. 

Its specific name indicates its resemblance to the Anagallis, 
or pimpernel. In fact, one might easily imagine it a pimpernel 
with salmon-colored flowers. 


Aphyllon fasciculatum^ Gray. Broom-rape Family. 

Leafless parasitic plants. Stems. — Scaly; thickened and knotty 
below, and bearing on their summits few or many clustered, one- 
flowered peduncles of about the same length. Flowers. — Yellowish; 
sometimes purplish or reddish outside. Calyx. — Slenderly five- 
toothed. Corolla. — Tubular; over an inch long, with five spreading 
lobes; somewhat bilabiate. Stamens. — Four; in pairs; included. 
Ovary. — One-celled. Style slender. Stigma two-iobed. Hab. — 
Throughout California, eastward to Lake Superior. 

There are about half a dozen species of cancer-root known 
upon our Coast, all strange-looking, leafless plants, of 'very 
doubtful moral character — for I fear it must be confessed 
they are thieves. Stealthily sending their roots down and 
imbedding them in the roots of their victims, they draw from 
them the nourishment needed for their sustenance. But they 
have been overtaken by the proper retributive punishment — 
for having no longer any need of organs for the elaboration of 



nourishment, they are denied green leaves, the most beautiful 
adornment of many plants; and even the flowers of some of 
them seem to us to have a sickly, unwholesome hue. How- 
ever, it must be acknowledged that these plants are quite 
interesting, despite their evil ways. 

A. fasciculatutn usually blooms in early summer, on dry, 
rocky hills, and is parasitic upon the roots of sagebrush, wild 
buckwheat, etc. 


Calochortus luteus^ Dougl. Lily Family. 

Stems. — Four to twelve inches high; bearing a single bulblet in- 
closed in the stem-sheath. Leaves. — ^Very narrow; one to three lines 
wide. Flowers. — Erect; cup-shaped; yellow; small; not oculated, but 
the petals striated with brown lines, especially on the middle third. 
Gland. — ^Transversely oblong to lunate; densely hairy with oranp^e- 
colored ascending hairs, with scattered spreading hairs about it. CZp- 
sule. — Broad at the base; tapering upward. Hab.— Clay soil; Coast 
Ranges from Mendocino County to San Diego. 

The typical C luieuSy as described above, is the least beau- 
tiful of all the Mariposa tulips, being lower of stature and 
smaller of flower than most of the others; but among its varie- 
ties may be found some of the most charming flowers of the 
genus, the true butterfly-tulips of the early Spanish, often ocu- 
lated and marked in a wonderful manner. In color and mark- 
ing they often run closely into forms of C. venustus, the only 
constant characters by which to distinguish them being found 
in the shape of the gland and the capsule and the character of 
the soil in which they grow. 

There are two well-marked varieties — citrinus and oculatus 
— besides numerous other forms, where the species seems to 
have run riot in color and mai*king. The var. citrinus is a 
strong, vigorous-growing plant, with flowers of a deep lemon- 
yellow, with a large, distinct, very dark maroon eye on each 
petal. It is exceedingly beautiful. 



Potentilla Anserina^ L. Rose Family. 

Stems. — Prostrate. Leaves. — All radical; a foot or so long; pin- 
nate, with seven to twenty-one leaflets with smaller ones interposed. 
Z^flj?^/^.— Sessile; oblong; toothed; shining green; silvery beneath. 
Flowers. — Bright yellow; long-peduncled; solitary; an inch across. 
Sepals.— Y\\^\ with five bractlets between. Petals. — Five. Stamens. 
—Twenty to twenty-five. Pistils. — Numerous; on a hairy receptacle, 
/^a^.— Throughout North America. 

The bright golden blossoms of the silver-weed are common 
in moist places, haunting stream-banks, lingering about stag- 
nant ponds, or even pushing their way up amid the grasses of 
our salt marshes. The white under-surfaces of the leaves are 
responsible for one of the common names of this plant. 

P. glandulosa^ Lindl. , is found upon dry hillsides. It is 
one or two feet high, and is an ill-smelling, somewhat sticky 
plant, with glandular hairs. The stems are leafy, and the small 
flowers, like pale-yellow strawbprry-blossoms, are produced in 
loose clusters. The corolla scarcely exceeds the calyx. The 
leaves, which have from five to nine leaflets, have not the sil- 
very under-surface of those of /I Aiiserina, 


(Enothera biennis^ L. Evening- Primrose Family. 

Stems. — Stout; usually simple; one to five feet high; more or less 
hairy. Leaves. — Mostly sessile; lanceolate to oblong; two to six inches 
long; denticulate. Flowers. — Golden yellow; in a leafy spike; erect in 
the bud. Calyx-tube. — ^Twelve to thirty lines long. Petals. — Six to 
nine lines long. Stigma-lobes. — Linear. Capsule. — An inch or less 
long. {S&Q CEnothera.) Hab. — Throughout the United States. 

The common evening primrose is a very wide-spread plant 
in the United States, and it has long been in cultivation in Eu- 
rope. Its flowers open suddenly at night, and, according to 
tradition, with a popping noise. Referring to this, the poet 

Keats speaks of — 

"A turf of evening primroses, 

0*er which the mind may hover till it dozes; 

0*er which it well might take a pleasant sleep, 

But that 't is ever startled by the leap 

Of buds into ripe flowers." 



These blossoms are said to be luminous at night, shining by 
the sunlight they have stored during the daytime. 

The young roots, which are edible, are excellent, either 
pickled or boiled, having a nutty flavor. In Germany and 
France these are used, either stewed or raw, in salads, like 
celery; and the young mucilaginous twigs are also used in the 
same way. A tincture of the whole plant is a valued remedy 
in medicine for many disorders. Our Californian plants are 
mosdy of the var, hirsutissimay Gray, having very large flowers 
and a hairy capsule. 


Grindelia cuneifolia^ Nutt. Composite Family. 

Bushy; two to four feet high; smooth. Leaves. — Cuneate-spatulate 
to linear-oblong; leathery; three or four inches long. Flower heads. 
— Solitar>'; terminating the branches; yellow; composed of disk- and 
ray-flowers. Rays. — One inch long. Involucre. — Hemispherical; of 
numerous scales, with spreading tips. Buds. — Covered with a milky 
gum. Syn. — Grindelia robusta^ var. angustifoliay Gray. Hab. — 
From Santa Barbara northward. 

The Grindelias are especially characteristic of the region 
west of the Mississippi River, and are all known as ** gum- 
plant," or ** resin-weed," owing to the balsamic exudation 
which is found mostly upon the flower-heads. We have sev- 
eral species, all of which are rather diflicult of 4etermination. 

Before the occupation of California by the whites, the value 
of these plants was known to the Indians, who used them in 
pulmonary troubles, and as a wash in cases of oak -poisoning 
or other skin-diseases. They are now made into a drug by 
our own people, who use them in the same manner as the 

By the middle of August our salt marshes are gay with the 
bright yellow flowers. 

Every year men are sent out to gather the plant. Only 
about five or six inches of the tops of the branches are cut, as 
the resin is found mostly there in the form of a white gum. 


GUM-PLANT — CriBrfifta CHneifoli. 



Tons of these shoots are shipped East annually, to be returned 
lo us later in the form of the medicine called **grindelia/' 

Grindelia hirsutula^ Hook, and Arn., is a pretty species, 
lowering in early summer upon hill-slopes. This may be 
known by its reddish stems and more slender and fewer ray- 


Eriogonum umbellatum, Torr. Buckwheat Family. 

Leaves. — All radical; obovate to oblong-spatulate; two inches or 
>ss long; mostly smooth above; sometimes woolly below. Scapes.— 
Three to twelve inches high. Flowers. — Sulphur-yellow; two or three 
lines long; many contained in each little top-shaped involucre, on 
^readlike stems. Involucres. — Two lines or so long; deeply cleft, the 
lobes becoming reflexed. Perianth. — Six-parted. Stamens. — Nine. 
Ovary. — Triangular; one-celled. Styles. — Three. Stigmas capitate. 
Hab. — Mountains of Middle and Northern California, and eastward. 

Large companies of the sulphur-flower may be seen in the 
Sierras in July and August, where it covers open, dry, rocky 
slopes, making brilliant masses of color. 

Growing with this is often found another species — E, ursi- 
Jium, Wats. — ^with flowers of a beautiful translucent cream- 
color, often tinged with pink. 


Gilia grandiflora^ Gray. Phlox or Polemonium Family. 

Stems. — Erect; a foot or two high. Leaves. — Two or three inches 
long; linear or oblong-lanceolate; sessile. Flowers. — Salmon-color; 
crowded at the summit of the stem. Calyx.— W\\h obconic tube and 
broad, obtuse lobes. Corolla. — Narrowly funnel-form, with tube an inch 
long, and five-lobed border almost as broad. (See Gilia,) Hab.— 
Widely distributed. 

This plant was formerly placed in the genus Collomia; but 
that genus was not well founded, and all its species have now 
been transferred to Gilia, From the resemblance of its showy 
buff" or salmon-colored flowers to the Bouvardias of our gar- 
dens, these plants are popularly known as **wild Bouvardia." 
The blossoms are found in early summer, and grow usually in 
dry places, exposed to the sun. 






Lilium parvum, Kell. Lily Family. 

V' Bulbs. — Small; of short, thick, jointed scales. Stem, — Slender; 

rs eighteen inches to six feet high. Leaves. — Scattered, or in whorls; 
^ '. two to five inches long; an inch or less broad; rich green. Flowers, — 

> V Orange- vermilion j dotted with purple; two to fifty; scattered or some- 
what whorled. Capsule. — Sub-spherical; six to nine lines long. Hah. 
— The High Sierras, from Yosemite Vdley to Lake Tahoe. 

Passing from the parched and dusty plains of our central 
valleys in July and August, we are transported as though upon 
the magic tapestry of Prince Houssain into a heavenly region 
of springtime, where the streams, fed by the snow lying in 
shadowy mountain fastnesses, gush through plushy emerald 
meadows, starred with millions of daisies and bordered by lux- 
uriant tangles of larkspurs, columbines, monk's-hoods, lupines, 
and a thousand other charming plants — a veritable flower- 
lover's paradise. 

Here from the thickets, standing with their roots in the 
rich, loamy soil of the brookside, gleam the small orange blos- 
soms of the little alpine lily — little only in flower, for the 
slender stems often rise to a height of six feet, producing sev- 
eral whorls of rich green leaves. These lilies are but an inch 
or an inch a half long, with their perianth-segments yellow or 
orange below and deeper orange-vermilion above, their tips 
only being rolled backward. 


Eriophyllum confertiflorum , Gray. Composite Family. 

White- woolly plants, at length smooth. Stents. — A foot or two 
high. Leaves. — Cuneate in outline; divided into three to seven nar- 
row linear divisions. Flowers. — Golden yellow; in densely crowded 
flat-topped clusters. Heads. — Small; of disk- and ray-flowers. Rays. 
— Four or five; broadly oval or roundish. Involucre. — Oval; of 
about five thin bracts; two lines long. Hab. — From San Francisco to 
the Sierras, and southward to San Diego. 

In early summer many a dry, rocky hill-slope is ablaze with 
the brilliant flowers of the golden yarrow. The brown-mottled 

1 80 



butterfly may often be seen hovering over it, or delicately 
poising upon its golden table, fanning his wings. 

E, caspitosum^ Dougl., is a very handsome species with 
solitary golden flower-heads an inch or so across. Its leaves 
are broader and not so finely divided, and some of the upper 
ones are linear and entire. This is found throughout Cali- 


XT Madia elegans^ Don. Composite Family. 

Usually viscid throughout. Stems. — Three to six feet high. Leaves. 
— Crowded at the base of the stem; six to ten inches long; small 

above. Flower -heads. — Of both ray- and disk-flowers. Rays. — 

Twelve to fifteen; one inch long; three-lobed at the apex; yellow, 

sometimes with a dark-red base. Involucre. — With one series of 

scales, each clasping a ray. Hab. — ^Throughout California, and in 
Oregon and Nevada. 

This is one of the most beautiful of all our tarweeds. Its 
golden, Coreopsis-like flowers open after sunset, and close at 
the first warmth of the morning rays. 

All the Madias are used medicinally by old Spanish settlers. 

Madia sativa, Molina, is one of our most troublesome 
species, because its viscid secretion is so very abundant. The 
plants are tall, but the flowers are inconspicuous, owing to the 
smallness or absence of the rays. It is native of Chile as well 
as of California. 

An oil of excellent quality was made from its seeds in that 
country before the olive was so abundant. 


Liliutn pardalinum^ Kell. Lily Family. 

Bulbs consisting of forking rhizomes, covered with small, erect im- 
bricated scales; often forming matted masses. Stems. — Three to ten 
feet high. Leaves. — Usually whorled, with some scattered above and 
below; lanceolate; three to seven inches long. Flowers. — Few to 
many; long-pediceled. Perianth segments. — Six; two or three inches 
long; six to nine lines wide; strongly revolute; with orange base and 
reddish or scarlet tips; spotted or dotted with purple on the lower half. 
Stamens. — Six. Anthers versatile. Ovary. — Three-celled. Style club- 
shaped. Stigma capitate. Capsule. — Eighteen lines or more long. 


TARWEED - Afadia elegan 


Hab. — The Coast Ranges and Sierras, from Santa Barbara County to 
British Columbia, and eastward. 

No more magnificent sight could be imagined than a canon- 
side covered with a mass of these red and gold blossoms nod- 
ding on their tall stems. The plants often grow in clumps and 
colonies of several hundred, and are always found in the rich 
soil of stream-banks or of wet, springy places. Most of us 
have been familiar with these spotted beauties from our child- 
hood, with their delicately swinging anthers full of cinnamon- 
colored pollen. 

A friend writing us from near Mt. Shasta, one July, said: 
**I wish you could have seen iki<t grove of tiger-lilies we saw 
near the place where we rested and lunched. They sprang 
from a velvet bed of mosses and ferns, under the shadow of a 
great rock, that towered at least a hundred feet above them. 
Out of the rock sprang two streams of living water, ice-cold, 
which crossed the trail and dashed over a rock below. Upon 
one plant we counted twenty-five buds and blossoms, while a 
friend counted thirty-two upon another.*' 

Under extraordinarily favorable conditions, this lily has been 
known to reach a height of ten feet. 


Nuphar polysepalum, Engelm. Water- Lily Family. 

Leaves. — Six to twelve inches long; three fourths as wide; obtuse; 
deeply cleft at base; floating or erect Flowers. — Floating; three to 
five inches across. Sepals. — Eight to twelve; petaloid; bright yellow, 
sometimes greenish without. Petals. — Twelve to eighteen;' small; 
about equaling the stamens, and resembling them. Stamens, — ^Nu- 
merous; red; recurved in age; pollen yellow. Ovary. -Large; eight- 
to twenty-celled. Stigma button-shaped; many-rayed; four lines to an 
inch across. Hab. — From Colorado to Central California, and north- 
ward to Alaska. 

Most of us are familiar with the yellow water-lily, and have 
seen its pretty shield-shaped leaves floating upon the surface 
of some glassy pond, starred with its large, golden flowers. 
The latter are sometimes ^wq inches across and quite showy. 


Sometimes entire marshes are covered with the plants. The 
large seeds are very nutritious, and form an important article 
of diet among the northern Indians. 


Lilium Humboldtii^ Roezl and Leichtlin. Lily Family. 

Bulbs. — Large; often weighing over a pound; with scales two or 
three inches long. Stems. — Stout; purplish; three or four feet high; 
eight- or ten-flowered, or more. Leaves. — Wavy-margined; roughish; 
Flowers. — Large; six to eight inches in diameter; golden yellow; 
spotted with pale purple, turning to red or brown. Segments. — Hav- 
ing papillose prommences near the base. (Otherwise like L. parda- 
linum.) Had.- The foothills of the Sierras; southward to San Diego. 

This wonderful lily, at first glance, resembles the common 
leopard- or tiger- lily — L, pardalinum — and it is found some- 
times in the same regions as the latter, but never in the same 
kind of localities. It affects the loose soil of dry, upland 
woods, but never grows in wet or boggy places. Its flowers 
are larger than those of L. pardalinum^ and have more of a 
golden hue and less of red in them. 

By July this lily is in full bloom and a magnificent sight. 
A plant was once known which had fifty buds and blossoms, 
thirty of which were open at once! 


Helianthus annuuSy L. Composite Family. ' \ 

Hispid, coarse plants. Stems.— S&wex^[ feet high. Leaves. MosWy 
alternate; petioled; deltoid-ovate to ovate-lanceolate; acuminate; three 
to seven mches long; three-ribbed at base. Flower-heads. ~-\^?cc%e\ 
three or four inches across, including the rays; solitary; composed of 
yellow ray-flowers and purple-brown, tubular disk-flowers. Involucre. 
— Of several series of imbricated, ovate, acuminate scales. Disk.— 
An inch or so across, //fl^.— Throughout California. 

The stately form of the sunflower is a common sight in the 
south, where whole fields are often covered with the plants. 
Their season of blossoming is supposed to be in the autumn, 
but we have seen them blooming just as gayly in March. This 
wild sunflower of the plains is believed to be the original parent 
of the large sunflower of our gardens. 




Its seeds are used by the Indians as food and in the prepa- 
ration of hair-oil. 

Popular tradition makes this blossom a worshiper of the 
sun, and it is believed to follow him with admiring glances. 

"The lofty follower of the sun, 
Sad when he sets, shuts up her hollow leaves. 
Drooping all night, and when he warm returns, 
Points her enamored bosom to his ray." 

Another species — H, Calif ornicus, DC. — found from San 
Francisco Bay southward, along streams, has something the 
same habit as the above, but may be known from it by its 
slender, smooth stems, leafy to the top, the long, sprawling, awl- 
shaped bracts of its involucre, and its more delicate flowers, 
about two and a half inches across. The disk-corollas are 
slightly pubescent below. This species has a rather strong 
balsamic odor. 


Pterospora andromedea, Nutt. Heath Family. 

Stems. — One to three feet high. Bracts. — Crowded at base; scat- 
tered above. Cfl/v-^.- Five- parted. Corolla. — Three lines long; yel- 
lowish. Stamens. — Ten. Anthers tailed; opening lengthwise! Ovary. 
— Five-celled. Style short. Stigma five-lobed. //a^.- Throughout 
California, and across the continent. 

In our walks in the mountains, we occasionally encounter 
the flesh-colored wands of this curious plant. The colorless 
leaves are reduced to mere bracts, and the stems are densely 
clothed above with the little yellowish waxen bells. The 
whole plant is very viscid and disagreeable to handle. 

Though rare, it is found all across the continent. In the 
East it grows only under pine-trees, upon whose roots it is 
supposed to be parasitic, while in California it is said to be 
found under both oaks and pines. 

There is but a single species in this genus. The seed is 
furnished with a broad membranous wing, which has given 
rise to the name Pterospora, derived from two Greek words, 
meaning wing and seed, 

1 86 




Hemisonia luzuiafolia, DC. Composite Family. 

Glandular, strong-scented plants. Stems. — Loosely branching; 
slender; six inches to two feet high. Leaves,— Xah^zx', very small 
above; elongated and withering early below, i Flower-heads. — White 
or light yellow; composed of ray- and disk-flowers. Rays. — Six to 
ten; two to five lines long; three-lobed. Scales of the involucre each 
clasping a ray. Hab. — Common throughout the western part of the 

Under the common, designation of **tarweed/' plants be- 
longing to two different genera — Madia and Hemizonia — and 
comprising thirty or forty species, may be found. They are 
mostly annuals or biennials, with viscid, heavily scented foli- 
age, which make themselves conspicuous in late summer and 
through the autumn. The Hemi^onias are distinctively Cali- 
fornian; while the Madias we have in common with Chile. 
Their viscid exudation is particularly ruinous to wool and 
clothing, but alcohol is a solvent for it, and will generally 
remove it. 

We wonder how these plants, which flourish in our driest 
seasons, can extract so much moisture from the parched earth, 
and of what practical use this resinous secretion can be in their 
economy. Though some of them are described as having a 
disagreeable odor, many of them have a very pleasant balsamic 
fragrance, which gives our summer and autumn atmosphere a 
peculiar character of its own. Whole fields and hillsides are 
tinged with their warm olive foliage, or are yellow with their 
golden flowers, which appear like a fall revival of the butter- 
cups. The flowers open mostly at night or in early morning, 
closing in bright sunshine. 

Hemizonia luzulcEfolia is a common species, whose flower' 
are redolent of the odor of myrrh. 

1 88 




Solidago Calif ornica, Nutt. Composite Famfly. 

Stem. — Rather stout; low or tall. Leaves. — Oblong, or the upper 
oblong-lanceolate, and the lower obovate. Flowers. — In a dense, py- 
\ ramidal panicle, four to twelve inches long, with mostly erect racemose 
branches. Heads. — Three or four lines long; yellow. Rays. — Small; 
seven to twelve; about as many as the disk-flowers. Hab. — ^Through- 
out California, to Nevada and Mexico. 

Our State is not so rich in goldenrods as New England, 
yet we have several rather pretty species. Solidago Calif or- 
7iica is found upon dry hills, and blooms from July to October. 
It is said to thrive well under cultivation. 

It differs from the ** Western golden-rod*' in having its 
flowers in a pyramidal cluster. 


Verhascum Blattaria^ L. Figwort Family. 

Stem. — Tall and slender. Leaves. — Alternate; oblong; crenate- 
toothed; nearly smooth; the upper ovate, acute, clasping. Flowers.— 
Yellow or white; purple-tinged; an inch or so across; in a terminal 
raceme; the pedicels muclr exceeding the calyx-lobes. Calyx. - Five- 
parted. Corolla. — Wheel-shaped, with five rounded, somewhat une- 
qual lobes. Stamens. — Five. Filaments violet-bearded. Anthers 
confluently one-celled. Pollen orange-colored, copious. Ovary. — 
Two-celled. Style slender. Hab. — The Upper Sacramento Valley, 
etc. ; naturalized from Europe. 

The mulleins are natives of Europe, which have found their 
way across the water to us. Two or three species are now 
common in some localities. The moth-muUeia is so called be- 
cause its blossoms have the appearance of a number of delicate 
moths resting upon the stem. This is a tall, green plant 

Another species — V. Thapsus^ L. — is also quite common. 
In the Sacramento Valley its tall, woolly tapers may be seen lean- 
ing in every direction, giving the fields a disorderly appear- 
ance. This plant abounds throughout Europe and Asia, and 
was well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who made 
lampwicks of its dried leaves and utilized its stalks, dipped in 
tallow, for funeral torches. In medieval Europe it was called 


"hag-taper/* because it was employed by witches in their in- 
cantations. In Europe at the present time it is known as the 
"American velvet-plant,'* because of a mistaken idea that it is 
a native of this country. 


Solidago occidentalism Nutt. Composite Family. 

Smooth throughout. Stems, — Paniculately branched; two to six 
feet high. Z^az/^j.- Linear; entire; obscurely three-nerved; two to 
four inches long; one to three lines wide. Flower-heads.- In numer- 
ous small, fiat clusters, terminating the slender branchlets; three lines 
long; yellow. Rays. — Sixteen to twenty; not surpassing the eight to 
fourteen disk-flowers. Involucre. — Of imbricated scales; the outer 
successively shorter. Hab. — Near the Coast, from Southern California 
to British America. 

The Western goldenrod, with its slender, willowy stems 
and small flower-clusters, may be found in wet places in late 
summer and early autumn. Its blossoms are acacia-scented. 


Larrea Mexicana^ Moricand. Creosote-Bush Family. 

TU-smelling, resinous shrubs, four to ten feet high; diffusely branched. 
Leaves. — Opposite; with two unequal leaflets. Leaflets. — Three to six 
lines long; pointed; sessile. /7f?ze/^r5. — Solitary; yellow. Sepals. — 
Five; silky; deciduous. Petals. — Five; three or four lines long. Star 
mens. — Ten; on a small ten-lobed disk. Filaments winged below. 
Ovary. — Five-celled; Style slender. Hab. — Inland deserts of the 
southern part of the State. 

The most plentiful shrub growing in our southern desert 
regions is the creosote-bush, so called because its sticky leaves 
burn with a black smoke and a rank odor, between creosote 
and carbolic acid. 

These shrubs often cover vast tracts of arid soil, and in 
places are the only growth to be seen. The evergreen foliage 
is of a warm olive tone, and is borne at the ends of many slen- 
der, grayish branches. The small, stemless, opposite leaves, 
each divided almost to its base into two leaflets, spread butter- 
fly-like upon the slender branchlets. The leaf-nodes are swollen 
into small, warty prominences, which are especially resinous. 



In many localities, especially in Arizona, the branches of 
this shrub are thickly incrusted with a certain gummy substance, 
which careful examination has proved to be almost identical 
with the East Indian shellac of commerce. This is caused by 
an insect of the genus Coccus, who stings the young twigs, at 
the same time laying its eggs in them, causing them to exude 
the gum. Could this gum be collected in sufficient quantities, 
it would doubtless prove a valuable article of commerce, prob- 
ably not inferior to the East Indian lac. Dr. Edwd. Palmer 
writes that it is. extensively used by our Indians as a cement 
with which to fasten their flint arrow-heads to the shafts, to 
mend broken pottery, and to make water-tight their baskets, 
woven of grass and roots. The plant yields a greenish -yellow 
dye, with which they paint their persons and color their fabrics; 
but garments so dyed are said to emit a disagreeable odor 
always upon being heated. 

A lotion made by steeping the branches in water is said to 
be an excellent remedy for sores; while the leaves dried and 
reduced to powder are effectively used for the same purpose. 
Some of our pharmacists say that the plant is a valuable rem- 
edy for rheumatism. 

By the Spanish-Californians this shrub is known as * ' gober- 
nadora ' ' and * * hideondo ' ' ; and by the American settlers of the 
desert it is known by several uncomplimentary names, among 
them the meaningless one of **greasewood.'' 

It blossoms in early summer. 



[Pink or occasionally or partially pink flowers not described in 

the Pink Section, 

Described in the White Section: — 

Achillea Millefolium — Yarrow. 

Calochortus venustus — Mariposa Tulip. 

Chimaphila Menztesii — Prince's Pine. 

Convolvulus luteolus — Wild Morning-glory. 

Gaultheria Shallon — Salal . 

Lathvrus Torrevi. 

Lathyrus vestitus — Common Wild Pea. 

Lavia glandulosum — White Daisy 

LiLiuM RUBESCENS — Ruby Lily. 

Malacothrtx sax ATI lis. 

Mesembryanthemum cr ystallinum — Ice-Plant. 

OENOTHERA Californica — White Evening Primrose. 

Orthocarpus versicolor — While Owl's Clover. 

Pyrola aphylla. 

Rhododendron occidentale — Califomian Azalea. 

RuBus spectabilis — Salmon-Berry. 

SpiRiEA BETULiFOLiA — Pink Spiraea. 

SpiRiF.A DouGLASii — Califomian Hardhack. 

Spraguea umbellata — Pussy's- Paws. 

Described in the Yellow Section: — 


Described in the Blue and Purple Section : — 

Calochortus splendens — Mariposa Tulip. 

Calochortus uniflorus. 

Trillium sessile — Califomian Trillium. 

Described in the Red Section : — 
GiLiA aggregata — Scarlet Cilia. 

Described in the Miscellaneous Section: — 

Cypripedium Californicum — Califomian Lady's Slippei. 
Gomphocarpus tomentosus — Hornless Woolly Milkweed. 
RuMEX hymenosepalus — Wild Pie-Plant; Canaigre.] 





Erodium cicutarium^ L'Her. Geranium Famay. 

Leaves. — Chiefly radical in a depressed rosette; six to ten inches 
long; dissected into narrow toothed lobes. Stem-leaves smaller. 
Flowers,— Y\v^\ four to eight in an umbel; parts in fives. Petals, — 
Four lines long. Stamens, — Five perfect, with flattened filaments; 
five reduced to mere scales. Carpels and styles one or two inches 
long; separating upward from a central axis into twisted, bearded 
tails. Hab, Throughout the State. 

The name **alfilerilla" is Spanish, coming from aljiler^ a 
needle, and refers to the long, slender beak of the carpels. By 
corruption it has become **filaree.'* * 

This plant is found in abundance everywhere, and is one 
of our most valuable forage-plants. It varies greatly in size, 
and becomes very rank in growth where the soil is rich. 
Ordinarily, it makes its appearance soon after the beginnings 
of the rainy season, as a rosette of leaves lying upon the 
ground, and later it sends up its reddish stems. Its seed- 
vessels look like a group of fantastic, long-billed storks, and 
the long beaks of the carpels, as they separate from the central 
axis, begin to curl about any convenient object. They are 
thus widely disseminated in the hair of animals and the clothing- 
of people. Children call them ** clocks,*' and love to stand 
the seed up in their clothing and watch the beaks wind slowly 
about, like the hands of a timepiece. 

We have several other species of Erodium, E, moschatum^ 
L' Her. , is a coarser plant whose foliage has a musky fragrance, 
especially when wilted. It is also a valuable forage-plant and 
is commonly known as ** musky filaree*' or ** green-stemmed 

E, Botrys, Bertoloni, is a very abundant plant. Its flowers 
are larger, six lines across, and are pink, strongly veined with 
wine-color. The beaks of its carpels are sometimes four inches 





Oxalis Oregana^ Nutt. Geranium Famil)'. 

Herbs with sour juice. Leaves. — ^VVith three leaflets; petioles two 
to even t\k'elve inches long. Leaflets one or tu'O inches broad; usu- 
ally light-blotched. Scapes, — One to six inches long; one-flowered. 
Sepals. — Five. Petals. — Five; nine to twelve lines long; white or rose- 
colored, often veined with darker color; usually having an orange 
spot at base. Siametis. — Ten. Ovary. — Five-celled. Styles five. 
flab. — Coast woods, from Santa Cruz to Washington. 

In deep woods, "where no stir nor call the sacred hush pro- 
fanes," the beautiful leaves and delicate flowers of the redwood- 
sorrel cover the ground with an exquisite tapestry, which 
catches the shimmer of the sunlight as it sifts down through 
the tall trees. If the goddess Nanna in passing left the print 
of her pretty fingers upon the clover, j>erhaps some wood- 
nymph may have touched the leaves of this charming plant. 
Each day as twilight deej>ens, the leaflets fold gently together 
and prepare to sleep. 

The small yellow oxalis — O. cor?itculaia, L. — becomes a 
troublesome weed in our lawns. 


Arabis blepharophylla^ Hook, and Am. Mustard Family. 

Stems. — Four to twelve inches high. Radical-leaves. — Broadly 
spatulate; one or two inches long. Cauline-leaves. — Oblong; sessile. 
All. — Cil iate. Flowers. — Purplish-pink. Sepals. — Four ; generally col- 
ored. Petals. — Four; six to nine lines long; clawed. Stamens. — Six; 
two shorter. Oz^ary.— Two-celled. Stigma button-shaped. Pod. — 
Linear; an inch or more long; flattened. Hab. — ^The Coast, from San 
Francisco to Monterey. 

The bright magenta-colored blossoms of the rock-cress may 
be looked for in early spring along the hills of the Coast 
Ranges. This plant is said to be very beautiful in cultivation. 
The generic name was bestowed because many of the well- 
known species are natives of Arabia, while the formidable 
specific name means ** eyelash -leaved,'* referring to the ciliate 


REDWOOD-SORREL— Oirafe Orfgan 



Sidalcea nuilvaflora^ Gray. Mallow FamQy. 

Stetns. — Several; eight inches to two feet long. Leaves. — Round 
in outline; variously lobed and cut. Flowers. — Pink; in terminal ra- 
cemes. Calyx. — Five-cleft; without bractlets. Petals. — Five; united at 
base; one inch long. Stamens. — United in a column; in two series. 
Anthers one-celled. Ovaries. — ^Three to ten in a ring; separating at 
maturity. Stj'les as many; filiform. Hob. — ^The Coast fi'om San Diego 
to Mendocino Count>'. 

In early spring the graceful sprays of the Sidalcea bend over 
our meadows everywhere, making them bright with their pink 
blossoms, which the children call **wild hollyhocks." The 
stamens of these flowers are especially pretty and interesting if 
examined with a glass. By a careful dissection, the stamen- 
column is found to be double, its outer part bearing five bunches 
of stamens. The anthers are one-celled and of a beautiful rose- 
pink. They may be seen best by pulling apart one of the un- 
opened buds. 

There are X^ko kinds of these plants, one having large pale- 
pink flowers, which are perfect; the other bearing smaller deep 
rose-pink blossoms, in which the anthers are only rudimentary. 

There are quite a number of species of Sidalcea in Califor- 
nia, but they are very difficult of determination for the non- 


Cercis occidentalism Torr. Pea Family. 

Small trees or shrubs. Leaves. — Alternate ; slender-petioled ; round- 
cordate; palmately veined; smooth; about two inches in diameter. 
Flowers. — Rose-color; papilionaceous; clustered in the axils. Petals. 
— Four lines long; the standard smaller and inclosed by the wings. 
Stamens. — Ten; all distinct. Ovary. — One-celled. Pods. — ^Two or 
three inches long; thin. Hab. — Mt. Shasta to San Diego. 

By April, or earlier, our interior hills and valleys begin to 
show the rosy blossoms of the Judas-tree. The leafless branches 
are wreathed with the abundant flowers, which gives the shrub 
the appearance of a garden fruit-tree. When seen later, in its 
full summer foliage, it is almost equally attractive. Its shapely 




leaves are then diversified by the clusters of long purple pods, 
which hang gracefully among them. 

The Indians find the slender twigs of this shrub very useful 
in their basket-making. By means of the thumb-nail or flints, 
they split them into threads, which they use as woof. 

A closely allied species of Cercis, growing in Palestine, had, 
according to tradition, white flowers, until the arch-traitor 
Judas hanged himself from its limbs, when it blushed pink for 
very shame. 

In medieval Europe the Judas-tree was believed to be a 
favorite rendezvous for witches, and it was considered danger- 
ous to approach one at nightfall. 


Vaccinium ovatutn^ Pursh. Heath Family. 

Evergreen shrubs, three to eight feet high. Leaves. — Ovate to 
oblong-lanceolate; leathery; smooth and shining. Flowers. — In axil- 
lary clusters: small; pinkish. Calyx. — Minutely five-toothed. Corolla. 
— Campanulate; two or three lines long. Stamens. — Ten; anthers 
opening terminally. Ovary. — Globose; five-celled. Style filiform. 
Berries. — Small; reddish, turning black. Hab. — ^The Coast Ranges 
from Monterey to Vancouver Island. 

When in bloom our Califomian huckleberry is a delightful 
shrub. Its leaves, which are of a particularly rich, shining 
green, are set at a characteristic angle to the red stems, con- 
trasting finely with their warm tones; and the effect is height- 
ened by the clusters of small pink and white waxen bells 
scattered here and there amid the foliage. 

The huckleberry is at its best upon the high ridges of the 
Coast Ranges, where it becomes especially luxuriant in the fog- 
nurtured region of the northern portion of the redwood belt. 
There its abundant berries become juicy and delicious, and are 
much sought for preserving and pie- making. Its branches, 
when cut, keep admirably in water and are favorite greens for 
household decoration. 





Tri^mlaiis Emrofitta^ var. lati/oiia. Ton. Primrose Famfly. 

Rooi. — Tuberous. Siem. — Four to e^^lit inches higfa; with a whorl 
of oval-pointed leaves one to four inches long^. Flowers. — ^Wliite or 
pink; eight lines across. Calyx and rotate corolla seven-parted, some- 
tinies six- to nine-parted; divisions pointed. Stamens. — As many as 
the corolla-lobes, and opposite them. Ovary. — One-cdled. Style fili- 
form. Hab. — The Coast Ranges, fixm Monterey northward. 

In April and May, as we walk through shaded woods, we 
b^^in to notice a trim little plant three or four inches high, with 
very slender stem, bearing at its summit a number of pretty 
leaves of varjdng size. A little later, we find among them one 
or two delicate pink, starry flowers on very slender, threadlike 

The generic name is fi-om the Latin triens^ and is in allusion 
to the height of the plant, which is the third part of a foot 


Clintonia Andrewsiana^ Torr. Lily Family. 

Leaves. — Radical; oblong; six inches to one foot long; two to four 
wide. Flower-stem. — One or two feet high; with one leafy bract. 
Flowers. — Pink; manyj in a terminal compound cluster on pecucels an 
inch or less long. Perianth. — Campanulate; four to seven lines long. 
Seg'inents. — Six; gibbous at the base. Stamens. — Six. Ovary. — Two- 
or three-celled. Fruit. — Beautifiil, large, dark-blue berries. Hab.— 
The Coast Ranges, fi-om Santa Cruz to Humboldt County. 

This is one of the most distinguished-looking plants of our 
deep coast woods. Its large leaves, of a rich polished green, 
arrange themselves symmetrically around the short stem, seem- 
ing to come from the ground — and so fine are they, that if no 
blossom appeared, we should feel the plant had fulfilled its 
mission of beauty. But in April a blossom-stalk shoots up 
from their midst, bearing upon its summit a cluster of deep 
rose-colored, nodding bells. These are succeeded later by a 
bunch of superb dark-blue berries, which might be made of 
lapis lazuli or the rarest old delft china. I remember a beauti 
ful spot upon the Lagunitas Creek, where the stream, flowing 



over a brown, pebbly bottom, passes among the redwoods 
where their tall shafts make dim cathedral aisles, — 

. . . ** forest-corridors that lie 
In a mysterious world unpeopled yet' 

Here litde yellow violets and the charming wood-sorrel carpet 
the ground, the fetid adder* s-tongue spreads its mottled leaves, 
while groups of the lovely Clintonia put the finishing touches 
to an already beautiful scene. 


Rhus integrifolia^ Benth. and Hook. Poison-oak or Cashew Family. 

Evergreen shrubs two to six feet high, becoming small trees south- 
ward. Leaves, — Alternate; short-petioled; one to three inches long; 
rigid; leathery. Flowers, — Of two sexes, also some perfect; in short, 
dense terminal clusters one to three inches long; rose-colored or white. 
Sepals, petals, and stamens four to nine; usually ^vq. Petals. — 
Rounded; ciliatej one or two lines across. Ovary. — One-celled. Stig- 
mas three. Frutt. — Flat; one-seeded; six lines across; red; viscid and 
acid. Hab, — The Coast from Santa Barbara to San Diego. 

Growing everywhere upon the southern coast in great 
abundance, this shrub forms low, dense, wind-shorn thickets. 
Farther inland it rises to a height of several feet, with tough, 
India-rubber-like branches, and in Lower California it becomes 
a small tree. In its better estate it is very ornamental, espe- 
cially in spring, when sprinkled with its clusters of small pink 
flowers. The little drupes are covered with an acid, oily sub- 
stance, and have long been used by the Indians and Mexicans 
in the preparation of a lemonade-like drink. These people are 
so fond of this fruit that they dry it for winter use, grinding and 
roasting it as we do coffee. The wood of these shrubs is of a 
dark-red color, which is responsible for the common name, 
** mahogany.'* 

Another Rhus v&ry common in the valleys of Southern 
California is R, laurina, Nutt, usually called ** sumach.'* It 
is an evergreen shrub, with smooth, lanceolate leaves, two or 
three inches long, exhaling a rather strong odor, considered by 
some like bitter almonds, and bearing dense clusters of small 




white flowers in midsummer. Its small drupes are only a line 
or two across. They are also coated with a waxen substance, 
and yield a pungent oil. 

In the mountains from Santa Barbara to San Diego is found 
another species — R, ovata^ Wats. This has large leathery, 
pointed leaves, and is known as **lemonade-and-sugar-tree/' 
as the acid berries are coated with a sweet, waxen substance, 
which the Indians value as sugar. Its leaves resemble in form 
those of the lilacs of our gardens. 


Dodecatheon Meadiay L. Primrose Family. 

^ Leaves. — AH radical; tufted; from obovate to lanceolate. Scape, — 

\ Three to fifteen inches hig;h; umbel two- to twenty-flowered. Calyx, 

— Deeply five-cleft, the divisions reflexed in flower, erect in fruit. Co- 
rolla, — With extremely short tube, and an abruptly reflexed five-parted 
limb; white, rose-color, or purple. Stamens, — Five; opposite the 
corolla-lobes. Filaments short; united. Anthers standing erect around 
the long style, forming a beak; violet. Ovary, — One-celled. Hab, — 
Throughout the continent; exceedingly variable. 

The shooting-star is one of our prettiest spring flowers, 
which arrives a litde before the baby-eyes and just as the brakes 
are unrolling their green crosiers. There is something partic- 
ularly pleasing in these blossoms. It seems as though Nature 
had taxed her ingenuity to produce something original when 
she fashioned them. The name Dodecatheon^ from the Greek, 
is entirely a fanciful one, and means **the twelve gods.'* 

Formerly D, Meadia^ L., was considered the only species, 
embracing many widely varying forms; but of late botanists 
have made several of the forms into separate species. 

D, Hendersoni (Gray), Ktz. , is the species prevalent in our 
central and northern Coast Ranges. This has ovoid or obo- 
void, very obtuse, entire leaves, with broad petiole, equaling 
the blade, two inches long. Its flower-stem is from eight *to 
twelve inches high, bearing a cluster of bright rose-purple 
flowers. The corolla has a short, dark-maroon tube, encircled 
by a band of yellow, sometimes merging into white. A variety 




of this with very slender stems and the flower parts in fours is 
common in the Bay region, and southward possibly to Santa 
Barbara. This is called var. cruciata. Its blossoms have a 
strong odor, suggestive of a tannery. . In this species the cap- 
sule opens at the top, splitting into a number of littie teeth, 
which soon turn downward. 

D, Clevelandi, Greene, is a beautiful species found in the 
south. It sends up a tall shaft, crowned with a large cluster 
of beautiful blossoms, varying from a delicate lilac to pure 
white. The petals are ringed below with pale yellow, and the 
beak of the flower is a rich prune-purple. There is a certain 
generous, fine look about these flowers, although they are 
exquisitely delicate. Their charm is completed by a delicious 
perfume, like that of the cultivated cyclamen. 

Among the children the various forms are known by a num- 
ber of names, such as **mad violets,'* ** prairie-pointers," 
* * mosquito-bills, * * and * * roosters' -heads. ' ' The latter is said to 
be the designation of prosaic little boys who see in these blos- 
soms gaming possibilities, and who love to hook them together 
and pull to see which head will come off* first. 


Gilia Californicay Benth. Phlox or Polemonium Family. 

Steins, — Woody; two or three feet high. Leaves, — Palmately 
three- to seven-parted, with spreading, needle-like divisions, two to four 
lines long. Flowers, — ^^ Solitary, at the ends of the branchlets; rose- 
pink or lilac, with a white eye. Calyx. — Five-toothed. Corolla-limb, — 
An inch and a half across. (See Gilia,) Hah. — Dry hills from Mon- 
terey to San Bernardino. 

I hardly know how to describe these delightful flowers. At 
a little distance the plant-stems have almost the look of a cac- 
tus, so densely are they clothed with the small, rigid leaves. 
Nor does a closer acquaintance serve to lessen the likeness — 
for in our breathless haste to take possession of the beautiful 
blossoms we are quite certain to have their prickly character 
impressed upon the hands as well as upon the sight. The tex- 
f the flowers is of the finest silk, with an exquisite sheen; 


PRICKLY PHLOX — GiVifl CaliforKict 


and they have a delicate fragrance. Growing at the tips of the 
numerous branchlets, they often form large masses of rich rose- 
colored bloom, which are especially brilliant and showy against 
the warm foliage. 

In some localities they are called ** rock-rose, " an unfortu- 
nate name in two respects: it has long belonged to a yellow 
flower of an entirely different family — Helianihemum ; and 
these blossoms do not in the least resemble a rose. 


Mirabilis Californica, Gray. Four-o*clock Family. 

Stems. — From a woody base; a foot or two long. Leaves, — Ovate; 
six to fifteen lines long; rather thick. Flowers. — Magenta-colored; 
one to three in a campanulate, calyx-like, five-toothed involucre. In- 
volucres nearly sessile. Perianth. — Six lines long; open funnel-form; 
five-lobed. Stamens. — Five. Anthers yellow. Ovary.— Globose; 
one-celled. Style filiform. Stigma capitate. Had. — Southern Cali- 
fornia and eastward. 

When the heat of the day is over and the morning-glories 
are folding together their faded chalices, the bright little four- 
o' clocks begin to open their myriad magenta-colored eyes upon 
the closing day, and they, together with the evening primroses, 
will keep the vigils of the night. These diaphanous little 
flowers, with their long stamens resting on the lower side of 
the perianth, are like diminutive azaleas. 

They are very puzzling, and the part that baffles the young 
botanist is the calyx, which, as it sometimes has two or three 
corollas within it, cannot be considered a calyx at all, but must 
be called an involucre. In reality the corolla is absent, and the 
calyx, which is colored like a corolla, is called a perianth. This 
appears to sit upon the top of the round ovary, but in reality a 
green continuation of it is drawn down tightly over the ovary. 


CALIFORNIAN FOUR-O'CLOCK- Afiraiilis Cat^mnics 



Convolvulus Soldanella^ L. Morning-glory Family. 

Steins, — ^A foot or less long; trailing. Leaves, — Kidney-shaped; 
long-petioled; leathery; an inch or two broad. Flowers, — Pink to 
lavender; one to nearly three inches across, with a pair of thin bracts 
just below the calyx, partly enveloping it (Otherwise as C, luteolus,) 
Hah. — The seashore from Puget Sound to San Diego. 

The beach morning-glory trails its stems over the shifting 
sands of the seashore, making clusters of beautiful foliage, over 
which the large, delicate flowers raise their exquisite satin 


Calypso borealis^ Salisb. Orchis Family. 

Bulb, — Small; solid. Stem. — Three to six inches high. Leaf, — ^An 
inch or two long. Sepals and petals light to deep rose-color; six to 
nine lines long. Lip. — Brownisn pink, mottled with purple. Style. — 
Petaloid, oval, and concave, bearing the hemispherical anther on its 
summit underneath. Hab, — ^The northern Coast Ranges; also across 
the continent. 

It has never been my good fortune to find this rare and ex- 
quisite little orchid, but beautiful specimens have been sent 
from the redwoods of Sonoma County and from Oregon. The 
books speak of it as growing in bogs; but I am told by those 
who gathered them that the little plants sit lightly upon the 
layer of needles that carpet the forest-floor. The roots scarcely 
penetrate the soil, so that the plants are easily disengaged with- 
out digging. 

Nature produced a perfect work when she fashioned this 
little plant, so simple, so charming in every way, with its one 
dainty leaf and one unique blossom. The form of the column 
is peculiarly interesting, being that of a curving concave petal, 
bearing the anther, in the shape of a hollow hemisphere, on 
its upper edge. 


CALYPSO - Calypso 



Calandrinia caulescenSy HBK. ; var, Menziesii, Gray. Purslane Family. 

Decumbent, branching herbs, mostly smooth. Leaves, — Alternate; 
linear to oblanceolate; one to three inches long. Flowers, — In loose 
racemes; rose-color or magenta; about an inch across. Sepals. — Two; 
keeled. Petals. — Mostly five. Stamens. — Four to eleven. Ovary.— 
One-celled. Style slender. Stigma three-cleft. Seeds black, shining, 
lens-shaped, jflab. — From Lower California to Vancouver Island. 

The wild portulaca is very abundant, and in seasons favor- 
able to its development is a very noticeable little plant. Its 
succulent stems have a spreading habit and bear many satiny 
flowers of a deep purplish-pink, which open in the bright sun- 
shine. The petals, which are veined with a slightly darker 
color, become white toward the center, and the little anthers 
are full of orange-colored pollen. These blossoms have a deli- 
cate, somewhat musky perfume. 

Cattle are fond of the herbage, and the plants are considered 
excellent as potherbs and for salads. The seeds, which are a 
favorite food of the wild dove are very pretty, being lens- 
shaped, black and shining, with a granular surface. 


Lathyrus splendens^ Kell. Pea Family. 

Stem. — Climbing; six to ten feet. Leaflets. — About eight; scattered ; 
very variable; linear to lanceolate or oblong; acute; mucronate; strongly 
three- to five-nerved. Tendrils. — Two- to five-parted. Stipules.— 
Small; semi-sagittate. Peduncles, — Stout; usually seven- to ten-flow- 
ered. Flowers. — Very large; brilliant crimson. Calyx, — Five-toothed; 
eighteen-nerved. Stafidard and keel an inch or more long. Pods. — 
Three inches long; smooth; compressed; ten- to twenty-seeded. Hab. 
— Parts of San Diego County, and southward. 

Clambering over our wild shrubs, this wonderful pea gives 
them the appearance of being loaded with a magnificence 
of bloom quite unwonted. The blossoms are the richest and 
most gorgeous of crimsons throughout, and have such a 
superb air that it is diflicult to believe they are not the product 
of centuries of careful selection by the gardener. The long 
standard turns back over the stem, continuing the gracefully 





outlined keel in a long compound curve. The blossoms hang- 
from the stem in charming abandon, like a flock of graceful 
tropic-birds poising upon the wing before taking flight, or like 
a fleet of gayly decked pleasure-barges, with canopies thrown 
back, fit for the conveyance of a Cleopatra. 


Ribes glutinosum, Benth. Saxifrage Family. 

Shrubs six to fifteen feet high. Leaves, — Three- to five-lobed; glu- 
tinous when young; three to five inches broad. Flowers. — Rose-pink 
to pale pink; in long drooping racemes. Calyx, — Petaloid; five-lobed. 
Petals and stamens five on the calyx. Ovary. — One-celled. Styles 
two; more or less united. Berries. — Blue, with a dense bloom; glan- 
dular-hispid. Syn. — Ribes sanguineum^ Pursh. Hab. — ^The Coast 
Ranges; more common southward. 

In early winter in the south, and somewhat later northward, 
the wild currant becomes a thing of beauty hardly to have 
been expected. The young foliage, of a clear brilliant green, 
is gayly decked with the long clusters of peculiarly fresh pink 
blossoms, which seem like the very incarnation of the spirit of 
Spring, producing a certain eblouissement^ which quickens our 
sense into an anticipation of beauty on every side. 

We are made aware of a strong, heavy fragrance ema- 
nating from this shrub, for which its numerous glands are 
responsible, and which has gained for it the popular name of 
** incense-shrub'' in some localities. 

The fruit, which ripens toward fall, is dry and bitter, or 

The genus Ribes includes the currant and the gooseberry, 
and furnishes us with several charming shrubs in California. 





Gilia dianthoides, Endl. Phlox or Polemonium Family. 

One to six inches high. Leaves. — Six lines or so long; linear to 
filiform. Flowers. — Rose or lilac, blending inward to white, with 
darker color or yellow in the throat Calyx. — Five-cleft. Corolla. — 
Nine to twelve lines across; fringed. (See Gilia.) Hah. — From Santa 
Barbara to San Diego. 

In March our southern meadows and hill-slopes are all 
aglow with the lovely flowers of this charming little Gilia^ 
The plants are tiny, often no more than an inch high, but are 
ambitious out of all proportion to their size, covering them- 
selves with blossoms exquisitely delicate in texture, form, and 
coloring, which literally carpet the earth with an overlapping- 

It is a wonderful thought that upon every one of these 
countless millions of little flowers that clothe the fields Nature 
has bestowed such care that each is a masterpiece in itself. 


Erigeron Philadelphicus, L. Sunflower Family. 

Hairy, perennial herbs. Stems. — One to three feet high; leafy to 
the top. Root-leaves. — Spatulate or obovate. Stem-leaves. — Oblong; 
sessile, with broad clasping base; irregularly toothed. Flower-heads. 
— In a loose corymb. Disks. — Yellow; three or four lines across. 
Rays. — Innumerable; very narrow; flesh-color to rose-purple; about 
three lines long. Hab. — Widely distributed on the Pacific and Atlantic 

The feathery, daisy-like flowers of the common fleabane 
are of frequent occurrence in moist meadows or along the road- 
sides in spring. The ray-flowers are so narrow as to form a 
delicate fringe around the disk. 

The common name arose from the belief that these plants 
were harmful to fleas. 


GROUND-PINK — C(7/o dt 



Chorizanthe staticoides^ Benth. Buckwheat Family. 

A foot high or more, with widely spreading branches. Leaves.— 
All radical; oblong; obtuse; twelve to thirty lines long, including 
petioles. Involucres. — Loosely clustered; sessile; one-flowered; cam- 
panulate; with six bristle-like teeth. Perianth. — Pink; two lines long; 
six-lobed; not fringed. Stamens. — Mostly nine; on the perianth. 
tTz'ary.^- One-celled. Styles three. Stigmas capitate. Hab. — From 
Monterey to San Diego. 

In late spring the dry, open hills of the south are over- 
run with the soft lavender of the Chorizanthe, The flowers are 
small, but the whole plant is purplish, and the stems are quite 
as productive of color as the blossoms. In fact, the whole 
plant seems to consist of a scraggly interlacement of slender 
branches and small flowers, as the leaves, which nestle close to 
the ground, are not very noticeable. " 


Erythrcea venusta. Gray. Gentian Family. 

Six inches to two feet high. Leaves. — Six to twelve lines long; pale 
apple-green. Calyx. — ^.Usually five-parted. Corolla. — Bright pink, 
with yellow or white center; an inch or so across. Stamens. — Five; 
anthers spirally twisted after shedding the pollen. Ovary. — One- 
celled Style slender. Stigmas two. Hab. — From Plumas County 
southward; more abundant southward. 

Just as our attention has been called afresh to the fields by 
the sudden appearance of the ** golden stars," or Bloomeria, 
in late spring, we find, as we stoop to gather them, a charming 
pink flower nestHng close to the earth amid the g^rasses. 
Though low of stature, these firstlings of the season atone for 
it by brilliancy of color, and their pink blossoms have a jjecu- 
liarly clean, fresh, wide-awake appearance, reminding one of a 
rosy -faced country wench. 

While enjoying their bright beauty, we do not for a mo- 
ment suspect that we are paying homage to the famous **can- 
chalagua'' of the Spanish -Califomians. No well-regulated 
household among these people is without bundles of these 
^-^-^s strung upon the rafters — for they are considered by them 


C AUCH/iLAGV A— Erylhra 


an indispensable remedy for fevers; also, an excellent bitter 
tonic, and are said to possess rare antiseptic properties. 


Malvastrum Thurberi^ Gray. Mallow Family. 

Shrubby at base; three to fifteen feet high; densely tomentose. 
Leaves. — An inch or two across; thick. Flowers. — Clustered in the 
axils of the leaves; or in an interrupted naked spike. Calyx. — Five- 
lobed; with one to three bractlets. Petals. — Five, about six lines long; 
rose-purple. 5/a/«^«5.— United in a column. Ovaries. — Numerous; 
united in a ring. Styles united at base. Stigmas capitate. Hab. — 
The southern Coast Ranges and islands of the Coast. 

Upon the mesas of the south we often see a shrubby mem- 
ber of the mallow family, with long, wandlike branches orna- 
mented with closely set, pink flowers, of delicate texture and 
pleasant perfume. This is the false mallow. It is a very hand- 
some and noticeable shrub when in full bloom. The anthers 
are golden brown, and the stigmas are spherical instead of fili- 
form. Upon the seashore it blooms much earlier than in the 
valleys inland. 


Mesembryanthemum cequilaterale^ Haworth. Fig-marigold Family. 

Succulent plants. Stems. — Elongating; forming large mats. Leaves. 
— Opposite; sessile; fleshy; three-angled; two inches or more long; 
oblong. Flowers. — Terminal; solitary; fifteen lines to two inches 
across; pink. Calyx. — With top-shaped tube and five-lobed border. 
Petals. — Very numerous; linear. ►S'/diw^wj.— Innumerable. Ovary.— 
Four- to twenty-celled. Stigmas six to ten. //izd.— The Coast, from 
Point Reyes southward. 

The fig-marigold is a very common plant upon our sea- 
shore. It seems to flourish best toward the south, where it 
covers large tracts of sand with its succulent foliage, making 
mats of pleasant verdure in otherwise sandy wastes. Its stems 
often trail many yards down the cliffs, making beautiful natu- 
ral draperies, decked with myriads of the pink blossoms. 
Because it is capable of withstanding the drouth in the most 
remarkable manner, it has been planted to produce verdure 


FALSE M ALLOW — Mahiailnm Thurb, 


where irrigation is impossible. The very numerous slender 
petals give the flower the appearance at first sight of a Com- 
posita. The fruit is pulpy and fiill of very small seeds, like 
the fig, and has a suggestion of the flavor of the Isabella grape. 
Many species of Mesembryanthemum are cultivated in our 
gardens, mostly as border-plants. The genus is a large one, 
most of the species being native of Southern Africa, and it is 
supposed that the three species now common upon our Coast 
were introduced in the remote past without the agency of man. 

Gilia androsacea, Steud. Phlox or Polemonium Family. 

Stefns. — Three to twelve inches high; erect; spreading. Leaves,— 
Opposite; sessile; palmately five- to seven-parted; seemingly whorled. 
Flowers,— In terminal clusters. Corolla. — Salver-shaped; rose-pink, 
lilac, or white, with a yellow or dark throat; its tube filiform, about an 
inch long; limb eight to ten lines across. Filaments and style slender; 
exserted. (See Gilia.) Hab. — Throughout the western part of the 
State; into the Sierra foothills. 

The delicate flowers of this little plant may be found nes- 
tiing amid the grasses of dry hill-slopes in late spring, often 
making charming bits of color. It is usually rather a low 
plant, but in specially favorable situations it rises to a foot in 
height. Its fragile flowers vary from pure white to lilac and a 
lovely rose-pink, and look like small phloxes. 

Mimulus Douglasii^ Gray. Figwort Family. 

Flowering at half an inch high; later becoming a span high. Leaves. 
— Ovate or oblong; three- to five-nerved at base; narrowed into a 
short petiole. Flowers. — Rich maroon, with deeper color in the throat 
and some yellow below. Calyx. — Five-toothed. Corolla. — An inch 
to eighteen lines long; with dilated throat. Lower lip much shorter 
than the ample, erect, upper one; sometimes almost wanting. (See 
Mtmulus. ) Hab. —Throughout California. 

This little Mimulus is quite common upon gravelly or 
stony hills. Its pert little maroon flowers, with their very 
long tubes and erect lobes, so ridiculously out of proportion 
to the size of the tiny plant, give it the look of some very 
important small personage. 




LeTvisia rediviva, Pursh. Purslane Family. 

Root, — ^Very thick. Leaves. — Clustered; linear-oblong; one or two 
inches long. Scapes. — One-flowered; one or two inches long; jointed 
in the middle, with a whorl of five to seven scarious bracts at the joinL 
Sepals. — Six to eight; six to nine lines long; scarious-margined. Petals. 
— Twelve to fifteen; rose-color, sometimes white; oblong; eight to six- 
teen lines long; rotately spreading in sunshine. Stamens. — Forty or 
more. Ovary. — One-celled. Style three- to eight-parted nearly to the 
base. Hab. — The mountains of California, northward and eastward. 

Within our borders this little plant is not abundant, but 
must be sought upon mountain heights. Formerly it was sup- 
posed not to occur south of Mt. Diablo, but it has since been 
found in the mountains of the southern part of the State and 
at intermediate points. It is very abundant in Montana, where 
it has been adopted as the State flower. 

The plants are very small, being but an inch or two high, 
but the flowers are handsome and showy, and the delicate, 
rose-colored corollas, which are often two inches across, are of 
an exquisite silken texture. The root is remarkably large and 
thick for so small a plant, and it contains a nutritious, farina- 
ceous matter, much esteemed by the Indians for food. Among 
them it is known as **spat'lum,*' and they gather large quan- 
tities of it, which they store in bags for future use. 

This was the **racine-amere," or ** bitter-root," of the 
early French settlers. It is also known as ** tobacco-root," 
because when boiled it has a tobacco-like odor. 

The specific name, rediviva, was bestowed because of the 
wonderful vitaUty of these plants. It is known upon good 
authority that specimens which had been drying for two years 
in an herbarium continued to produce leaves, and at last, when 
taken out and planted, went on growing and blossomed! 

This genus is an exception to the other members of the 
Purslane family, in having more than two sepals. 




Opuntia dasilaris, var, ramosa, Parish. Cactus FamDy. 

Low; spreading; branching freely above. Joints. — Flat; smooth; 
without large spines, but with close tufts of minute bristles; obovate or 
fan-shaped; five to eight inches long; nearly as wide at the top. Flouh 
ers. — Large; brilliant rose-magenta; two or three inches long. Fruit. 
—Dry; sub-globose. (Flower-structure as in O. En^eltnanni,) Hab. 
—The southern deserts and San Bernardino Mountains. 

In the arid regions of the southern interior, thb Opuntia is 
a very common one, and its large, brilliant rose-magenta 
flowers attract the attention wherever seen. They are very 
tempting blossoms, and it is hard to resist them, even though 
we know the penalty will be the conversion of thumbs and 
fingers into pin-cushions for innumerable, minute, tormenting 


Symphoricarpos racemosus^ Michx. Honeysuckle Family. 

Shrubs two to four feet high. Leaves, — Opposite; short-petioled; 
cuneate to oblong; entire or lobed; nine to eighteen lines long. Flow- 
ers.— Sm2XL\ mostly in terminal clusters. Calyx. — Adnate to uie ovary; 
with five-toothed border. Corolla. — Campanulate; five-lobed; three 
lines long; waxen; pinkish; very hairy within. Stamens. — Five; on 
the corolla. Ovary. — Four-celled. Berries. — Waxen- white; six lines 
in diameter. Hab. — Widely distributed. 

In early winter the pure- white clusters of the snow -berry, 
on their almost leafless stems, make flecks of light through 
the dun woods. At this season of few woodland attractions, 
these berries, together with the trailing sprays of the fragrant 
yerba buena and the long graceful leaves of the iris, are about 
the only trophies to be obtained upon a walk. In early spring, 
when their slender twigs first begin to leaf out, these little 
shrubs are among the most delicate and airy of growing things, 
and make a tender veil of green through the shadowy wood- 
land. The blossoms, which arrive rather late, are inconspicuous. 




Lavatera assurgentiflara^ Kell. Mallow Family. 

Shrubs, — Six to fifteen feet high. Leaves. — Three to nine inches 
across. Flowers. — Pink, veined with maroon. Calyx. — Five-cleft, 
with an involucel below, like a second calyx. Petals. — Twelve to 
eighteen lines long. Filximents. — Numerous; united in a column. 
Styles. — Numerous; filiform. Carpels.— One-se^ed, in a ring around 
an axis; separating at maturity, //ad.— The islanck off the Coast; 
cultivated on the mainland north to Mendocino County. 

The Lavaieras are Old -World plants, with the exception 
of a few species which are natives of the islands of our southern 
coast. In the early days the Padres planted the above species 
(Z. assurgentiflord) plentifully around the old Missions, and 
thence it has spread and become spontaneous in many locali- 
ties. It can be seen in San Francisco, planted as wind-break 
hedges about the market-gardens, where it thrives luxuriantly 
as long as it is protected from cattle. 

The leaves and twigs abound in mucilage, and are very 
fattening and nutritious food for sheep and cattie, who are very 
fond of it. 


Lonicera hispidula^ Dougl. Honeysuckle Family. 

Woody; climbing and twining. Leaves. — Opposite; short-petioled; 
oval; pale; one to three inches lon^; the upper pairs uniting around 
the stem. Flowers. — Pink; in spikes of several whorls. Calyx. — 
Minute; growing to the ovary; border five-toothed. Corolla. — Tubu- 
lar; six lines to an inch long; bilabiate; the lips strongly revolute; the 
upper four-lobed, the lower entire. Stamens. — Five; much exserted. 
Ovary. — ^Two- or three-celled. Style slender. Stigma capitate. Ber- 
ries. — Scarlet; translucent. Hab. — Throughout the State. 

In early summer the climbing honeysuckle with its pale 
foliage flings its long arms over neighboring trees and shrubs, 
showing glimpses here and there of small pinkish flowers. But 
it is far more noticeable in the fall, when its long pendulous 
branches are laden with the fine clusters of translucent, orange- 
red berries. It is quite variable and has many forms, which 
are all considered varieties of the one species. 


TREE-MALLOW — Lanittm aisurgtnlijlora 





Orthocarpus purpurascens^ Benth. Figwort Family. 

y. ^^ Stems, — Six to twelve inches high. Leaves, — ^Variously parted into 

f^' filiform divisions. Bracts. — About equaling the flowers; tipped with 

^^" ^J crimson or pale pink. Corolla.— Myosin an inch long; the lower lip 

^ J ^ only moderately mflated and three-saccate; the upper lone, hooked, 

^ bearded, crimson. Stigma. — Large. (See OrthhcarpusT) Hab.— 

Widely distributed. 

The bright-magenta tufts of the pink paint-brush are often 
so abundant that they give the country a purplish hue for miles 
at a stretch. The Spanish-Califomians have a pretty name for 
these blossoms, calling them **escobitas,*' meaning *' little 

O. densiflorus^ Benth., is a very similar species; but its 
corolla has a straight upper lip, without hairs. 


Clarkia eleganSy Dougl. Evening-Primrose Family. 

Stems. — One to six feet high; simple or branching. Leaves. — Al- 
ternate; broadly ovate to linear; dentate; an inch or more long. Pet- 
als. — About nine lines long; with long, slender claws and rhomboidal 
blades; pink. Stamens. — Eight; all perfect. Filaments with a hairy 
scale at base. Stigma. — Four-lobed. Capsule. — Six to nine lines long; 
sessile. (Otherwise as C r^«^f««a.) Hab. — Widely distributed. 

This plant is a very common one along our dusty roadsides 
in early summer, and it shows a facility in adapting itself to 
quite a range of climate and condition. It grows from six 
inches to six feet high, is nearly smooth or quite hairy, and 
has rather large flowers or quite small ones. Its scarlet stamens, 
purple-pink petals, and often deeper purple sepals make an odd 
combination of color. It often grows in showy masses, mak- 
ing patches of glowing color under the shade of trees. 



Eiuucaip iDDdi fannclied, spior ^Mnts. fbor to seven feet high. 
.— Widi from ooe to three leaflets^ Z/s/fe£sL— Three to nine 
fines long, Flamers^ — Xa^entahcolofed; solitary; sessile; seven to 
nine fines loo^ pnpif inn A e o iBfc . Sa a m eus. — ^AD ten distinct. Pod.— 
One-ceiled; two iocbes loof^. /^a6.— The Coast Ranges, from Lake 
CoonljtoSan Diego^ 

Upoo wild mountain-slopes where are heard the fluting 
notes of a certain shy bird that lardy comes near habitations, 
the chapanal pea c^en makes dense, impenetrable thickets. 
It would be impossiUe to mistake it ix any other shrub, with 
its solitary magenta-cc^<Hed pea-blossoms, which c^en cover 
the bushes with a mass of aAox. Its gn:en branchlets terminate 
in long, rigid spines, which are often dothed with small leaves 
nearly to the end. 

Woe to him who tries to penetrate the chsquurral when it is 
composed o^ this formidable and uncompromising shrub! The 
result is quite likely to be a humiliating progress upon hands 
and knees before he can extricate himself, probably with torn 
garments and scratched visage. 


SUuhys bullata, Benth. Mint Family. 

Rot^h, pubescent herbs. Stem. — ^Ten to eighteen inches h^h; 
four-angled« Leaves. — Opposite; ovate or ovate-oUong; cordate; 
coarsely crenate; wrinkly veined; petioled; an inch or two long. 
Flowers. — Pinkish; in a narrow, interrupted spike. Calyx. — Five- 
cleft. Corolla. — Eight lines long; bilabiate. Upper lip erect; lower 
deflexed, of three unequal lobes, spotted with purple. Stamens. — Four. 
Filaments hairy. Anthers divergently ti^-o-celled. Ovary. — Of four 
seedlike nutlets. Style filiform. Stigma two-cleft. Hah. — Throughout 
the State. 

The hedge-nettles are common weeds, of which we have 
several species. S, bullata^ so called on account of its leaves, 
which look as though blistered, is the most wide-spread. It is 
quite variable in aspect, and we are constantly meeting it in 


CHAPARRAL PEA -Pici/ringia 


new guises and being deceived into believing it something finer 
than it really is, through some subde change in its usually 
homely little pink flowers. 


Brodiaa volubilis. Baker. Lily Family. 

Coated corm about one inch in diameter. Leaves, — ^All radical; 
broadly linear; a foot or more long. Scape, — Twining; two to even 
twelve feet long; naked. Umbel, — Many-flowered. Perianth. — Five 
to eight lines long; rose-color without, whitish within. Stamens. — 
Three; alternating with three notched staminodia. Filaments winged; 
very short Ovary. — ^Three-celled. Style short. Stigma capitate. 
Syn. — Stropholirion Californicum^ Torr. Hab, — Sierra foothills, from 
Mariposa County northward. 

In this plant we see the Broduea disporting itself in a very 
odd manner, having vinelike aspirations. It produces several 
long leaves, which lie prostrate upon the ground, and then the 
stem puts in its appearance and commences a wonderful series 
of evolutions not to be outdone by any contortionist It twists 
and clambers and climbs, reaching a height of five or six feet, 
often having expended twice that amount of stem in its convo- 

During this remarkable process, which consiunes from two 
to four weeks, the terminal bud has remained dormant But 
it now commences to grow, and in a couple of weeks the 
flower-cluster is complete in all its beauty. It is sometimes six 
inches across. 

It often happens that before the flower has blossomed, the 
stem is broken off" at the ground. Strangely enough, this 
seems not to matter at all, for it grows on and perfects its 
flowers just as though nothing had occurred. People often 
bring the stem indoors and allow it to climb up over the cur- 
tains, where they can watch the interesting process of its 



TWINING HWClNTH-^Brodiira Doiuiiii. 



Rhododendron Californicutn^ Hook. Heath Family. 

Evergreen shrubs three to fifteen feet high. Leaves, — Four to six 
inches long; leathery. /%wc^^rj.— Rose-pink; in large clusters. Calyx, 
— Small; ^^dth rounded lobes. Corollu, — Broadly campanulate; two 
inches or so across; slightly irregular; with wavy, margined lobes; the 
upper spotted within. Stamens, — About equalmg the corolla. Style 
crimson. Stigma funnel-form. (Otherwise as R. ocddentale,) Iiab, 
— From British Columbia to Marin County. 

In our northern counties the rugged mountain-sides are 
often densely covered with the lovely rose-bay, which in early 
summer presents an appearance it would be impossible to rivaL 
When the foliage, which is very rich in both quality and hue, 
is thickly massed with the great glowing flower-clusters, the 
sight is worth a pilgrimage to see. It is a shrub so beautiful, 
we marvel it is not generally cultivated in gardens. 

The bees are very fond of the blossoms, but popular tradi- 
tion ascribes a poisonous quality to the honey made from them. 

We have noticed no perfume in these flowers, but the 
leaves are often quite pleasantly fragrant 


Rosa Californica, Cham, and Schlecht Rose Family, 

Erect shrubs three to eight feet high. Prickles few; stout; recurved; 
mostly in pairs beneath the entire stipules. Leaves. — ^Alternate; pin- 
nate; with five to seven leaflets. Leaflets, — Ovate or oblong; serrate. 
Flowers, — Few to many in clusters; pale-pink. Calyx, — With urn- 
shaped tube and five-cleft border, whose lobes are foliaceously tipped. 
Petals. — Five; six to nine lines long. Stamens, —Very numerous. 
Ovaries, — Several; bony; in, but free from, the calyx-tube. Hips. — 
Many; four or five lines through. Hab, — From San Diego to Oregon. 

The wild rose is one of the few flowers that blooms cheer- 
fully through the long summer days, lavishing its beautiful 
clusters of deliciously fragrant flowers as freely along the dusty 
roadside as in the more secluded thicket. In autumn it often 
seems inspired to a special luxuriance of blossoming, and it 
lingers to greet the asters and mingle its pink flowers and 
brilliant scarlet hips with their delicate lilacs. 


CALIFORNIAN ROSE-BAV ~ Xkgdodtiidron Cali/Bmicim. 


y R, gymnocarpa^ Nutt., **the redwood-rose," is exquisitely 
dainty. This is found in shady places under the trees. It 
.^ blooms earlier than the common species, and is neither so 
abundant nor so fragrant . Its flowers are barely an inch 
across and of a bright pink. The prickles are straight, and 
the calyx-lobes are without leafy tips, while the leaflets are 
small and shapely. 


Clarkia concinna (F. and M.), Greene. Evening-Primrose Famfly. 

Stems. — Several inches to two feet high. Leaves, — One or two 
inches long. Flowers. — Axillary; sessile; parts in fours. Calyx, — 
Red-pink; tube an inch or more long. Petals. — Rose-pink; six lines 
to over an inch long. Oz/ary.— Four-celled. Syn. — Eucharidiutn 
concinnum, Fisch. and Mey. Hab. — The Coast Ranges, from Santa 
Barbara to Mendocino County. 

In June these charming blossoms may be found in the com- 
pany of the maidenhair fern fringing the banks of shady roads, 
or standing in glowing masses under the buckeye-trees. In 
them nature has ventured upon one of those rather daring 
color combinations of which we would have hardly dreamed, 
and the result is delightful. The petals are bright rose-pink, 
while the sepals are of a red pink. 


Apocynum androscetnifoliutny L. Dogbane Family. 

Erect; one to three feet high; spreading. Leaves, — Opposite; 
short-petioled; ovate or roundish; an inch or two long. Flowers. — 
Clustered; pink. Ca/y^.— Five-cleft. Corolla. — Campanulate; three 
or four lines long; with five revolute lobes; having a small scale at base, 
opposite each lobe. Stamens. — Five; on the corolla. Filaments short. 
Anthers erect around the stigma. Style none. Ovaries, — ^Two; 
becoming a pair of long pods. Seeds silky-tufted. Hah, — Widely 
distributed in the United States. 

The small pink flowers of the spreading dogbane may be 
found all through the summer, often upon our driest hillsides. 
The shapely little blossoms are of a flesh-tint without, richly 
veined with deeper pink within, and quite fragrant. The plants 



have a milky juice and a tough fiber in the stem, similar to 
that in the American-Indian hemp. The plant was formerly 
supposed to be poisonous to dogs, from which fact it received 
its generic name, which translated gives the common English 
name, ** dogbane.*' It is used in medicine as a remedy for 
rheumatic gout. The very long pods seem absurdly out of 
proportion to the small flowers. 

A, cannabinum, L., the American-Indian hemp, is also found 
within our borders, but it grows along stream -banks and in 
marshy places. It has oblong, pointed leaves, and small 
greenish -white flowers, only two lines long, whose close cylin- 
drical corollas hardly surpass the calyx. The yellowish-brown 
bark of this plant is very tough and fibrous, and at the same 
time soft and silky. Our Indians have always found it of the 
utmost value in the making of ropes, lariats, nets, mats, baskets, 
etc. , and before the coming of the white man they even made 
certain articles of clothing of it. A tincture made from the 
root is a recognized drug in the pharmacopoeia. Professor 
Thouin, of Paris, says that a permanent dye may be obtained 
from a decoction of it, which is brown or black, according to 
the mordant used. 


Brodicsa coccinea. Gray. Lily Family. 

Leaves, — Grasslike, a foot or two long. Scape. — One to three feet 
hi^h; six- to fifteen-flowered. Perianth. — An inch or two long; rich 
crimson; the limb of six green or yellowish oblong lobes. Stamens. — 
Three; on the perianth. Filaments adnate to its tube. Anther tips 
exserted. Staminodia. — Three; broad; short; white; on the throat of 
the perianth, alternating with the stamens. Ovary. — Three-celled. 
Style exserted. Stigma three-lobed. Syn.—Brevoortia coccinea, Wats. 
JEiab. — The mountains from Mendocino County to Shasta County. 

When our northern valleys have become parched by the 
first heat of summer, many beautiful flowers are still to be 
found in deep cafton retreats, where the streams, overarched 
by great shadowing oaks, gush downward through leafy copses 
of hazelwood and thimble-berry by beds of moss and fern. 


FLOWER— Brodia 


Upon the walls of such charming gorges the firecracker flower 
rears its slender stem and shakes out its bunch of brilliant crim- 
son blossoms. These are a prophetic symbol of our national 
holiday rather than an aid to its celebration — for they have 
often passed away before the Fourth of July. 


Godetia viminea^ Spach. Evening-Primrose Family. 

Stems. — One to three feet high; sometimes stout. Leaves. — Linear 
to linear-lanceolate; entire; an inch or two long; distant. Flowers. — 
Nodding in the bud. Calyx-tube. — Two to four lines long. Petals. — 
Deep rose-color, sometimes yellowish at base with a dark spot; nine 
to fifteen lines long. Capsules. — Smoothish; eight to eighteen lines 
long; its sides two-ribbed; sessile or short-pediceled. (See Godetia.) 
Hob. — From the Columbia River southward to Ventura. 

In early summer the rosy flowers of this Godetia make 
bright masses of color along dry banks and hill-slopes. Its 
blossoms are very variable as to marking. Sometimes the 
petals have a bright crimson blotch at the base and sometimes 
they are without it, both forms often occurring upon the same 
plant. In some seasons all the flowers are without the blotch. 

G. grandiflora, Lindl., found in Humboldt and Mendocino 
Counties, is probably the most showy species we have. The 
plants are a foot or two high and covered all over with the 
wonderful flowers, which are often four inches across. These 
are delicate pink, blotched with rich crimson. 

G. Bottcs^ Spach. , is an exquisite species found in the Coast 
Ranges, from Monterey to San Diego. Its very slender stems 
lift the fragile, satiny cups above the dried grasses in charming 
companies. These blossoms also vary much. Among the 
prettiest forms is one which is pale rose or lilac, blending to 
white at the center, delicately striate with purple-dotted lines, 
and having a rich purple spot in the center. This often grows 
with the lilac butterfly-tulip, Calochortus spiendens^ and at a 
little distance is so similar, it is diiificult to distinguish it from the 
lily. But the lily rarely or never grows in throngs. The cap- 
sules of this species have pedicels from three to nine lines long. 





Dicentra formosa^ DC. Bleeding-heart Family. 

Leaves. — Temately dissected, with toothed leaflets. Scapes. — Six 
inches to two feet high/ Flowers. — Rose-colored to pale pink, some- 
times almost white or yellowish; nodding. (Floral structure as in /?. 
chrysantha.) Hab. — The Coast Ranges and Sierras, from Middle 
California to British Columbia. 

The bleeding-heart is a rather shy flower, and never makes 
itself common enough to dull our enthusiasm for it It fiiUy 
merits its specific name, for it is a plant of elegant form 
throughout, from its shapely divided leaves to its graceful clus- 
ters of pendent hearts. It is found in the woods of our Coast 
Ranges, but may be seen to best advantage when nestling amid 
the lush grasses of Sierra meadows. 


Saxifraga peltata^ Torr. Saxifrage Family. 

Root stock. — Thick; creeping. Leaves. — Radical; long-petioled; a 
foot or more across when mature; nine- to fourteen-lol^d; centrally 
depressed. Scapes. — One to three feet high. Calyx. — Five-lobed. 
Petals. — Five; roundish; three lines or more long; purplish-pink. Sta- 
mens, — Ten. Ovaries. — Two; distinct. Stigmas capitate or reniform. 
Hab. — The Sierras, from Mariposa County to Mt. Shasta; also Mendo- 
cino County. 

Upon the borders of our swift-flowing mountain streams, 
where the water-ouzel flies up and down all day, sometimes 
filling the air with melody as he passes, may be seen the large 
lotus-like leaves of this great Saxifrage. They stand with their 
dark, warm stems in the water; or, poising upon the brink, 
they lean gracefully over it, making myriad reflections in the 
brown depths below, while every passing breeze awakens a 
quick response among them. 

Early in the season, before the coming of the leaves, these 
plants send up tall stems with dense, branching clusters of 
handsome purplish-pink flowers. The leaves, small at first, 
continue to grow until late summer, when they have reached 


BLEEDING-HEART -i)iMii/'a/o"T.on 


their perfection; after which they begin to deepen into the 
richest of autumn hues. 

This plant is commonly called "Indian rhubarb," because 
the Indians are extravagandy fond of the stalks of the leaves 
and flowers. It is now cultivated in Eastern gardens. 


EpUobium spicatum. Lam. Evenii^-Primrose Family. 

Stems. — Often four to seven feet high. Leaves, — ^Scattered; willow- 
like. Flowers. — Purplish-pink; an inch or more across. Calyx-tube. 
— Linear; limb four-parted; often colored. Stamens. — Eight. Anthers 
purplish. Ovary. — Four-celled. Seeds silky-tufted. Syn. — 
gusti/olium^ L. Hab. — The Sierras; eastward to the Atlantic; also in 
the North Coast mountains. Found also in Europe and Asia. 

This plant has received one of its English names, because 
its leaves are like those of the willow and its seeds are fur- 
nished with silken down, like the fluff on the wiDow. 

It is oiu- finest and most showy species of Epilohium^ and is 
also found in the Eastern States, where it is still known by a 
former name — E, angustifolium.^ L. Owing to the &ct that 
it grows with special luxuriance in spots which have been 
recentiy burned over, it is commonly known as "fireweed*' 
It may be found in perfection in the Sierras in August, where 
its great spikes of large pink flowers make showy masses of 
color along the streams and through the meadows, command- 
ing our warmest admiration. 

In the fall the tall, pliant, widely branching stems of the 
''autumn willow-herb*' — E. paniculatuniy Nutt-:— stand every- 
where by the roadside. The small pink flowers, half an inch 
across, terminate the almost leafless stems, and later are re- 
placed by the dry, curled remains of the opened capsules and 
the feathery down of the escaping seeds. 


GREAT WILLOW-HERB — £^i/a«i'>nn i/ici 


\ - 


Bryanthus Breweri^ Gray. Heath Family. 

Dwarf evergreens; six inches to a foot high; woody. Leaves, — 
Alternate; linear; three to seven lines long. Flowers, — Purplish-rose; 
on glandular pedicels. Calyx. — Five-toothed; small. Corolla. — 
Saucer-shaped; six lines or so across. Stamens. — Seven to ten. 
Anthers two-celled; opening terminally. Ovary, — Five-celled. Style 
slender. Stigma capitate. Hab, — The High Sierras. 

This little plant, to which Mr. Muir fondly alludes in his 
charming book, **The Mountains of California,** may be found 
blooming in July and August in the Sierras. Sometimes it 
nestles in rocky crevices in the cool drip of the snow-banks, 
and again it ventures boldly out into the openings, where it 
spreads its rich carpet, covered with a wealth of rosy bloom. 
From the abundance of this litde heathling about its shores, 
one of our mountain lakes has received the name of "Heather 

Silene GalHca, L. Pink Family. 

Hairy. Stems. — Generally several. Leaves, — Spatulate; six to 
eighteen lines long. Flowers. — In terminal, one-sided racemes; 
four or five lines long; short-pediceled. Petals, — Pale rose-color or 
almost white; barely exceeding the calyx. (Flower-structure as in .S. 


This little weed has come to us from Europe, and it is now 
so widely distributed, both near the sea and inland, that it is 
hard to believe it is not native. The slender racemes are from 
two to four inches long, and the littie flowers vary from white 
to pale pink. They can boast none of the showy beauty of 
their relatives, the Indian pink and the Yerba del Indio. 


ALPINE HEATHER— BtyaHlhvs Briwcr, 





Phlox Douglasii, Hook. Phlox or Polemonium Family. 

Plants forming cushion-like tufts; three or four inches high. Leaves. 

— Needle-like; six lines or less long; with shorter ones crowded in the 
axils. Flowers,— Pink, lilac, or white; sessile; terminating the branch- 
lets. Calyx, — Five-cleft 6br<7//a. -Salver-form; with five-lobed bor- 
der. Stamens,— ¥\VQ\ on the tube of the corolla. Ovary.— Thxt^ 
celled. Style three-lobed. Holy, — The Sierras, from Mariposa County 
northward and eastward. 

This delightful little flower may be found in the Sierras at 
an altitude of from five to ten thousand feet. It loves the open 
sunshine of the cool mountain heights, and with its cushiony 
tufts clothes many a bit of granite soil with beauty. It seems 
undaunted by its stern surroundings, and lifts its innocent eyes 
confidingly to the skies which bend gently over it — those skies 

"So fathomless and pure, as if 
All loveliest azure things have gone 
To heayen that way — the flowers, the sea, — 
And left their color there alone.** 


Mimulus Letuisii^ Pursh. Figwort Family. 

Stems. — Slender; eighteen inches or so high. Leaves, — Sessile; 
oblong-ovate to lanceolate; denticulate; somewhat viscid. Peduncles. 

— Elongated. Corolla. — 'Eighteen lines to two inches long; with tube 
exceeding the calyx and five ample spreading ciliate lobes; rose-color 
or paler, with usually a darker stripe down 9ie center of each lobe. 
Ridges of lower lobe yellow and spotted; bearded. Stamens. — In- 
cluded. rSee Mimulus.) Hah. — ^The Sierras, from Central California 
northward and eastward to Montana. 

One of the most beautiful of all our monkey-flowers is this 
charming species, which is found along the cold streams of the 
Sierras. Its large flowers have a fragile, delicate look, and the 
light stems and leaves are of an exquisite green. 

I remember coming upon a delightful company of these 
blossoms, in a little emerald meadow upon the margin of one 
of those alpine lakelets which nestle among the granite crags. 
They seemed the most fitting flowers for just such a high, pure 


ALPINE PHLOX — /"A/oi Douglass 



Primula suffrutescens^ Gray. Primrose Family. 

Leaves. — ^Wedge-shaped, an inch or so long; clustered at the ends 
of the branches. Flower-stems. — Several inches hieh. Umbel several- 
flowered. Calyx. — Five-cleft. Corolla. — Salver-shaped; an inch or 
less across; deep rose-color, with a yellow eye. Stamens. — High on 
the corolla-throat opposite its lobes. Ovary, — One-celled. Style slen- 
der. Hab. — The Sierras. 

If one takes his alpenstock in hand and climbs to the snow- 
line in late summer, he is apt to be rewarded by the charming 
flowers of the Sierra primrose. The little plants grow in the 
drip of the snow-banks, where the melting ice gradually liber- 
ates the tufts of evergreen leaves. The glowing flowers look 
as though they might have caught and held the last rosy reflec- 
tion of the sunset upon the snow above them. 


Pentstemon Menziesiiy var. Newherryi^ Gray. Figwort Family. 

Stems. S\y. inches to a foot high; woody at base. Leaves. — 
Ovate, obovate, or oblong; an inch or less lone; leathery. Peduncles. 
— Usually one-flowered, forming a short, glandular-pubescent raceme. 
Corolla. — Bright rose-pink; an inch long. Anthers. — White- woolly; 
with divergent cells. (See Pentstemon.) Hab. — The High Sierras of 
Central California. 

This charming Pentstemon is one of the most gracious 
flowers to be found in the Sierras in late summer. Upon 
banks overhanging the streams, or growing at great heights 
under the open sky, it makes many a rock-shelf gay with its 
brilliant pink blossoms. 

We wonder how it can possibly subsist upon the hard, glit- 
tering granite; but there the mystery of its life continues from 
day to day, and there it cheerfully produces its masses of 
bright flowers, which gladden the weary climber to these 
snowy heights. 

This species of Pentstemon is well marked by its white- 
woolly anthers, which almost fill the throat. Northward it 
passes into the typical P. Menziesiiy which has flowers from 
violet-blue to pink-purple. 


SIERRA PRIMROSE— /"mwh/o in^™, 



Lessingia leptoclada^ Gray. Composite Family. 

Finely white- woolly. Stems. — From a few inches to two feet high, 
with numerous, almost filiform branchlets* bearing few or solitary heads 
of pink or white flowers. Lower leaves. — Spatulate; sparingly toothed; 
withering early. Upper /^az/^j. —Lanceolate, or linear and entire; ses- 
sile; uppermost diminished into remote, subulate bracts. Heads. - 
Five- to twenty-flowered. Of tubular disk-flowers only. Outer flow- 
ers much larger. Involucre. — Silky hairy; broadly campanulate; with 
imbricated, appressed bracts. Hab. — Wide-spread. 

In late summer the pink Lessingia is apparent along dry 
roadsides or embankments, where its blossoms make charming 
masses of soft color. It is quite abundant in the Yosemite, 
especially in the lower end of the valley. 

L. Germanorum^ Cham., found plentifully from San Diego 
to San Francisco, has yellow flowers. 


Pedicularis Grognlandica^ Retz. Figwort Family. 

Stems. — ^Tall and slender; smooth. Leaves. — Alternate; lanceolate 
in outline; pinnately parted into linear-lanceolate, serrate divisions; 
diminishing upward into the flower-bracts. Flowers. — Pink; in a dense 
spike several inches long. Calyx. — Five-toothed. Corolla. — With 
short tube and bilabiate limb. Upper lip with a long beak, like an ele- 
phant's trunk; lower three-lobed, deflexed. Stamens. — Four. Fila- 
ments and style filiform; sheathed in the beak. Ovary. — ^Two-celled. 
Hab. — The Sierras from King's River northward; and eastward to 
Hudson's Bay. 

No more curious flower could be found than this little deni- 
zen of our alpine meadows. Its tall pink spikes attract one 
from a distance, and astonish one upon nearer acquaintance by 
the wonderful resemblance of their blossoms to many small 
elephants' heads. The forehead, the long ears hanging at the 
sides of the head, and the long, slender, curving trunk are all 
perfectly simulated. 

These flowers have a pleasant perfume. 

Another species — P. attollens^ Gray — often found growing 
with the above, is similar to it in general structure, but its 
leaves are more dissected, its flower-spike is rather woolly, and 
its beak is only two or three lines long. These blossoms bear 
no resemblance to the elephant 


LESSINGIA— /-!Ji'«*"i '«/"£ 



Epilobiutn obcordatutn^ Gray. Evening-Primrose Family. 

Stems, — Decumbent; three to five inches long. Leaves, — Oppo- 
site; ovate; sessile; four to ten lines long. Flowers. — One to five; 
bright rose-pink; over an inch across. Calyx. — ^With linear tube and 
four-cleft limb. Petals.— Four; erect and spreading; obcordate. Sta- 
mens. — Eight; four shorter. Filaments slender; exserted. Ovary.— 
Linear, four-celled. Style filiform; much exserted. Stigma four-lobed. 
Seeds silky-tufted. Hab. — The Sierras fi'om Tulare County northward. 

Though low of stature, this little willow-herb is a charming 
plant, with large rosy flowers. At an elevation of eight thou- 
sand feet or more in the mountains, it nestles amid the rocks, 
fringing their crevices with a profusion of briUiant bloom. 
Though it often costs a hard climb up rocky crags to secure it, 
we feel well repaid by its bright beauty. 

Hosackia Purshiana^ Benth. Pea Family. 

Soft-woolly throughout. Stems. — Erect or loosely spreading over 
the ground. Leaves. — Sessile. Leaflets. — One to three; ovate to lan- 
ceolate; three to nine lines long. Flowers. — Yellowish-pink; solitary; 
two or three lines long. Peduncles usually exceeding the leaves; with 
a single leaflet below the flower. Calyx-teeth. — Linear; much exceed- 
ing the tube, about equaling the corolla. Pod. — Narrow; twelve to 
eighteen lines long; five- to seven-seeded. {Se^ Hosackia.) Hab.— 
Throughout the State. 

This little plant is very abundant and wide-spread. It 
makes its appearance after the drouth sets in, and often spreads 
over the ground in considerable patches. Its woolly or silky 
foliage has a pale cast, and its small, solitary, pinkish flowers, 
which are quite numerous, are not unattractive. 



[Blue or purple or occasionally or partially blue or purple 
flowers not described in the Blue and Purple Section, 

Described in the White Section: — 

Antirrhinum Coulterianum — Coulter's Snapdragon. 


Calochortus luteus oculatus — Butterfly Tulip. 

Calochortus venustus — Mariposa Tulip. 

Ceanothus integerrimus — Mountain Birch; Tea-Tree; 
Soap- Bush. 

Eriodictyon gluttnosum — Verba Santa. 

Eriodictyon tomentosum — Verba Santa. 

Lathyrus vestitus — Common Wild Pea. 

Malacothrix saxatilis. 

MicROMERTA DouGij\.siT —Verba Buena. 

Solanum Douglasit —Nightshade. 

Sphacele calycina — Pitcher-Sage. 

Viola Beckwithii — Mountain Heart's-ease. 

Described in the Yellow Section: — 

Anagallis arvensis - Pimpernel. 
Calochortus Weedii — Mariposa Lily, or Tulip. 
Hosackia crassifolia. 

Described in the Pink Section: — 

Convolvulus soldanella — Beach Morning-glory. 
DoDECATHEON Meadia — Shooting-Stars. 
Erigeron Philadelphicus — Common Fleabane. 
GiLIA androsacea. 
GiLiA Californica — Prickly Phlox. 
GiLiA dianthoides — Ground Pink. 
Pentstemon Menziesti — Pride of the Mountains. 
Phlox Douglasii — Alpine Phlox. 

Described in the Red Section : — 
Aquilegia ccerulea. 

Described in the Miscellaneous Section: — 

Darlingtonia Californica — Califomian Pitcher- Plant. 
DiPSACUS FuLLONUM — Teasel. ] 




Scoliopus Bigelovii^ Ton*. Lily Family. 

Leaves, — Two; oval-elliptical to narrowly oblanceolate; four to fif- 
teen inches long; blotched with brown. Flowers, — Three to twelve; 
on lax pedicels three to nine inches long. Sepals, — Whitish, veined 
with purple; spreading. Petals, — Erect; narrowly linear; wine-color 
without Stamens. — Three. Ovary, — One-celled; three-angled. Stig- 
ma three-lobed. Hah, — ^The Coast Ranges from Marin to Humboldt 

When the first white blossoms of the toothwort are making 
their appearance in moist woodlands, we may be sure that the 
fetid adder* s-tongue is already pushing its shining green leaves 
aboveground away up in the cold caiions of north hill-slopes; 
and unless we hasten, we shall be too late to see its curious 
flowers. I have often arrived only in time to find its fruit, 
which resembles a beechnut in shape. When the flowers first 
open they stand erect, held in the shining chalice formed by 
the two sheathing green leaves. Later the leaves open out, 
showing their beautiful blotched surfaces, and the three-angled 
flower-stems become limp and twisted. The petals stand erect, 
and are so slender as to resemble three linear stigmas. The 
littie oval anthers are green before opening, but soon become 
golden with the discharging pollen. 

These flowers are elegant in appearance, and suggestive 
of orchids; but unfortunately they have a very offensive odor, 
like that of the star-fishes found upon our beaches, which 
makes us quite content to leave them ungathered. But the 
large yellow slug has no such aversion to them, and we have 
often seen him banqueting upon them. Indeed, he is so fond 
of them that the flowers are often entirely gone from the stems. 





Cynoglossum grande^ DougL Borage Famfly. 

Stem, — ^Two feet or so high. Leaves. — ^Alternate; long-petioled; 
ovate-oblong; pointed; usually rounded at base; often a foot long. 
Flowers. — Bright blue; in a terminal panicle. Ca/y^r.— Deeply five- 
cleft. Corolla, — Rotate; with short tube and five-lobed border; hav- 
ing five beadlike crests in the throat. Stamens. — Five; on the corolla, 
alternate with its lobes. Ovary. — Four-lobed. Style undivided. Fruit. 
— Four prickly nutlets. Hab. — From Marin County to Washington. 

Among the first plants to respond to the quickening influ- 
ence of the early winter rains, is the hound* s-tongue, whose 
lai^e, pointed leaves begin to push their way aboveground 
usually in January. At first these are often quite velvety be- 
neath and of a pinkish hue, and hold hidden within their midst 
the well-formed buds which a few warm, sunny days will call 
forth. The flowers, at first pink, become bright blue after fer- 
tilization has taken place. 

The favorite haunts of this welcome blossom are half-shaded 
• woods, where it rears its tall stalk in almost sole possession at 
this early season. 

The common name is a translation of the generic name, 
which is derived from two Greek words, signifying dog and 
tongue^ bestowed because of the shape of the leaves. In the 
olden times a superstition was rife that if a person laid the 
hound' s-tongue beneath his feet it would prevent dogs fi*oin 
barking at him. 

The distribution of the seed is most cunningly provided for, 
as the upper siufaces of the nutlets are covered with tiny 
barbs, which a magnifying-glass reveals to be quite perfect 
little anchors, admirably adapted for catching in the hair 
of animals. 


Ceanothus divaricatus^ Nutt. Buckthorn Family. 

Tall, almost arborescent shrubs; with very divergent and rigid 
branches. Twigs cylindrical; smooth; mostly very pale. Leaves.-- 
Alternate; short-petioled; ovate; four to ten lines long; three-nerved; 
somewhat leathery. Flowers. — In a narrowly oblong, dense cluster 
two or three inches long; pale blue to white. Capsule. — ^Two or three 


HOUND'S-TONGOE— Cy«o[loiS>im grande. 


lines in diameter; not lobed; scarcely crested. {Se^ Ceanothus,) Hab. 
— Chiefly the southern Coast Range. 

This species of California lilac is very abundant in the south, 
and is specially characterized by its widely branching habit 
and its round, pale-green twigs. The flowers are usually light 
blue; but in some localities they are pure white. Near Santa 
Barbara, in January, the mountain-slopes are often snowy with 

Dr. Gregg, of San Diego, while hunting one day in Lower 
California, just over the border, had his attention called to the 
wild lilac by his old Mexican guide, who assured him that the 
blossoms in themselves were excellent soap. Taking a hand- 
ful of them down to the stream, he rubbed them vigorously 
between his wet hands, and found to his astonishment that they 
made an excellent lather, with a pleasant fragrance of winter- 
green. I have since proved the fact for myself. A more 
delightful way of performing one*s ablutions can hardly be 
imagined than at the brookside with so charming a soap. It 
is very cleansing and leaves the skin pleasantly soft. 

It was probably the blossoms of C integerrimus he used, as 
that shrub is called ** soap-bush ' ' in that region; but I have 
since tried the experiment upon C divaricatus and some other 
species with perfect success, from which I suspect this may be 
a generic characteristic. 


Trillium sessile^ var. Californicum, W<<ts. Lily Family. 

Rootstock. — Like a small turnip. Stems, — Usually several from the 
same root; a foot or so high. Leaves. — Three at the top of the stem; 
three to eight inches long. Flowers, — White to deep wine-color. 
Petals. — One to four inches long. (Otherwise as T, ovatum.) Hob.— 
From San Luis Obispo to Oregon. 

We begin to look for the Californian Trillium early in the 
spring. Little companies of the plants may be seen upon low 
flats under the trees, where the soil is rich. The small, turnip- 
like tubers usually send up several stems, which lean gracefully 




away from one another. The large leaves are often like pieces 
of decorated china that have been several times through the 
kiln. They have various superimposed blotchings, the latest 
of which are dark, sharp, cuneiform characters, mysterious 
hieroglyphs of Nature, which might reveal wondrous secrets, 
could we but decipher them. The blossoms have a strong, 
heavy fragrance, and are exceedingly variable in color, ranging 
from pure white to lilac, deep wine, and even black-purple. 
These plants are much admired in the East and in Europe, 
where they are cultivated in the garden. 


Brodicea cafiiiata, Benth. Lily Family. 

Cortn, — Small; scaly-coated. Leaves. — Linear; a foot or more 
long; passing away early. Scapes, — Four inches to over two feet high. 
Flowers.— Deep violet to white; six to ten lines long. Bracts. — Some- 
times deep, rich purple. Perianth. — With oblong tube and campanu- 
late, six-parted limb. Stamens. — Six; on the corolla; the inner with 
an appendage on each side; the outer naked. Ovary. — Three-celled. 
Style stout. Stigma three-lobed. Hab. — Throughout California. 

This beautiful Brodicsa grows all over the hills in early 
spring, and steals into cultivated fields, where it luxuriates in 
the freshly stirred soil and lifts its fine violet-colored clusters 
above the waving grain. It holds quite as warm a place in 
our affections as the more gorgeous poppy. These blossoms 
will keep a long time after being gathered, and are used every 
year in lavish profusion in the decorations of the flower car- 

The little bulbs, eaten raw, are quite palatable, and are 
eagerly sought by the children, who call them ** grass-nuts. " 
The early Spanish -Californians also appreciated them, and 
knew them as **saitas.*' They have a number of other com- 
mon names, such as "Spanish-lily," "duster-lily," "wild hya- 
cinth," and "hog-onion"; but I must protest against the 
injustice of this latter, and beg all flower-lovers to discoun- 
tenance it. 

Closely resembling the above, is B. multiflora^ Benth. It 



has, however, but three stamens, the other three being repre- 
sented by staminodia, which are entire and of the same length 
as the stamens. 

B, congestay Smith, another similar species, is often four 
feet tall. It also has three stamens and three staminodia; but 
the latter are deeply cleft and exceed the anthers. This is 
called '^ookow'* by the Indians. 



• Fritillaria lanceolata^ Pursh. Lily Family. 

Stem.^A foot or two high. Leaves.— In scattered whorls; lance- 
olate; two to five inches long. Flowers. — One to several; opencam- 
panulate; greenish or black-purple; variously checkered or mottled. 
Perianth-segments. — Strongly arched, with a large oblong nectary. 
Stamens. — Six. Ovary. — ^Three-celled. Ha^. — The Coast Ranges, 
from British Columbia to Santa Cruz. 

** 'Neath cloistered boughs each floral bell that swingeth 

Makes Sabbath in the fields, and ever ringeth 
A call to prayer." 

One of the oddest and most beautiful flowers of our rich 
woodlands is the brown lily, or Fritillaria, It is unrivaled in 
elegance, for every line of its contour is a study in g^ce. Nor 
do its charms cease with stem and leaf and flower; for, hidden 
away in the rich,leaf-mold, is one of its most beautiful features, 
its bulb. This is pure, shining white, conical in form, and sur- 
rounded by many tiny bulblets, like grains of rice, which crum- 
ble away from it at a touch. If you go into the woods in early 
spring, you will often see certain handsome, broad, shining, 
solitary leaves, close to the ground, and you will wonder what 
they are. Often near them there are many tiny leaves of the 
same sort pushing tlieir way aboveground; and sometimes 
among them all there is a solitary strong scape, with unfolding 
leaves and a promise of flowers. This is a colony of the beau- 
tiful brown lilies. The tiny leaves are the product of the little 
^^ins, and are probably now seeing the light for the first 




time. Between these and the large leaves the breadth of the 
hand, are many sizes, in all stages. The broad leaves may be 
from bulbs four or five years old, but they will send up no 
blossom -stalk this year; for there is rarely or never a radical- 
leaf and a blossom-stalk from the same bulb at once. 

When the plant is about to flower, the bulb sends up a tall 
stalk, with here and there a whorl of shining leaves, hanging at 
the summit its string of pendent bronze-bells. These are mot- 
tled and checkered, and are of varying shades, from dull green 
to black -purple, and often have a beautiful bloom upon them. 
Their modest colors blend so nicely into the shadowy scene 
about, that it is difficult to see them unless the eye is some- 
what practiced. 

Following the inflorescence comes a beautiful and unique 
seed-vessel, curiously winged and angled, and of a delicate, 
papery texture when mature. It contains the thin, flat seeds, 
neatly packed in six ranks. 

The flowers are usually an inch long, though they are some- 
times two inches long. A plant was once found three and a 
half feet high, with a chime of nineteen bells. 


Fritillaria biflora^ Lindl. Lily Family. 
Hab.—T\\Q Coast Ranges, from San Diego to Mendocino County. 

We have a number of species of Fritillaria^ most of them 
with beautiful flowers. They fall naturally into two groups, 
according to the character of the bulb; F, lanceolata and /^ 
biflora being types of the two groups. 

/^ biflora, the black, or chocolate, lily, is the species com- 
mon in the south, and blooms early. It closely resembles F, 
lanceolata, but can always be distinguished by its bulb, which is 
composed of several erect, short, easily separable scales. Its 
specific name is an unfortunate one; for, far from being con- 
fined to two flowers, it often has as many as ten. 

F, pluriflora, Torr., found upon the upper Sacramento, has 



flowers of a uniform reddish-purple, without motding or spots. 
It has a comparatively large bulb, an inch or so long, formed 
of separate scales. 

F, pudica, Spreng., found on the eastern slopes of the 
Sierras, has solitary yellow flowers. 

F, liliacea^ Lindl. , is our only white species. This is found 
upon the hills of San Francisco and in the Sacramento Valley. 
It has a whorl of leaves near the ground and two or three 
greenish-white, nodding flowers. It is exceedingly local. 


Phacelia grandiflora^ Gray. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

Coarse, glandular-viscid plants; one to three feet high. Leaves. — 
Round-ovate; irregularly toothed; sometimes three or four inches long. 
Flowers. — Lavender to white; variously streaked and veined with 
purple. Corolla. — Rotate; two inches across; without scalelike ap- 
pendages in the throat. Filamenis. — Long; purple. Anthers large; 
versatile. Style two-cleft. {Sqq Phacelia.) Hab. — From Santa Bar- 
bara to San Diego. 

This is the largest-flowered of all our Phacelias. Its tall 
stems are abundantly covered above with the fine-looking 
blossoms. These are very attractive to the uninitiated, who 
usually rushes forward in breathless haste to possess himself of 
these new-found treasures and is rarely satisfied with less than 
a large bunch of them. But woe lies in wait for him. The 
innumerable glands, covering the whole plant, readily yield up 
their viscid fluid, which in a few moments turns everything 
with which it comes in contact to a deep red-brown, like iron- 
rust. If he escape with ruined clothing, and hands the color 
of a red Indian, he will have come off well — for the plant 
poisons some people. 

Another species — P, viscida^ Torr. — found in about the 
same range as the above, resembles it closely. It is a foot or 
so high, branching from the base, and has blue flowers, with 
purple or white centers, and only half the size of the above. 




Solanum Xanti^ Gray. Nightshade Famfly. 

Herbaceous nearly to the base; viscid-pubescent, with jointed hairs. 
Stems. — Several feet high. Leaves, — Two inches or less long; some- 
times with lobes at the base; thin. Flowers. — ^An inch or so across. 
Calyx. — Five-parted. Corolla. — ^Violet, with green spots ringed with 
white at the base. Stamens. — Five. Filaments short. Anthers erect; 
opening terminally. Ovary. — ^Two-celled. Style filiform; exserted. 
Berries. — Purple; six lines in diameter. Hab. — Throughout Califomia. 

These plants are especially abundant in the south, where 
one encounters them upon every roadside. The clusters of 
violet flowers are very handsome, and often have the perfume 
of the wild rose. 

Another species — 5". umbelliferum, Esch. — is so nearly 
like the above as to be often confounded with it. But it has 
smaller, thicker leaves, the hairs are branched, and it is more 
woody below, with shorter flowering branches. 

We once saw, in an ideal Japanese villa among the red- 
woods, a rustic arbor over which had been trained the rough, 
woody stems of one of these nightshades. The genius of these 
wise little people, who had adapted this pretty woodland 
climber to sylvan cultivation, seemed to us worthy of emu- 


Calochortus macrocarpuSy Dougl. Lily Family 

Nature has sent this, one of the finest and most elegant of 
all our MariposaSy to beautify the arid sagebrush deserts of our 
northeastern boundary. In Europe it is admired beyond all 
our other species, and there is a great demand for the bulbs. 
Its large flowers are of a beautiful lilac, similar in tone to the 
Marie Louise violet, and each pointed petal has a green band 
running down its center. 

Among the Indians of their native region the rather large 
bulbs of these plants are known as **noonas,'' and regarded as 
a priceless delicacy. Even those who have never experienced 
the bliss of tasting them know them by reputation as the acme 




of all that is delicious. When Mr. Johnson, of Astoria, wished 
to secure a number of the bulbs for the European market, he 
hired the squaws to dig them, but found that they ate them as 
fest as they dug them; and it was only by offering them most 
liberal stores of bacon and flour he could induce them to 
restrain their appetites and part with the treasure. 


Scutellaria tuberosa^ Benth. Mint Family. 

Stems. — Several inches high, or at length trailing, and a foot long; 
from small tubers. Leaves. — One inch long and less; not aromatic. 
Flowers. — Axillary; blue-purple. Calyx. — Bilabiate. Corolla. — Six 
lines or more long; tubular; bilabiate. Stamens, — Four; in pairs; as- 
cending; contained in the helmet. Ovary. — Of four seedlike nutiets. 
Style filiform. Hab. — Hillsides, from San Diego northward; probably 
throughout the State. 

The bright -green herbage and the rich purple-blue flowers 
of the litde skullcap may be looked for early in February. In 
the north they grow upon dry, stony hill-slopes under the 
chaparral, while southward they often affect the walls of cafions, 
among moist, luxuriant vegetation. 

Though borne in the axils of the opposite leaves, the pretty 
blossoms, by a twist of their pedicels, stand side by side in 
pairs, in a very sociable way. The curious little two-lipped 
calyx resembles an old-fashioned Quaker bonnet. 

Another species —5'. angustifolia, Pursh. — has linear to 
oblong leaves, an inch long; flowers an inch or more long, the 
lower lobe of whose corolla is hairy within, and the root is not 
tuberous. It is otherwise like the above. 

S. Californica^ Gray, is very similar to the las^ species, but 
has cream- white flowers. This is found in early summer upon 
dry banks. 


SKULLCAP -^eK«;/oMo Iu6tr, 



Corallorkiza BigeUnni^ VV ats. Orchis Famfly. 

Leafless plants, with coral-like roots. Scapes. — Flesh-colored; six 
to t\*'ent>'-four inches high, unth tu'o to four scarious, sheathing bracts. 
Flowers.— Few to many; sessile. Perianth. — Of six segments. The 
five upper yellowish, striped with purple. The lip yellowish, tipped 
with deep red-purple. ArUher. — Cfne; resting upon the column like a 
lid; filing early. Ovary. — OneH-*elled. Hab. — Central and northern 
Coast Ranges and Sierras. 

The coral-root is very rare in some localities, and one may 
not meet it more than a few times. But there are favored 
spots where its flesh-colored stems rear themselves luxuriantly. 
One year I saw a magnificent bunch of them in the hands of 
some friends who were taking them to San Francisco to furnish 
a rare and costly decoration for some festive occasion. Some 
of the stems were two feet tall and thickly covered above with 
the odd flowers, making a cluster which it would be difficult to 
equal for quiet elegance of coloring. 

The plants are often found in redwood groves or upon 
wooded hill-slopes of north exposure, where the dull stems 
and flowers l)lend so nicely into the dead needles and leaves 
upon the ground that it is difficult to detect their presence. 

As its name indicates, the root is the counterpart of a spray 
of branching coral. 

Another species — C, multiflora^ Nutt. — has stems of a 
colder purple; and the lip of the flower is white, spotted with 
purple, somewhat fan-shaped and three-lobed. 


CORAL-ROOT— CeraHprkiza Bigtlo 




Ceanothus thyrsijlorus^ Esch. Buckthorn Family. 

Varying from small, prostrate shrubs in exposed places, to erect 
shrubs or small trees. Branches. — Strongly angled; not spiny. Leaves. 
— Elliptical; twelve to eighteen lines long; three-nerved; smooth and 
shini.<g above. Flowers. — Bright to pale blue, rarely white; in dense 
clusters about three inches long, terminating the usually elongated, 
somewhat , leafy peduncles. Capsules. — Globose; two lines in diame- 
ter; smooth, not crested; slightly lobed. (See Ceanothus.) Flab. — 
Near the coast, from Monterey northward into Oregon. 

In the spring our chaparral -covered slopes begin to take on 
a bluish tinge, like the misty smoke of distant camp-fires, for 
which the blossoms of the California lilac are responsible. This 
is a graceful evergreen shrub, with rich, shining leaves, among 
which the abundant feathery clusters of tiny blue flowers find a 
charming setting. The blossoms are deliciously fragrant, fill- 
ing the cool air with perfume. 

This shrub is never found far away from the coast, and it 
reaches its greatest beauty in Mendocino County, where it 
becomes a tree, sometimes thirty-five feet high. Its wood is 
exceedingly brittle. In early days it used to be cultivated in 
San Francisco gardens before it was crowded out by foreign 
shrubs, often far less worthy. 

It is known in some localities as **blue myrtle,*' and in 
others as ** blue-blossom.'* The name ** California lilac,'* by 
which it is most often known, is more generally and more 
appropriately applied to this species of Ceanothus than to any 
of the others. 

The dark seeds are a favorite food of the quail. 



CALIFORNIA LILAC- C^owoMhi Ihyrsiflorii^. 



Delphinium^ Toum. Buttercup or Crowfoot Family. 

California is rich in beautiful larkspurs, but the species are 
very difficult of determination and not well defined as yet. 
We have two well-marked scarlet species; but confusion still 
reigns among the blue and the white. Some of the latter are 
poisonous to sheep and cattle, causing great losses to the herds 
every year in some localities. 

Among the blue larkspurs are some of our handsomest 
spring flowers. Their slender wands, covered with magnifi- 
cent large blossoms, rise abundantly on every side upon some 
of the mesas of our seashore, making charming flower-gardens 
upon the plains. They are so lavishly bestowed that every comer 
may gather his fill and still none be missed. In color they 
are matchless — of the richest of Mazarin blue and purple-blue. 

Other species are to be found upon the slopes of interior 
valleys and scattered all through the Coast Ranges and the 
Sierra foothills. In midsummer, which is the vernal springtime 
of the mountains, many lovely species deck the alpine meadows 
and brooksides. 

The Spanish -Californians have a pretty title for these blos- 
soms — "espuela del caballero" — **the cavalier's spur." 





Calochortus Maweanus, Leichtlein. Lily Family. 

Hab. — The Coast Ranges and Sierras, from San Francisco and 
Butte County to the Willamette Valley. 

This is an exceedingly pretty little Calochortus^ much re- 
sembling C Benthami in form, but having pure-white or 
purplish-blue flowers, which are also covered with hairs and 
delicately fringed with hairs on the margin. Its stems are 
low, slender, and graceful, without bulblets at the base; and 
the gland upon the petals has a transverse scale covering its 
upper portion. 

This plant belongs to the section of Calochortus whose 
species are known as ** star- tulips.'* In the Coast Ranges, in 
early spring, the blossoms are found in moist meadows near 
the sea, where they nestle amid the grasses. 

The children are specially fond of them, and know them as 
**cat*s-ears'* and ** pussy' s-ears.'* 

C uni/loruSy Hook, and Am., found in wet meadows from 
San Francisco northward, has lilac to rose- purple flowers. 
Its petals are hairy on the lower third, and its stems bear small 
bulblets at the base underground. 

C umbellatus, Wood., is very similar to C Maweanus/ 
but its pure-white petals are almost without hairs, and its stem 
is without bulbleti.. This is found blooming in March and 
April on the low mountains of Contra Costa and Marin 


Nemophila aurita, Lindl. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

Stems. — One to three feet long; sauare; angled; weak; very brittle; 
with backward-pointing, hooked bristles. Leaves, — All with a dilated, 
clasping, eared base or winged petiole; above deeply pinnatifid into 
five to nine oblong or lanceolate, downward-pointing lobes. Corolla. 
— Violet; an inch or so across. (Otherwise as Nemophila insignis.) 
Hab. — From San Francisco to San Diego. 

The purple Nemophila is most abundant in the south, 
growing everywhere in early springtime upon hillsides par- 


CATS-EARS — Ca/ofhortut Afawra 


tially shaded. Its long, coarse, hispid stems run riot over 
small undershrubs or dead or unsightly brushwood, often com- 
pletely covering them with a mound of foliage thickly sown 
with the dull-purple flowers. 

At first it is difficult to realize that this plant of coarse habit 
belongs to the sisterhood of baby-eyes, those delicate, ethereal 
favorites of the springtime. In fact, one's first impression of 
it is that it is some new species of nightshade. One learns, 
however, to have a fondness for these blossoms and a growing 
desire to gather them; but their tangling, quarrelsome habit 
forbids one, if any other flowers are in question. 

It is said that the dark-eyed sefioritas of early days decked 
their ball-dresses with sprays of this flower, which clung grace- 
fully to the thin fabrics. 


Iris macrosiphon, Torr. Iris Family. 

Almost stemless plants, often forming mats. Rhizome.— SXoxid&c, 
Radical-leaves, — Grasslike; six to fifteen inches long. Buds. — One or 
two; borne in sheathing bracts. Flowers. — On short pedicels; deep 
purple-blue, marked with white. Perianth. — With slender tube one 
to three inches long. Stamens. — Three; borne under the petaloid 
divisions of the style. Ovary, — Three-celled. Capsule. — Oblong- 
ovoid; shortly acute at each end; one inch long. Seeds in two rows 
in each cell; compressed and angled. Hab. — The Coast Ranges, from 
San Mateo to Trinity County. 

When spring is at its height, this charming little Iris may 
be found upon sunny, open hillsides among the unrolling cro- 
siers of the common brake. There is something peculiarly 
captivating about these blossoms, with their satisfying richness 
of hue and perfect symmetry of form, added to which is a 
sweet, delicate perfume, an ideal exhalation of the springtime. 

As the buds unfold beautifully in water, it is better to 
gather buds than flowers, as the latter are too fragile to carry 
without breaking. 

/. longipetala. Herb., is the common bog-iris of our central 
coast. It grows in large clumps in wet places, and while 
not a delicate flower, it has a certain brave, hardy look as it 


GROUND-IRIS — /MI macrBSiphon 


titandf out upon the wind-swept downs of the Coast. Its 
NtitmN arc rather stout, a foot or two high, and have from three 
to five lar^e lilac flowers. The sepals are veined with deei>er 
lilac and blotched with orange. 


Phacelia ianacetifoHa^ Benth. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

SttmSs^ One to throe feet high; rough and hairy. Leaves.— ^jaK±k 
<llvUlt*(l. Fioxvfrs, — Bright violet to blue; in clustered, scorfMoid 
nuvinr.s. Caiyx-lobfs.— Vm^nx or linear-spatulate. CoroUa, — Six 
ilnrs Ii^um:. Stylo two-cleft. (See Phacelia,) //"a^.— Throi]^;lioiit the 
wrslrrn \\k\ti of tlio State. 

The wild heliotrope is one of the most abundant flowers of 
nudspri!\jjf, especially in the south. It affects the giavelly 
Ivu^ks iU* strt.\i!ns or the sandy soil of mesas: cm* grovs aH 
(Uoi\^^ the milnwd embankments, makii^ great moozads ck 
t\\U.\>iT^» thickly sown with the bright viokt-blue bkesooxs: or 
it nts^y ot\en Ix^ seen clamboing up through 
s^tn\\it\< tv^ 5!^x^k the support of their stiif branches^ It s 
Ic.^ tv^ S;^v ih.^t this is not a true heKotrope; bat bcfa q g & s> 

The sixvtr.o ;ur»\e. r.jr,i.r.'/*SVj. 
lv\K\\^ is tv.v^re ArtVvwKe to the r*-?': :^^3.(rM^ 

/v >*v>cc""" A-.t .V:"^ 5c.:re scc^: jif MccirsrsT, jmi :s 





Sisyrinchium helium^ Wats. Iris Family. 

Leaves, — Radical; grasslike; shorter than the stems. Stems. — Flat; 
clustered; six to eighteen inches high. Flowers.— Yowr to seven; con- 
tained in two nearly equal sheathing bracts. Perianth. — Six-parted; 
purplish-blue, with yellow center; six lines to an inch across. Sia- 
mens. — Three, Filaments united. Ovary. — Three-celled. Style fili- 
form. Stigma spindle-shaped; three-cleft after fertilization. Had. — 
Throughout California. 

The blue-eyed grass is such a modest flower, one would 
never suspect it to be closely allied to the regal- Iris. In late 
spring its quiet stars are found in our meadows everywhere. 
In the south it grows so luxuriantly and so determinedly that 
it has become a serious pest to the farmer, crowding more 
useful plants from the pasture. 

Owing to the quaint manner in which its petals kink up 
when they fade, these blossoms are called ** nigger-babies" by 
the children. Among the Spanish-Califomians the plant is 
known as **azulea*' and **villela,'' and is made into a tea, 
which is considered a valuable remedy in fevers. It is thought 
that a patient can subsist for many days upon it alone. 

S. Calif omicum^ Ait., the "golden-eyed grass,'* with bright 
yellow flowers, is found in wet places all up and down the 


Nemophila intermedia^ Bioletti. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

Leaves. — With petioles somewhat widened at base and ciliate; the 
upper all opposite. Corolla.— Nine to twelve lines wide; light blue to 
white; distinctly blue-veined or more or less sown with purple dots. 
Scales of the corolla long, narrow, hairy, with expanded tips extending 
nearly to the sinuses. Ovary. — Rounded; with twelve to twenty-four 
ovules. (Otherwise as N. insignis.) Syn. — Nemophila Menziesii^ 
Hook, and Am. -^(2^.— Rather wide-spread. 

This beautiful Nemophila is a more fragile flower than its 
sister, the baby-blue-eyes. Its delicate corolla is usually white 
in the center, blending to azure-blue upon the rim, and dotted 
and veined with the same. At its best, it is an inch across. It 




afTect3 the borders of moist woodlands, rarely venturing far out 
into the openings. There it nesdes amid the tender herbage, 
often producing its ethereal flowers in such profusion that it 
seems as though bits of the sky had fellen to earth. In the 
south these blossoms do not seem so truly at home — for they 
are never so large nor so fine. 


Polygala Californica^ Nutt Milkwort Family. 

Steins, — Two to eight inches high. Leaves. — Six to twelve lines 
long. Flowers. — Rose-purple. Sepals. — Five; two of them lar^e and 
spreading like wings; six lines or less long. Petals. — Three; united to 
each other and to uie stamen-tube; the middle one hooded above and 
beaked. Stamens. — Eight. Filaments united into a sheath, which is 
open above. Anthers one-celled; opening terminally. Ovary, — Two- 
celled. Style enlarging upward; curved like a button-hook. Pod. — 
Rounded; flat; three or four lines across. Syn. — P. cucullata, Benth. 
Hab. — The Coast Ranges southward to Santa Barbara and beyond. 

In late spring the little flowers of the milkwort are common 
upon dry hill-slopes in the shade of the trees. The small plants 
have a very grown-up look, as though their age might be 
greater than indicated by their stature. At first glance, one is 
quit6 certain to mistake these plants for members of the pea 
family, as the blossoms have wings and a keel like the papilio- 
naceous flower. But a careful counting of sepals, petals, and 
stamens will reveal their separate identity. 

A curious feature of this* plant is the fact that it bears 
another kind of flower near the root. This is without petals, 
and is destined, for some strange reason, to bear the seed. 
The upper flowers seem mostly for show, though one does 
occasionally mature fruit. 

P. cornuia, Kell., found in the Sierras, is a larger plant, 
with greenish-white flowers. 


CALiFORNEAN MILKWORT — /'o6'i^a/o Califarx 



Phdcelia Whitlavia^ Gray. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

A foot or so high; very hairy and glandular. Leaves. — Alternate; 
petioled; ovate or deltoid; toothed; twelve to eighteen lines long. 
Flowers. — Purple. Calyx.— Five-parted. Corolla. — ^An inch or more 
long. Stamens. — Five; on the base of the corolla; appendaged at 
base; long^-exserted, with the two-cleft style. Ovary. — Two-celled. 
Syn. — Whitlavia grandiflora, Harv. Hah. — From Los Angeles to 
San Bernardino. 

The wild Canterbury-bell is one of the most charming 
flowers to be found anywhere. It affects the rich soil of half- 
shaded hill-slopes in the vicinity of streams, where it opens its 
beautiful fragile bells. Its stems are very brittle, and the blos- 
soms fall early, the lower ones usually having passed away 
before the upper buds have emerged from the coil. The 
exceedingly long stamens and style give these blossoms an ele- 
gant, airy look. 

P. Parryiy Torr., is another beautiful species, found from 
Los Angeles to San Diego. It resembles the above in foliage, 
color of blossoms, and the long stamens; but the form of the 
flowers is that of the Nemophila, 


Gilia tricolor^ Benth. Phlox or Polemonium Family. 

Stems. — Slender; branching; six inches to a foot or more high. 
Leaves. — Twice pinnately parted into narrow linear lobes. Corolla. — 
Six lines long; with vellow tube; funnel-form throat, marked with deep 
violet-purple; and lilac or white limb. (See Gilia.) Hob. — Through- 
out Western California. 

Whole slopes are often carpeted with this dainty Gilia^ pro- 
ducing an effect which has been described as like light chin- 
chilla. The little blossoms have a peculiarly fresh and winsome 
look, and are called **bird*s-eyes'* by the children. The 
corollas are delicate lilac, blending into white toward the center, 
while the throat has five purple spots within, which give way 
to bright gold below. 




stands out upon the wind-swept downs of the Coast. Its 
stems are rather stout, a foot or two high, and have from three 
to five large lilac flowers. The sepals are veined with deeper 
lilac and blotched with orange. 


Phacelia tanacetifolia, Benth. Baby-eyes or Waterleaf Family. 

Stents. — One to three feet high; rough and hairy. Leaves,— 'Hiucih. 
divided. Flowers. — Bright violet to blue; in clustered, scorpioid 
racemes. Calyx-lobes. — Linear or linear-spatulate. Corolla. — Six 
lines long. Style two-cleft. (See Phacelia.) Hab. — ^Throughout the 
western part of the State. 

The wild heliotrope is one of the most abundant flowers of 
midspring, especially in the south. It affects the gravelly- 
banks of streams or the sandy soil of mesas; " or grows all 
along the railroad embankments, making great mounds of 
foliage, thickly sown with the bright violet-blue blossoms; or 
it may often be seen clambering up through small shrubs, 
seeming to seek the support of their stiff" branches. It is need- 
less to say that this is not a true heliotrope, but belongs to the 
closely allied genus, Phacelia. 

The specific name, tanacetifoliaj meaning with tansy -like 
leaves, is more applicable to the var. tenuifolia^ Thurber. 
Among the Spanish-Californians it is known as "vervenia.** 

It is a very important honey-plant. 

P, Douglasii, Torn , is a species with lavender corolla with 
much the aspect of the baby-blue-eyes. This is common in 
the western part of the State, south of Monterey, and is found 
sparingly north of that point. 




WILD HELLOTROPE — /"AflfWia lanacelifotia 



Abronia villosa^ Wats. Four-o'clock Family. 

Plants with more or less glandular-villous pubescence. Stents. — 
Prostrate. Leaves. — Rarely an inch long. Peduncles. — One to three 
inches long; five- to fifteen-flowered. Involucral bracts. — Lanceolate; 
three or four lines long. Perianth. — Lilac; four or five lines across; 
with obcordate lobes. (Otherwise as A. latifolia.) Hab. — San Diego 
and eastward; also in southern deserts. 

The charming flowers of the lilac sand-verbena are not found 
upon the immediate sea-beach, but always a little withdrawn 
from it, where the soil is more firmly established, yet within 
sight and sound of the waves. The blossoms have a delicate 
beauty, not shared by our other species oi Abronia^ and some- 
what resemble our garden verbenas. They are sometimes 
called ** wild Ian tana." 

A, umbellata^ Lam., is common all up and down our coast, 
often making masses of deep pink on the beach; while A. mari- 
titna^ Nutt., is found from Santa Barbara to San Diego. The 
latter is a very stout, coarse, viscid plant, with small, very deep 
magenta flowers, 


Camassia esculenta, Lindl. Lily Family. 

Bulbs coated. Leaves. — Radical; six or eight; grasslike; three to 
eight lines broad; usually shorter than the scape. Scape. — Twelve to 
twenty-four inches high; loosely ten- to twenty-flowered. Pedicels 
three to twelve lines long. Flowers. — From dark blue to nearly white; 
seven to fifteen lines long or more; an inch or so across. Penamik^ — 
0{ six dfcitinct, oblanceolate, three- to seven-nerved segments^ Sta- 
MenSs — Six; shorter than the segments. Anthers yellow. Otsary. — 
Three-celleil St>-le filiform; about equaling the perianth; digfathr tfaree- 
cleft at the summit. Hab.—Yrotsi Central California to Washii^^tQo. 

In some localities these plants are found covering meadows 
and marshy tracts in great profiision. They bear beautiful 
clusters of showy blue flowers, somewhat like the hyadndi in 
hubh* and ha>-e long been favorites in European gardensL We 
an? es^peciully interested in them, however, on accoimt of the 
bulbc«s which are about an inch in diameter and veiy natzttkras^ 

Grizzly bears, when more plentinil in the early d^ysv were 
partioxiLurly fond of them: and the northern Indians CixiiLT 


value them very highly as an article of diet, calling them 
"kamass/* Indeed, the Nez Perce Indian war in Idaho was 
caused by encroachments upon the territory which was espe- 
cially rich in these bulbs. The plants are more abundant 
north of us than with us. 

Mr. Macoun gives a most interesting account in "Garden 
and Forest'* of the preparation of kamass among the Indians, 
which is a very important and elaborate performance. He 
says, in substance: For some days beforehand the squaws 
were busily engaged in carrying into camp branches of alder 
and maple, bundles of* skunk-cabbage {Lysichiton)^ and a quan- 
tity of a black, hairlike lichen, which grows in profusion upon 
the western larch. A hole ten feet square and two feet deep 
was then dug, and a large fire was made in this, in which they 
heated a great many small boulders to the glowing point. 
They then piled maple and alder boughs over these to the 
depth of a foot or more, tramped them down, and laid over 
them the leaves of the skunk-cabbage. Thin sheets of tama- 
rack bark were spread over the steaming green mass, and 
upon these were placed the bulbs in large baskets. The black 
lichen was laid over the uncovered bark, and the remaining 
bulbs were spread on this. The whole was then covered with 
boughs and leaves as before, and sand was sprinkled on to 
the depth of four or ^ve inches, and on the top of the whole a 
larger fire than before was built. The sun was just setting 
when this was lighted, and it burned all night. The oven was 
left for a day to cool. When opened, the bulbs in the baskets 
were dissolved to a flour, from which bread could be made; 
while those on the lichen had become amalgamated with it, 
forming a substance resembling plug-tobacco, which could be 
broken up and kept sweet a long time. 

When boiled in water, the bulbs yield a very good molasses, 
much prized by the Indians, and used by them upon import- 
ant festival occasions. 

There is a white-flowered form of this same species, whose 
bulb is said to be poisonous. 




Collinsia bicoloTy Benth. Figwort FamOy. 

Stems, — A foot or so high. Leaves. — The lower oblong; the upper 
ovate-lanceolate. Calyx, — Unequally five-cleft. Corolla, — Nine lines 
long. Upper lip lilac or white; lower of three lobes; the middle folded 
into a keeled sac containing the stamens and style; the two lateral 
rose-purple. Stamens, — Four; in two pairs on the corolla. Upper 
filaments bearded. Ovary, — Two-celled. Style filiform. Had, — 
Throughout Western California. 

Where spreading trees cast a dense shade and the moisture 
still lingers, companies of lovely Collinsias stand amid the fresh 
green grasses, their delicate, many-storied blossoms swaying" 
upon the idle breezes. In the north these are in the rear guard 
of spring flowers, and make their appearance just before the 
Godetias bid farewell to spring; but in the south they come 
earlier. They vary much in color, from the typical rose-purple 
and white or lilac to all white. 

We have a number of species; but C bicolor is the most 
showy and wide-spread. 


Atidibertia stachyoides^ Benth. Mint Family. 

Shrubby; three to eight feet high; with herbaceous flowering 
branches. Leaves, — Opposite; oblong-lanceolate; tapering into a 
petiole; crenate. Flowers. — In interrupted spikes, having from three 
to nine dense, rather remote, headlike, bracteate whorls. Calyx, - 
Bilabiate; each lip with two or three awned teeth. Corolla, — Laven- 
der; six lines long; bilabiate. Upper lip erect; emarginate; lower 
deflexed; three-lobsd. Stamens. —Two sterile; two perfect on jointed 
filaments. Ovary. — Of four seedlike nutlets. Style slender. Stigma 
two-cleft. Had. — From San Francisco Bay to San Diego. 

We have but two or three true sages, or Salvias^ in Cali- 
fornia; but the plants of the closely allied genus Audibertia 
are with perfect propriety called sages, as they manifest all the 
characteristics of that genus, differing only in the structure of 
the stamens. There are a number of species of Audibertia^ 
all of them important honey-plants. They are particularly 
abundant in the south, where they form a characteristic feature 
in the landscape, often covering whole hill-slopes. 





A, siackroidts frequently forms dense thickets over vast 
readies of mountain-side, and when in full bloom is very notice- 
able. Its ^>ecific name is a happy one, denoting its resem- 
blance to the Siackjrs^ or hedge-netde. But its pointed leaves, 
shrubby habit, and rank oder, together with its more numerous 
fiower-whoris, prodaim its separate identity. 

A, nivea^ Benth., found from Santa Barbara to San Diego, 
has larger spikes of rich, warm lilac flowers. Nothing could 
be more charming than the soft lavender billows of it undu- 
lating over slope after slope of wild mountain-side. 


Gilia Chamissanis^ Greene. Phlox or Polemonium Family. 

Sterns. — About a foot high. Leaves, — ^Alternate; dissected into 
linear segments. Flowers, — In capitate dusters an inch and a half 
across; deep blue. Calyx. — Five-toothed. Corolla. — Four lines long; 
with five obtuse lobes. Slamens. — Exserted. Anthers nearly white. 
(See Gilia,) Hab, — ^The Coast of Central California. 

This pretty Gilia is quite common about San Francisco in 
springtime, and often makes masses of bright deep blue over 
the fields. 

G, capitata, Dougl. , is a closely allied species, found in the 
Coast Ranges from Central California northward. This is in 
every way a more delicate plant. Its stems are taller and 
more slender; its flower-heads are less than an inch across, 
and composed of very small light-blue flowers, with feathery, 
exserted stamens. 

G. achillecpfolia^ Benth. , is a beautiful form, closely related 
to both the above, but quite variable in habit. Its flowers are 
light lavender-blue, six lines or so long, and are borne in larger 
clusters, often two inches across, on long, naked peduncles. 
At a little distance these blossoms somewhat resemble the 
clusters of Brodicea capitata. 


BLUE G[L]\ — Gilu 



Salvia ColumbaricBy Benth. Mint Family. 

Stems, — Six inches to two feet hip^h. Leaves. — Wrinkly; one to 
several inches long. Flowers. — Blue; in interrupted whorls. Whorls. 
— Twelve to eighteen lines in diameter; subtended by numerous, 
ovate-acuminate bracts. Calyx. — Bilabiate; upper lip arching, and 
tipped with two short bristles; lower, of two awn-like teeth. Corolla. 
— Three or four lines long; bilabiate. Upper lip erect; notched or 
two-lobed. Lower deflexed; with tiiree lobes, the central much larger. 
Stamens. — ^Two. Filaments two; short; apparently forked — i. e. bear- 
ing on their summit a cross-bar having on one end a perfect anther-cell 
and on the other a dwarfed or rudimentary one. Ovary. — Of four 
seedlike nutlets. Style slender. Hab. — Throughout the State, spe- 
cially southward 

This rough-leaved sage is quite common, especially south- 
ward, and grows upon dry hillsides or in sandy washes, where 
it blossoms in early spring. Its small bright-blue flowers are 
borne in an interrupted spike, consisting of from one to four 
button-like heads. Each of these heads has below it a number 
of leafy bracts, which are often of a bright wine-color, and form 
a rather striking combination with the blue flowers. 

After the blossoms have passed away, the dried stems and 
heads remain standing all over the hills, shaking out the little 
gray seed in abundance. These seeds have been for centuries 
an article of economic importance to the aborigines and their 
descendants. Dr. Rothrock writes that among the Nahua 
races of ancient Mexico the plant was cultivated as regularly as 
corn, and was one of their most important cereals. Quantities 
of the seed have been found buried beneath groves which must 
be at least several hundred years old. It was in use among 
the Indians of California before the occupation of the country 
by the whites, being known among them as **chia.'' 

Dr. Bard writes of these seeds: *'They were roasted, 
ground, and used as food by being mixed with water. Thus 
prepared, it soon develops into a mucilaginous mass, larger 
than its original bulk. Its taste is somewhat like that of lin- 
seed meal. It is exceedingly nutritious, and was readily borne 
by the stomach when that organ refused to tolerate other 
aliment. An atole, or gruel, of this was one of the peace- 


BLUE a:sd purple 

ofTerings to the first visitii^ sailors. One tablespoonfiil of 
these seeds was sufficient to sustain for twenty-four hours an 
Indian on a forced march. Chia was no less prized by the 
native Califomian, and at this late date it fi:equently commands 
six or eight dollars a pound." 

When added to water, the seeds make a cooling drink, 
which has the effect of assuaging burning thirst — a very valu- 
able quality on the desert 


Lupinus bicolor^ LindL Pea Family. 

Stems. — Stoutish; six to ten inches high; silky. Z^aaw.-r Alter- 
nate; with small stipules. Leaflets. — Five to seven; linear-spatulate; 
one inch long. Flowers. — Four or five lines long; blue and white; the 
white changing to red-purple after fertilization. 'Upper calyx-lip bifid; 
lower twice as long; entire. A>^/.-^Falcate; aAte; ciliate toward the 
apex. Pod. — Small; about five-seeded. ' (See Lupinus.) Hob. — 
Western Central California. 

• •• 
In late spring the open fields about San Francisco take on 

a delicate, amethystine tinge, due to the blossoms of the blue- 

and-white lupine. After fertilization fias taken place, the white 

in these blossoms turns to deep red, and this admixture gives 

the general lilac tone to the mass. 


Iris Doiiglasiana^ Herb. Iris Family. 

Rhizomes. -r-^\.o\}L^A^\ clumps not dense. Radical-leaves. — Strongly 
ribbed underneath; dark, shining green above; one to three feet long; 
three to eight lines broad; flexile; rosy pink at base. Stems. — Simple; 
two- or three-flowered. Flowers. — On pedicels six to eighteen lines 
long; deep reddish-purple, lilac, or cream. Perianth-tube. — Six to 
twelve lines long. Capsule. — Narrowly oblong; acutely triangular; 
twenty lines long. Seeds nearly globular. (Otherwise as /. macro- 
siphon.) Hob. — ^The Coast, from ^nta Cruz to Marin County. 

On account of the bright and varied hues of its flowers, the 
genus Iris was named for the rainbow-winged messenger of 
the gods. In France it is known as ** fleur-de-lis," a name 
whose origin has caused endless discussion and has been ac- 
counted for in many ways. There are many species, all of 




them beautiful. Orris-root is the product of the lovely white 
Florentine Iris, 

In California we have several comparatively well-kaown 
species, and a number of others which are without narti^ as 
yet; but the Douglas Iris is probably our most beautiful. It 
thrives well upon open mesas or upon well-drained hill-slopes 
in the shelter of the chaparral. But it is found at its best in 
the rich soil of moist woodlands, whose seclusion seems the 
most fitting abode for so aristocratic a flower. There, sur- 
rounded by the delicate greenery of fern-fronds and a hundred 
other tender, springing things, it seems to hold a sylvan court, 
receiving homage from all the other denizens of the wood. 
There is a certain marked and personal individuality about 
these flowers which makes encountering them seem like meet- 
ing certain distinguished personages. 


Brodicea laxa^ Wats. Lily Family. 

Corm. — Small; fiber-coated. Leaves, — Usually two; radical; linear; 
channeled. Scapes. — Six inches to two feet high. Umbels. — Of ten 
to thirty or more purple or violet, or even white, flowers. Pedicels, — 
One to three inches long. Perianth. — Twelve to twenty lines long. 
Stamens. — Six; in two rows; the upper opposite the inner lobes of the 
perianth. Ovary. — Three-celled; on a stalk six lines long. Hob. — 
From Kern County to Northern Oregon. 

After the delicate Collinsias have stolen away, the beau- 
tiful flowers of IthurieFs spear begin to claim our attention in 
open grassy spots on the borders of rich woodlands. The 
common name is a happy one; for there is something com- 
manding about this tall blossom-crowned shaft. It will per- 
haps be remembered that the angel Ithuriel possessed a truth- 
compelling spear. When Satan, disguised, went to the Garden 
of Eden to tempt Eve, Ithuriel and Zephon were sent to expel 


. . . ** him there they found, 

Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve, 

Assaying by his devilish art to reach 




The organs %A her &iicy, and with them forge 
lUosions as he list, phantasms, and dreams; 

Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear 
Touched Ughtly; for no &]sehood can endure 
Touch of celestial temper, but returns 
Of force to its own likeness: up he starts 
Discovered and surprised." 


Erigeron glaucus, Ker. Composite Family. 

Six to twelve inches high, having a tuft of radical leaves and some 
ascending stems. Leaves. — Obovate or spatulate-oblong: one to four 
inches long; pale; somewhat succulent; slightly viscid. Flower-heads. 
— Compo^d of dull-yellow disk-flowers and bright-violet ray-flowers. 
Disk. — Eight lines or so across. Rays. — Six or eight lines long; nar- 
row; numerous; in several rows. Hob. — TTie Coast, from Oregon to 
Southern California. 

Almost anywhere upon our Coast, "within the roar of a 
surf-tormented shore," we can find the beautiful blossoms of 
the beach-aster. We may know them by their resemblance to 
the China asters of our gardens, though they are not so large. 
They present a most delightful combination of color in their 
old-gold centers, violet rays, and rather pale foliage. 


Linaria Canadensis^ Dumont. Figwort Family. 

Stems. — Slender; six inches to two feet high. Leaves. — Mostly 
alternate on the flowering stems, but smaller and broader ones often 
opposite or whorled on fte procumbent shoots; linear; smooth. Flozth 
ers. — Blue; in terminal racemes; like those oi Antirrhinum, but the 
tube furnished with a long, downward-pointing spur at base. Hob.— 
Throughout California. 

The delicate blue flowers of the toad-flax are not uncom- 
mon in spring, and the plants are usually found in sandy soil. 
The little blossoms are very ethereal and have a sweet perfume. 
I once saw a deep blue band upon a mesa near San Diego, 
which vied in richness with the ultramarine of the sea just be- 
yond. It stretched for some distance, and at last curved 


BK\CH-ASJER — EHgtron glau 


around and crossed the road over which I was passing, when 
it proved to be made up of millions of these delicate flowers. 
The color effect seemed cumulative, for the mass was so much 
richer and deeper than the individual flowers. 


Calochortus Catalirus^ Wats. Lily Family. 

Stems. — Two feet high; loosely branching; bulbiferous. Leaves 
and bracts linear-lanceolate. Flowers, — Erect; eighteen lines or so 
long. Sepals,- Green without; scarious-margined; whitish within; 
with purple spot at base; one inch long; acute. Petals. — White; with 
garnet base; bearing a round gland covered with hairs. Filaments 
garnet. Capsule, — Narrowly oblong; three-sided; obtuse* an inch or 
two long. Seeds flat; horizontal. (See Calochortus,) Hab. — From 
San Luis Obispo County to San Bernardino; and the islands off' the 

This is one of the earliest Mariposas to bloom in the south. 
Its beautiful, stately white cups have a garnet base within, and 
this, with its oblong, obtuse capsule and horizontal seeds, 
clearly identifies it These blossoms are favorite resting-places 
for the bees, who are often beguiled in them from their labors 
and lulled to a gentle slumber. We have frequently startled 
the little truants from these siestas, and with amusement 
watched them struggling for a moment before regaining con- 
sciousness and whizzing away once more upon their round of 

This may be designated our maritime Calochortus^ as it is 
found mostly near the Coast or upon its islands. 

C, spleyidens^ Dougl., found in the Coast Ranges from Lake 
County to San Diego, is sometimes confused with the above. 
It is a beautiful flower, whose petals are a clear rose-lilac with- 
out spots or marks, with long, whitish, cobwebby hairs on their 
middle third. Its anthers are purple or lilac, three to six lines 




Viola canina^ var. adunca^ Gray. Violet Family. 

5f^i«j.— Leafy; several from the rootstocks. Leaves, — Ovate; often 
somewhat cordate at base; acute or obtuse; six to eighteen lines lone; 
obscurely crenate. Stipules foliaceous; narrowly lanceolate; lacerately 
toothed. Flowers.— Wo\ei or purple; rather large. Lateral petals 
bearded. Spur as long as the sepals; rather slender; obtuse; hooked 
or curved. {0\h^rv/\sQ ;^ V, f>edunculata.) Hab. — ^The Coast Ranges, 
from San Francisco to Washington. 

. . . *' violets 
Which yet join not scent to hue 
Crown the pale year weak and new." 

Nestling amid the grasses on many a moist mesa by the 
sea, the modest flowers of the dog-violet may be found at 
almost any time of year. They vary greatly in the length of 
their stems, according to the season and the locality of growth. 


Salvia carduacea, Benth. Mint Family. 

Leaves.— ^\ radical; thistle-like; with cobwebby wool. Stems, — 
Stout; a foot or two high. Flower-whorls.— An inch or two through. 
Calyx. — Bilabiate; with five spiny teeth. Corolla. — Lavender; an 
inch long. Upper lip erect; two-cleft. Lower fan-shaped; white- 
fringed. Stamens. — On the lower lip. Proper filaments very short, 
with one short and one long fork, each bearing an anther-cell. (Other- 
wise like 5". ColumbaricB.) Hab. — Western and Southern California. 

Upon the dry, open plains of the south, the charming 
flowers of the thistle-sage make their appearance by May. 
Upon the train we pass myriads of them standing along the 
embankments, and seeming to beckon mockingly at us, well 
knowing the train almost never stops where we can get them. 

These plants present the most remarkable blending of the 
rigid, uncompromising, touch-me-not aspect and the ethereal 
and fragile. In each of the several stories of the flower- 
cluster there are usually a number of the exquisitely delicate 
flowers in bloom at once, standing above the hemisphere of 
densely crowded, spiny calyx-tips. Nothing more airy or fan- 
tastic could well be imagined than these diaphanous blossoms. 
The upper lip of the corolla stands erect, its two lobes side by 



side, oc crossed like two ddicate little hands. The lower lip 
has two small and inconspicuous lateral lobes and one large 
central one, whidi is like the ruff of a Pintail pigeon and 
daintily fringed with white. The color combination in these 
Uossoms is channii^. To the sage green of the foliage and the 
Hlac Q^ the blossoms is added the dash of orange in the 
anthers that puts the finishing touch. The whole plant has a 
heavy, dull odor of sage. 

This species is also sometimes called "chia," and its seeds 
are used in the same manner as those of our other Salvia^ but 
to no such extent. 


Pentstemon heterapkyllus^ LindL Figwort Family. 

Woody at base; many-stemmed. Stems, — Two to five feet tall. 
Leaves. — Lanceolate or linear; or the lowest oblong-lanceolate; dimin- 
ishing into narrow floral bracts. Panicle. — Narrow. Pedicels one- to 
three-flowered; short and erect. Corolla. — Rose-purple, or violet suf- 
fused with pink; an inch or more long; ventricose-fiinnel-form above 
the narrow, slender tube. (See Pentstemon.) Hob. — Western Califor- 
nia, specially southward. 

The beautiful flowers of the violet beard-tongue are often 
seen among the soft browns of our dusty roadsides in early 
summer. They are truly charming flowers, and we marvel 
how any one can pass them by unnoticed. I have seen them 
especially showy in the southern part of the State, in Santa 
Barbara and Ventura Counties, where the plants often spread 
over two or three feet, sending up innumerable slender flower- 
covered wands. The undeveloped buds are of a characteristic 
greenish-yellow tone, making an unusual contrast to the ex- 
panded flowers and the rather pale foliage. The structure of 
the anthers is quite interesting, each cell consisting of a little 
bag with bristly margins, the two together being heart-shaped 
in outline. 

P. azureuSy Benth., or the ** azure beard-tongue," is very 
similar to the above, growing from one to three feet high; but 
it is smooth and glaucous; its leaves are inclined to have a 
broader base, and its flowers are usually larger, azure blue, 


AZURE BEARD-TONGUE — /Vn/iffman htlirapkyllus. 


approaching violet, sometimes having a red-purple tube, while 
its border is often an inch across. This is found throughout 
the State, but is more common in the interior and in the 
Sierras. Its buds are not yellow. 


Asarum cavdatum^ Lindl. Birthwort Family. 

Rootstocks. — Creeping; aboveground. Leaves, — Alternate; two to 
four inches long; heart-shaped; not mottled; shining green. Flowers. — 
Raisin-colored. Perianth. — \Vith spherical tube and three long-pointed 
lobes, thirty lines long. Stamens. — ^Twelve. Filaments more or less 
coherent in groups, adherent to the styles, and produced beaklike beyond 
the anthers. Ovary. — Six-celled. Styles united; equaling the stamens. 
Hab. — The Coast Ranges from Santa Cruz to British Columbia. 

The beautiful long-stemmed leaves of the wild ginger stand 
upon the borders of many a shaded canon stream, seeming to 
enjoy the gossiping of the brook as it gurgles by. The leaves 
and roots of these plants are aromatic, and the former when 
crushed emit a pleasant fragrance, similar to that of the cam- 
phor-laurel. The branching rootstocks, creeping along the 
surface of the ground, grow from their tips? which are swathed 
in the undeveloped silky leaves. 

In the spring a warm hue comes among these closely-folded 
leaves, and presently a curious dull-colored bud begins to pro- 
trude its long tip from their midst. This bud looks as though 
some worm had eaten off its end; but we soon see that its 
blunt appearance is due to the fact that the long prongs of the 
sepals are neatly folded in upon themselves, like the jointed 
leg of an insect. It must require considerable force in the 
flower to unfurl them. When at length expanded, these blos- 
soms have the look of some rapacious, hobgoblin spider, lurk- 
ing for its prey. 

Another species — A. Hartwegi^ Wats. — the ** Sierra wild 
ginger,*' is easily distinguished from the above by its white- 
mottled leaves, which grow in clusters, and by its smaller flow- 
ers. It blooms later than the other, its flowers lasting into July. 
These plants are closely related to the ** Dutchman's pipe." 




Asclepias Mexicana^ Cav. Milkweed Family. 

Stems, — Three to five feet high; slender. Leaves, -^Mos^ly whorled 
and fascicled; linear-lanceolate; short-petioled; two to six inches long. 
Peduncles, — Erect; slender; often in whorls. Flowers, — Very smSl 
and numerous; in umbels; white and lavender. Corolla-lcbes. — ^Two 
lines long. Anthers. — ^Twice the filament column. Horns. — Awl- 
shaped; arising from below the middle of the ovate hoods, and con- 
spicuously curved over the stigma. Pods. — Slender; spindle-shaped. 
(Structure otherwise as in Gomphocarpus,) Hab, — Throughout the 
State, and beyond its borders. 

This is one of our most widely distributed milkweeds, and 
may be found blossoming along our dusty roadsides and 
through the fields in early summer. Its stems are tall and 
wandlike with long, narrow leaves, and its little blossoms are 
very trim. Its distaflf-shaped pods, with their beautiful silken 
down, are familiar objects, much beloved by the children, and 
are sought by older people who utilize them in many dainty 


Cichorium Intybus^ L. Composite Family. 

Stems. — Two to five feet high; much branched. Leaves, — ^Alter- 
nate; the lower oblong or lanceolate, partly clasping, sometimes 
sharply incised; the upper reduced to bracts. Flower-heads. — Bright 
blue; sessile; two or three together in the axils of the leaves or ter- 
minal; of ray-flowers only. Rays. — Ten lines long; about two wide; 
notched at the tip. Bracts of the involucre in two series; green. Hab. 
— Escaped from cultivation in many places. 

The most careless observer will some day have his atten- 
tion startled into activity by a certain tall, fine plant growing 
along the roadside, bearing beautiful, ragged blue flowers 
closely set to its stem. This is a stranger from over the seas, 
whose native home is England; and, like all English, it is an 
excellent colonist, having pushed its way into most parts of the 
civilized world. It has become quite plentiful among us in the 
last few years, and whole fields may often be seen covered with 
its lovely bright-blue blossoms, which are known as "ragged 
sailors," and "wild bachelor's-buttons.'* They open in the 


COMMON iAlLKWEED - Aiclifiias Mexiti 


early morning, closing by midday. In Europe a popular be- 
lief is rife that they open at eight o'clock in the morning and 
close at four in the afternoon. 

" On upland slopes the shepherds mark 
The hour when, to the dial true, 
Cichorium to the towering lark 
Lifts her soft eye, serenely blue." 

The plant is useful in several ways. Its root is boiled and 
eaten as a vegetable; the leaves, when blanched, make an ex- 
cellent salad; and the whole plant was formerly employed in 
medicine, and is still considered a valuable remedy for jaun- 
dice. But the most common use of it is as a substitute for 
coffee, or as an adulterant of it. The fleshy, milky root is 
dried, ground, and roasted, and though it has neither the 
essential oil nor the delicious aroma of coffee, it is not an 
unpleasant beverage, and its cheapness brings it within the 
reach of the very poor. 

The chicory industry has grown to be of considerable 
importance in California of late. The plants are grown in 
reclaimed tule land near Stockton, where there is a factory for 
the conversion of the root into the commercial article. 


Downingia pulchelln^ Ton*. Lobelia Family. 

Stems. — Three to six inches high. Leaves. — Alternate; sessile; 
linear; obtuse; passing into flower-bracts above, flowers, — Race- 
mose; blue. Calyx-tube.- Very long and slender; adnate to the 
ovary; its limb of five slender divisions. Corolla, — With short tube 
and bilabiate border. The smaller lip of two narrow spreading or 
recurved divisions; the larger three-lobed; broader than long; nine 
or ten lines by five or six lines. All the lobes intense blue; the large 
centers mostly white. Stamens, — Five; united into a curved tube. 
Capsule.- Splitting at the sides. Hab, — Nearly throughout the State. 

These little lobeliaceous plants are very common, especially 
upon the plains of the interior, and may be found growing in 
wet places, where they often make the ground blue. The 
showy, white-centered flowers are familiar along the roadsides 



upon the borders of puddles. The blossoms, which are really 
stemless, appear to have stems of considerable length, owing 
to the very long, slender ovary and calyx-tube. They are 
cultivated for ornament under the name of Clintonia pulchella. 
We have one other species in the northern part of the 
State. It is a larger plant, sometimes a foot tall, with ovate to 
lanceolate leaves. This is D. elegans^ Torr. 


Amorpha Cali/ornica, Nutt Pea Family. 

Shrubs three to over eight feet high. Leaves. Mostly alternate; 
with stipules; pinnate. Leaflets. — One inch long; five to nine or more 
pairs. Flower-spikes. — ^Two to six inches long. Flowers. — Black- 
purple; two and a half lines long. Calyx. — Half as long. Corolla. - 
With only one petal ! (the standard); this erect and folded. Stamens. — 
Slightly united at base; exserted. Ovary, — One-celled. Pod. — ^Three 
lines long. (See Leguminosce.) Hab, — The Coast Ranges, from 
Marin County to San Diego. 

This shrub or small tree is remarkable for its sickeningly 
fragrant foliage. The small blossoms, taken individually, are 
inconspicuous, but when seen in masses, sprinkling the foliage 
with black and gold, they are quite effective. 


Trichostema lanceolatum, Benth. Mint Family. 

One or two feet high; branching from the base. Leaves. — Oppo- 
site; sessile; crowded; lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate; gradually acu- 
minate; densely pubescent; several-nerved; an inch or more long. 
Flowers. — Blue; in axillary, short-peduncled, dense clusters. Calyx. 
— Five-cleft. Corolla.^—S\x lines long; with filiform tube; and border 
with five almost similar lobes. Stamens. — Four; of two lengths. 
Filaments filiform; long-exserted and curled. Ovary. — Of four seed- 
like nutlets. Style long; filiform; two-cleft at the tip. Hab. — Through- 
out Western Cmifornia. 

Of all the plants of our acquaintance, the common blue- 
curls is the most aggressive and ill-smelling. Its odor is posi- 
tively sickening. Some years ago, when it was first new to 
me, I brought some of it down from Sonoma County upon the 
train, and, even though it had been carefully wrapped, I was 



obliged to deposit it in the wood-box, .as far as possible from 
the passengers. 

The generic name comes from two Greek words, signifying* 
hair and stamen^ and was bestowed on account of the capil- 
lary filaments. The common name also refers to the long, 
curling blue stamens. 

This species blossoms late in summer, and grows upon very 
dry ground, where it seems almost a miracle for any plant to 


Trichostema lanatum, Benth. Mint Family. 

Shrubby; two to five feet high. Leapes. — Opposite and &scicled 
in the axils; an inch or so long; green above; white- woolly beneath. 
Flowers. — Blue; in terminal clusters sometimes a foot long; covered 
with dense violet wool. Calyx. — Five-toothed. Corolla. — Nearly an 
inch long; with tube half its length and border violet-shaped. Stamens 
and Style. — Two inches long. Ovary. — Of four seedlike nutlets. Hah. 
— From San Diego to Santa Barbara. 

When the first scorching winds of the desert have withered 
and laid low the lovely flowers of the southern plains, the 
Romero is just coming into bloom upon dry hillsides. Its 
shrubby form, with densely crowded leaves, becomes conspicu- 
ous by reason of its long spikes of purple-woolly buds and 
blossoms. This inflorescence is an exquisite thing, more like 
the production of a Paris milliner than a guileless creation of 
nature. The individual blossoms have much the look of alert 
little blue violets wearing long, elegant lilac aigrets. Both leaf 
and flower have a pleasant aromatic fragrance, entirely unlike 
the dreadful odor of the common blue-curls. 

Among the Spanish-Californians it is known altogether by 
the musical name of ** Romero," and is one of their most 
highly valued medicinal herbs, being considered a panacea for 
many troubles. Fried in olive oil, it becomes an ointment 
which alleviates pain and cures ulcers; dried and reduced to 
powder, it is a snuff very efficacious for catarrh; and made 
into a tincture, it is used as a liniment. This plant is also 
sometimes called ' * black sage. ' ' 





Brodicsa grandifiora^ Smith. Lily Family. 

Cortn. — Fibrous-coated. Leaves. — Narrowly linear; somewhat 
cylindrical. Scape,— ^owx to twelve inches high. Pedicels. — Three to 
ten, rarely one; unequal. Perianth, — Violet; waxen; ten to twenty 
lines long; broadly funnel-form; six -cleft; lobes recurving. Stamens. 
— Three; opposite the inner segments. Stuminodia. — Three; strap- 
shaped; entire; white; erect; about equaling the stamens. Ovary. — 
Sessile; three-celled. Style stout. Stigma three-lobed. Hab. — From 
Ventura to the British boundary in the" Coast Ranges and Sierras. 

In the latter part of May and early in June, just as the grain 
is mellowing in the fields, the dry grasses of our hill-slopes and 
roadsides begin to reveal the beautiful blossoms of the ** harvest 
Brodiaea.*' Seen at its best, this is one of our finest species. 
It sends up a scape a foot high, bearing from five to ten of the 
large, lily-like, violet flowers. They are somewhere described 
as varying to rose, I have never seen them of this color, 
though a flash of them caught when riding by a field is often 
suggestive of a pink flower. 

These plants vary considerably in size, in some localities 
blooming when but an inch or two high, and in others having 
their tall scape crowned with as many as ten of the fine blos- 
soms. These have their segments nerved with brown upon the 
outside. The clear-white stamens stand opposite the outer seg- 
ments, alternating with the white staminodia. The leaves have 
dried away before the coming of the blossoms. 

B. terrestriSy Kell. , common throughout Central California, 
is always found in sandy soil. Its perianth is less than an inch 
long, and its staminodia are yellow, with inroUed edges. This 
is clearly distinguished by these characteristics, added to the 
fact that its flower-cluster has no common stalk or scape, but 
seems to sit upon the ground, giving the separate flowers the 
appearance of coming from the ground. 


HARVEST ERODf/KA — «™rf/fl-a^™nrfi>fo'-i 



Antirrhinum vagans. Gray. Figwort Family. 

Herbs with prehensile branchlets. Leaves. — Alternate; short- 
petioled; lanceolate to oblong-ovate; entire; an inch long. Flowers. — 
Six lines long; lavender. Sepals. — Five; upper one large; oblong; the 
others small, linear. Stamens. — ¥owr\ in pairs; on the corolla. Fila- 
ments slender. Anthers with two diverging cells. Ovary. — ^Two- 
celled. Style awl-shaped. Hab. — ^Throughout the western part of the 

When the first dryness of summer is beginning to make 
itself felt, the tall wandlike sprays of the little lilac snapdragon 
begin to appear along our dusty roadsides. A curious feature 
of this plant is to be found in the long threadlike branchlets 
produced in the axils of the leaves. These are like so many 
little arms, apparently waving about in aimless abandon, but in 
reality vigilant of any opportunity to grasp some convenient 
object of support. 

Another species — A, glandulosuniy Lindl. — is common 
from Santa Cruz southward. This may be known by its pink 
and yellow flowers, its very viscid, leafy stems, three to five 
feet tall, and its lack of prehensile branchlets. This has some- 
what more the look of the familiar garden species. Its anthers 
are arranged like teeth in the roof of its mouth, and the chil- 
dren, by slightly pinching the sides of its funny little counte- 
nance, can make it open its mouth in quite a formidable 

Sir John Lubbock, writing of the fertilization of flowers, 
says: *'Thus the Antirrhinum^ or snapdragon, is completely 
closed, and only a somewhat powerful insect can force its way 
in. The flower is in fact a strong-box, of which the humble- 
bee only has the key.'* 


VIOLET SNAPDRAGON — /4«/«rrAzw«»« vagans. 



Campanula prenanthoides^ Durand. Harebell or Campanula Family. 

Steins, — Several inches to two feet high. Leaves, — Alternate; ovate- 
oblong to lanceolate; one inch or less long. Flowers. — Blue; on 
recurved pedicels. Calyx, — Growing to the ovary below; with five awl- 
shaped teeth. Corolla, — Five to eight lines long; with short tube and 
slender, spreading, recurved lobes. Stamens, — Five. Ovary, — Three- 
to five-celled. Style club-shaped; much exserted. Stigma becoming 
three-lobed. Hab, — Coast woods ft'om Monterey to Mendocino County, 
and through the northern Sierras. 

The fragile blossoms of the harebell lurk in the seclusion of 
our cool caftons or peer down at us from the banks of shaded 
mountain roads toward the end of July. We almost wonder 
that this ethereal flower dares delay its coming so long when 
outside its cool retreat all is parched and dry. It forms a deli- 
cate contrast to its more robust English sister, the harebell so 
often celebrated by the poets. 


Brunella vulgaris ^ L. Mint Family. • 

Stems. — Six to fifteen inches high. Leaves. — Opposite; petioled; 
ovate or oblong. Flowers, — In a dense, short spike, with broad, leaiy 
bracts; purple, violet, or rarely white. Calyx. — Bilabiate; upper lip 
with three short teeth; the lower two-cleft. ft>r(7//a.— Bilabiate; upper 
lip arched, entire; lower three-lobed; deflexed. Stamens. — Four; in 
pairs. Filaments two-forked; one fork naked, the other bearing the 
two-celled anther. Ovary. — Of four seedlike nutlets. Style filiform; 
two-cleft above. Hab. — Widely distributed over the Northern Hemi- 

From April to July the purple blossoms of the self-heal, or 
heal-all, may be found in the borders of woods or in open 

The generic name is thought to come from the old German 
word, braunCy a disease of the throat, for which this plant was 
believed to be a cure. According to the old doctrine of signa- 
tures, plants by their appearance were supposed to indicate 
the diseases for which nature intended them as remedies, and 
in England the Brunella was considered particularly efficacious 


CALIFORNIAN HAREBELL — CampaHUla frmaitlisides. 


in the disorders of carpenters and common laborers, because 
its corolla resembled a bill-hook. Hence it was commonly 
called ** carpenter's herb/' ** hook-heal," and ** sickle wort. " 


Monardella villosa^ Benth. Mint Family. 

Stems, — Woody; branching from below; a foot or two high. 
Leaves. — An inch or less long; toothed or entire; veins conspicuous. 
Flowers. — WTiite to deep lilac; in a dense head subtended by a num- 
ber of ovate, green bracts. Calyx. — Tubular; five-toothed; four lines 
long. Corolla. — Nine lines long; with filiform tube and bilabiate bor- 
der. Upper lip two-cleft; lower cleft into three linear divisions. Sta- 
mens. — Four; in pairs; exserted. Anther cells divergent. Ovary. — 
Of four seedlike nutlets. Hab. — Throughout the State; common. 

Owing to their resemblance to the Monarday or horse-mint 
of the East, these Western plants have been given the diminu- 
tive of its name — Monardella. 

In early summer the blossoms, which are generally purple, 
are conspicuous in our drying woods. The herbage is pleas- 
antly fragrant. The more hairy form, which suggested the 
specific name, is found in the south. 

Another species — M. lanceolata^ Gray — common in the 
Sierras and south to San Diego, is a very handsome plant with 
lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, entire leaves, an inch or two 
long, and having its bright rose-colored or purple corollas 
sometimes dark-spotted. This is known among the Spanish- 
Californians as **poleo" (pennyroyal), and is valued as a rem- 
edy for various ailments. 

M. odoratissimay Benth., found abundantly in the Sierras, 
and known as **wild pennyroyal," is a bushy, many-stemmed 
plant, whose flowers usually have a faded lavender hue. But 
the plant is exceedingly fragrant, perfuming the air all about. 


I\ ROY AL ~ Afenardtlla i 



Medicago sativa^ L. Pea Family. 

Perennials, with roots sometimes reaching down eight or ten feet. 
Stems. — ^Two to four feet hi^h. Leaflets. — ^Three; toothed above. 
Flowers. — Violet. Calyx. — Five-toothed. GTro/Za.^— Papilionaceous; 
six lines long. Stamens. — Nine united; one free. Pod. — Spirally 
coiled; without spines. Hab. — Usually escaped from cultivation. 

The value of this little plant has been known for many cen- 
turies. It was introduced into Greece from Media, whence it 
received the name Medicago^ and was cultivated several cen- 
turies before Christ. It has reached us through Mexico and 
Chile, where it is called ** alfalfa *' and ** Chilean clover.'' 

It is but sparingly naturalizecl among us, but on account of 
its very nutritious herbage it is largely cultivated for feed. Its 
very deep root enables it to seek moisture from perennial 
sources, and to thus withstand the dryness of our summers. 
It requires considerable care to start the plants; but once 
established, the roots will continue under favorable circum- 
stances to produce crops of herbage almost indefinitely. When 
grown upon good soil and irrigated, it will yield several crops 
a year. When cured for hay, it is cut just before flowering. 
But it is of greatest value for feeding green to dairy cows and 
other animals. An alfalfa field is a beautiful and grateful sight 
amid the drouth of our late summer. In Chile sprays of this 
plant are laid about in the houses to drive away fleas. 


Ceanothus prostratuSy Benth. Buckthorn Family. 

Hardy, evergreen, trailing shrubs, carpeting the ground. Leaves. — 
Opposite; short-petioled; obovate or spatulate; cuneate; leathery; sev- 
eral-toothed above; three to twelve lines lon^. Flowers. — Bright blue; 
in loose clusters on stout peduncles. Fruit. — With thick, often red, 
flesh; with three large wrinkled, somewhat spreading horns from near 
the apex, and low intermediate crests. (See Ceanothus,) Hab. — ^The 
Sierras and northern Coast Ranges. 

Upon half-shaded slopes in the Sierras, where great firs rear 
their noble shafts, forming an open forest, this little trailing 
shrub makes a clean, delightfully springy carpet underfoot. 


ALFALFA — .Merfi 


Early in the season it is an exquisite thing, when covered with 
its delicate clusters of bright-blue flowers, and it is no less 
attractive in late summer, when its odd scarlet fruit studs the 
rich green foliage. 

The children of our mountain districts know it as "squaw's 
carpet'* and **mahala mats." Among the Digger Indians the 
word ** Mahala'' is applied as a title of respect to all the women 
of the tribe indiscriminately, and they always refer to one 
another as " Mahala Sally, " '*Mahala Nancy,'' etc. 


Aconitum Columbianum^ NutL Buttercup or Crowfoot Familvj 

Stems.- -Two to six feet high. Leaves. — Alternate; palmately three- 
to five-cleft, three to five inches across. Flowers. — From blue to almost 
white; in a terminal cluster. Sepals, — Five; petaloid; very irregular; 
the upper one helmet-shaped. Petals. — Two to five; the upper two 
stamen-like, concealed within the helmet; the lower three minute or 
obsolete. Stamens. — Numerous. Filaments short. Pistils. — Usually 
three; becommg divergent follicles. Syn. — A. Fischeri, Reich b. 
Hah. — The Sierras and the northern Coast Ranges. 

The blossoms of the monk*s-hood, or aconite, may be found 
with those of the tall blue larkspur and the little alpine lily 
along our mountain streams in late summer. Owing to the 
shape of the upper sepal, these flowers have received several 
of their common names, such as ** helmet-flower,'* * 'friar' s- 
cap," and *' monk's-hood." 

The genus Aconitum has been known from remote times 
and noted for the poisonous qualities of its species. From the 
roots and leaves oi A. napellus^ the ofiicinal species, supposed 
to be native of Britain, is made the powerful drug, aconite. 
Our own species is also poisonous, and among the mountaineers 
it is called ''blueweed," and remembered only for its disastrous 
effect upon their sheep, who are sometimes driven to eat it 
when other feed is scare. The helmet varies greatly in breadth 
and length. 


MONKS-HOOD — ^coMrtuM Colu 



Gentiana calycosa^ Griseb. Gentian Family. 

Stems, — Six to twelve inches high. Leaves. — Eighteen lines to less 
than an inch long. Flowers. — Deep, rich blue. Corolla. — An inch or 
two long; plaited into folds between the lobes; the sinuses with two 
long, tooth-like appendages; the lobes green-dotted. Stamens.-^ Five; 
alternate with the corolla-lobes. Filaments flattened and adnate to the 
corolla below. Ovary. — One-celled. Style awl-shaped. Stigma two- 
lobed. Hab. — ^The Sierras. 

This genus was named for Gentius, an ancient king of lUy- 
ria, who is said to have discovered the medicinal virtues of 
these plants. The drug called ** gentian," a bitter tonic, is 
made from the root of a German species — G, lutea — with yel- 
low flowers. 

All the Gentians are natives of the cooler portions of the 
world, inhabiting northern latitudes and mountain heights. 
We have several fine species, which are found in the Sierras 
and the northern Coast Ranges. 

G. calycosa is a truly beautiful flower, rivaling the sky with 
its deep blue blossoms, which are to be found in the fall in 
many an alpine meadow, called by Mr. Muir ** gentian- 


Delphinium scopulorum^ var. glaucum. Gray. 
Buttercup or Crowfoot Family. 

Mostly smooth; more or less glaucous. Stems. — Two to six feet 
high. Leaves. — Palmately five- to seven-parted; the divisions slashed 
into sharp-pointed lobes. Flowers. — Blue; in narrow, slender racemes; 
on rather short, slender pedicels. Sepals. — Rather narrow; six lines 
long or less; minutely tomentose. Spur crapy; rather slender. Ova- 
ries. — Smooth. (Flower-structure as in D. nudicaule.) Syn. — D. 
scopulorum^ Gray. Hab.—T\i^ Sierras, at about six thousand feet; 
from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Yukon River. 

By July and August the slender spires of the tall mountain 
larkspur are conspicuous along the watercourses of the Sierras, 
where they are usually found in the company of their near 
relatives, the monk's-hoods and the gay scarlet columbines. 
A ramble down one of these mountain streams affords a suc- 
cession of most delightful surprises. Willow copses, alternating 


BLUE GENTIAN - Crt/ia»fl co/»co. 


with tangles of larkspur, great willow-herb, and monk*s-hood, 
are followed by open, velvety meadows, starred by white and 
blue daisies, or diversified by the pure spikes of the milk-white 
rein-orchis, or the lovely blossoms of the pink mimulus; while 
further down, the stream perchance suddenly narrows and 
deepens, flowing by some jutting rock-wall, resplendent with 
crimson pentstemons or brilliant sulphur-flowers. 


Aster Chamtssonis, Gray. Composite Family. 

Stems,— Tv/o to five feet high; loosely branching. Leaves. — ^Alter- 
nate; sessile; lanceolate; three to six inches long; the upper becomine 
small or minute. Flower-heads, — Five or six lines long; composed of 
yellow disk-flowers and violet or purple rays. Rays, — ^Twenty to 
twenty-five; half an inch long. Involucre, — Campanulate; of many 
small imbricated scales. Hab, — ^Throughout California. 

We have not as many species of Aster as are found in the 
Eastern States, but we have some very beautiful ones. A.. 
Chamisso7iis is one of our commonest and most wide-spread 
species. Its blossoms begin to appear in late summer and lin- 
ger along through the fall. Many species of Erigeron (very 
closely allied to Aster) are called ** asters" among us, and 
comprise some of our most charming flowers. These are 
found chiefly in the mountains, though £, glaticus is found 
upon the sea-beach and ocean cliflfe. 


Erigeron sahuginosus^ Gray. Composite Family. 

Stems, — A foot or two high. Radical and lower leaves, — Spatulate 
to nearly obovate; tapering into a margined petiole. Upper l^'.aves, — 
Ovate-oblong to lanceolate; sessile. Uppermost leaves, — Small and 
bract-like. Flower-heads,So\\\2X^\ large; of yellow disk-flowers and 
lavender rays. Disk. — Over half an inch across. Rays,— Y\^y to 
seventy; six lines or more long; rather wide. Bracts of the involucre 
numerous; loosely spreading. Syn, — Aster salsuginosus^ Richardson, 
/^ad.— Sierra meadows, at an altitude of from six to ten thousand feet. 

Of all the beautiful flowers of the Sierras, not one lingers so 
fondly in the memory, after our return to the lowlands, as this 
exquisite lavender daisy. Late in the summer it stars the 




alpine meadows with its charming flowers, or stands in sociable 
companies on those natural velvet lawns of the mountains. It 
resembles the feathery, white mountain daisy, and grows in the 
same region; but its rays are wider and give the blossoms a 
somewhat more substantial look. 


Echinospermumfioribundumy Lehm. Borage Family. 

Stems. — Two feet or so high. Leaves, — Oblong to linear-lanceo- 
late; two to five inches long. Flowers. — Ifi numerous, slender-panicled 
racemes; on short, slender pedicels. Racemes often in pairs. Calyx. 
— Five-parted; minute. Corolla. — ^Sky-blue (rarely white); salver-form, 
with short tube and spreading, five-lobed border; two to five lines 
across, with conspicuous arching crests in the throat Stamens. — 
Five; included; on the corolla. Ovary. — Of four nutlets; each having 
a deltoid, keeled disk and margined by long, flat prickles. HcU>. — 
From California to British Columbia and eastward. 

The beautiful blossoms of the wild blue forget-me-not will 
be readily recognized by all lovers of flowers. They may be 
found in the Sierras in midsummer. The tall stems rise amid 
the lush grasses upon the sides of steep canons, where the air is 
humid and vegetation is rank. The flowers are unfortunately 
followed by very troublesome burs, which are much dreaded 
by sheep-herders. 




[I^ed or occasionally or partially red flowers 7iot described in 

the Red Section, 

Described in the Yellow Section: — 

Anagallis arvensis — Pimpernel. 
Meconopsis heterophylla — Wind-Poppy. 
MiMULUS GLUTiNOSUS — Sticky Monkey-Flower. 
Opuntia Engelmanni — Prickly Pear.] 

Cotyledon pulverulenta. 




Pedicularis densiflora^ Benth. Fig^ort Famfly. 

Root woody. Stefns, — Six to twenty inches high. Leaves. — Alter- 
nate; obiong-lanceolate; pinnate; le^ets lobed and toothed; diminish- 
ing into Se flower-bracts. Calyx. — Campanulate; five -toothed. 
Corolla, — Club-shaped, bent downward above the calyx and oblique 
to it; one inch long; the two upper lobes united and containing the 
stamens; the three lower mere teeth. Stamens, — Four. Style filiform; 
exserted. Oz/ary«— Two-celled. Hob. — Throughout Western Cali- 

These blossoms, which come early in the season, seem 
** warmed with the new wine of the year." They often stand 
in little companies in openings among the trees, and the rays 
of the afternoon sun slanting in upon them brighten and vivify 
them into a rich, warm claret-color. The leaves, finely dis- 
sected, like certain fern-fronds, are often of a bronze tone, 
which harmonizes finely with the flowers. 

To the casual observer, this flower resembles the Indian 
paint-brush. In reality, it belongs to a closely allied genus. 
But in this blossom the bracts do not constitute the brilliant 
part of the inflorescence, and the calyx, instead of being the 
showy, sheathing envelop it is in the paint-brush, is quite small 
and inconspicuous. 

Mrs. Blochman has quaintly and aptly alluded to the corolla 
of this flower as a long and slender mitten, just fit for some 
high-bom fairy's hand. 

Among the children of our mountain districts this flower is 
known as ** Indian warrior.*' 





Ribes Menziesiiy Pursh. Saxifrage Family. 

Shrubs two to six feet high, with naked glandular-bristly or prickly 
branches and stout triple thorns under the fascicled leaves. Peduncles. 
— With one or two drooping, Fuchsia-like flowers. Calyx, — Half an 
inch long; garnet; the five oblong lobes somewhat longer than the 
tube, but hardly longer than the stamens, which surpass the five white 
petals with inrolled edges. Styles exserted. Anthers sagittate. Berry. 
— Four to six lines in diameter; thickly covered with long prickles. 
(Otherwise as Rides £:lulinosum.) Hab.— Yrom San Diego to Hum- 
boldt County; also in the Sierras. 

The wild gooseberry, considered as a fruit, is very disap- 
pointing, as its large, prickly berries are composed mostly of 
skin and seeds. But as an ornamental shrub it is very pleas- 
ing. In February its long, thorny branches are densely clothed 
with small but rich green leaves, under which hang the perfect 
little miniature red and white Fuchsias. 

A closely allied species—^, subveslitum. Hook, and Am., 
— has long exserted filaments and glandular-prickly berries. 


Ribes speciosuniy Pursh. Saxifrage Family. 

Shrubs six to ten feet high, with spreading branches, armed with 
large triple thorns. Leaves. — Evergreen; three- to five-lobed; an inch 
or so long. Flowers. — Bright cardinal; an inch long. Calyx. — Peta- 
loid; its tube adnate to the ovary; the limb is usually five-cleft (some- 
times four). Petals. — On the sinuses of the calyx. Stamens. — As 
many as the petals; twice the length of the calyx. Ovary. - One-celled. 
Style two-cleft. Fruit. — A dry, densely glandular berry. Hab. — From 
Monterey to San Diego. 

One of the most charming shrubs to be found in the south- 
ern part of the State is the Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry. Early 
in the season the long sprays of its spreading branches are 
thickly hung with the beautiful drooping cardinal flowers, which 
gleam against the rich green of the glossy leaves. The stems 
often rival the flowers in brilliance of coloring, but they harbor 
a multitude of formidable thorns which serve to cool our imi>et- 
uous desire to possess ourselves of the blossoms. Though far 
more brilliant than the flowers of R. subvestittitn^ these are not 
so truly counterparts in miniature of the garden Fuchsia as they. 





PcBonia BroTvnii^ Dougl. Buttercup or Crowfoot Family. 

Coarse, leathery herbs, with woody roots. Stems, — Stout; branched; 
ten to eighteen inches high. Leaves. — Alternate; once- or twice- 
temately compound; the leaflets temately lobed. Flowers. — Solitary; 
Sepals. — Green; often with leaflike appendages. Petals. — Five to ten; 
dark red. Stamens. — Numerous. Pistils. — Two to five; becoming 
leathery follicles. Hah, — Almost throughout California. 

Our wild peony, which is the only species of North Amer- 
ica, grows through a wide range of territory, from the hot 
plains of the south to the region of perpetual snow in the 
mountains of the north. As might be expected, it manifests 
considerable variation in form and character. Indeed, some 
authors have thought these variations sufficiently marked to 
warrant the division of the species into two. 

After the first rains in the south, the plant pushes up its 
broad, scarlet-tipped leaves, and by January, or earlier, pro- 
duces its flowers, which are deep red, shading almost into 
black, an inch or so across, and quite fragrant. These blos- 
soms are at first erect; but as the seed-vessels mature, the 
stems begin to droop, till the fruit rests upon the ground. 

The Spanish-Californians consider the thick root an excel- 
lent remedy for dyspepsia, when eaten raw; while the Indians 
of the south use it, powdered or made into a decoction, for 
colds, sore throat, etc. In the north its leaves are reputed to 
be poisonous to the touch. 

In some localities it is known as ** Christmas-rose," and in 
others the children call its dark, round flowers ** nigger-heads." 
In the mountains it blossoms in June and July near snow-banks. 





Scrophularia Californica, Cham. Figwort Family. 

Stems. — Two to ^ve feet high; angled. Leaves. — Oblong-ovate or 
oblong-triangular; two or more inches long. Flowers. — Small; dull 
red; three to five lines long; in loose terminal panicles. Calyx. — 
Five-lobed. Corolla. — Bilabiate; upper lip four-lobed; lower of one 
lobe. Stamens. —Four perfect; in pairs; and a fifth scalelike, rudi- 
mentary one. Ovary, — Two-celled.. Style exserted. //o^.— Almost 
throughout the State. 

The tall stems of the Califomian figwort are common along 
roadsides, and become especially rank and luxuriant where the 
soil has been freshly stirred. The plants are so plentiful and 
so plebeian in appearance, that we are apt to class them in the 
category of weeds; but the fact that their little corollas are 
almost always stored abundantly with honey for the bees, saves 
them from this reproachful title. 

They are cultivated by the keepers of bees. The odd, 
little dull-red or greenish flowers have a knowing look, which 
is enhanced by two of the stamens, which project just over the 
lower rim of the corolla, like the front teeth of some tiny 


Telltma grandiflora^ R. Br. Saxifrage Family. 

Radical-leaves. Long-petioled. Stem-leaves. — With shorter peti- 
oles, round-cordate; variously lobed and, toothed; very hairy, with 
coarse, bristle-like hairs; two to four inches across. Stems. — One to 
three feet high. Flowers.- \n long racemes; on short pedicels; green 
or rose-color. Calyx. — CampanuTate; five-toothed; ribbed; three to 
six lines long; adnate to the ovary below. Petals. - Five; short-clawed; 
slashed above; two or three lines long; on the calyx. Stamens. — ^Ten; 
very short. Ovary. — One-celled; with a disklike summit, tapering into 
two stout styles with large capitate stigmas. Hab. — From Santa Cruz 
to Alaska. 

This robust plant bears no resemblance to its delicate rela- 
tive, T, affinis. It is far more like the alum -root in habit and 
appearance, and its leaves are prettily blotched in the same 
manner. It grows along rich banks by shaded roads, and 
blooms from early spring onward. Its tall racemes of either 
rose-colored or greenish, obscure flowers look rather like the 



promise of something to come than a present fulfilhnent. The 
petals are small and inconspicuous at a distance; but when 
dosdy examined, reveal a delicacy and beauty of form entirely 


CastiUeiaparviflora^^Soag, Figwort Family. 

Hairy, at least above; six inches to two feet high. Leaves. — Lacin- 
iate-cleft or indsed; sometimes entire; two inches or so Icxig; mostly 
alternate. Flowers. — With conspicuous colored bracts. CcUyx, — 
Tubular; about equally deit before and behind; tinged with scarlet or 
yellow. CoroUa. — ^Tubular; six lines to over an inch long; the upper 
lip equaling the tube; the lower very short; three-tooth^; the whole 
tinged with red or yellow. Stawens. — Four; indosed in the upper lip. 
Ovary. — ^Two-celled. Style long; exserted. Hah. — ^Throughout Cali- 

Scarlet flowers are so rare, and nature is so chary of that 
beautifiil hue, that these blossoms are especially welcome. 
Their dense tufts make brilliant dashes of color, which are very 
noticeable amid the vivid greens of springtime. Strange to 
say, most of their brilliancy is due not to the corollas, but to 
the large petal-like bracts under the flowers and to the calyxes. 
In the vicinity of the seashore these blossoms may be found at 
almost any time of the year, while inland they have their sea- 
son of bloom in the spring, resting for the most part during^ 
the summer. 

They are known in some localities as ** Indian plume.*' 
The spedfic name is a very misleading one — for these flowers, 
far from being small, are in reality comparatively large and 
fine. The species was probably first named from poor or 
depauperate spedmens. It is in every way a larger, more 
showy flower than the closely allied species — C. coccinea^ 
Spreng. — of the East, commonly known as the ** painted 

We have a number of species closely resembling one 
another. C foliolosa^ Hook, and Am. , may be easily recog- 
nized by its white-woolly stems and foliage. 


NDIAN PAINT-BRUSH -Co«,7/,riH parulfisra. 



Delphinium nudicaule^ Torr. and Gray. Buttercup or Crowfoot Family. 

Stems. — A foot or two high; naked or very few-leaved. Leaves, — 
One to three inches in diameter; deeply three- to five-cleft, or barely 
parted into obovate or cuneate divisions. Flowers. — Scarlet; in loose, 
open racemes; on pedicels two to four inches long. Sepals. — Five; 
petaloid; the upper prolonged upward into a spur containing the 
smaller spurs of the two upper petals. Spur six to nine lines long. 
Petals. — Usually four; the two lateral small, not spurred. Stamens. — 
Many. Pistils. — Mostly three; becoming divergent follicles. Hab. — 
The Coast Ranges from San Luis Obispo to Oregon. 

Though not so intensely brilliant and striking as the south- 
ern scarlet larkspur, this is a delightful flower, the sight of 
which gracing some rocky canon-wall or making flecks of flame 
amid the grass, gives us a thrill of pleasure. It would require 
no great stretch of the imagination to fancy these blossoms a 
company of pert little red-coated elves clambering over the 
loose, slender stems. In our childhood we used to hear them 
called * ' Christmas-horns. ' ^ 


Fritillaria recurva, Benth. Lily Family. 

Bulb as in F. lanceolata. Stems. — Eight to eighteen inches high; 
one- to nine-flowered. Flowers. — Scarlet outside; yellow, spotted 
with scarlet, within. Perianth. — Campanulate; urn-shaped. Seg- 
ments. — Twelve to eighteen lines long; with recurved tips. Stamens 
and style not quite equaling the segments. Capsule. — Rather obtusely 
angled. (Otherwise as F. lanceolata.) Hab. — The Sierras, from Pla- 
cer County northward into Oregon. 

The scarlet fritillary is without doubt the most beautiful of 
all our species. It is a wonderful blossom, which seems as 
much of a marvel to us every time we behold it as it did at first. 
Usually there are from one to nine of the brilliant bells; but the 
effect can be imagined when as many as thirty-five have been 
seen upon a single stem! 

F. coccinea, Greene, is another beautiful scarlet-and-yellow 
species, found in the mountains of Sonoma and Napa Counties. 
This has from one to four flowers, which are an inch long, with 
simple campanulate outline, without recurving tips. 





Aquilegia truncata, Fisch. and Mey. Buttercup or Crowfoot Family. 

Stems. — One to three feet high; very slender. Leaves, — Mostly 
radical; divided into thin, distant leaflets. Flowers. — Scarlet; tinged 
with yellow; eighteen to twenty-four lines across. Parts in fives = 
Sepals.— VQiaXo\d\ rotately spreading. Petals.— TnhuhiV] produced 
into long spurs or horns. Stamens. — Numerous on the receptacle; 
much exserted. Pistils. — Five; simple. Hab. — Throughout California. 

Sprung in a cleft of the wayside steep, 
And saucily nodding, flushing deep. 

With her airy tropic bells aglow, — 
Bold and careless, yet wondrous light. 
And swung into poise on the stony height, 

Like a challenge flung to the world below! 
Skirting the ro<iks at the forest edge 
With a running flame from ledge to ledge, 
Or swaying deeper in shadowy glooms, 
A smoldering fire in her dusky blooms; 
Bronzed and molded by wind and sun, 
Maddening, gladdening every one 
With a gypsy beauty full and fine, — 
A health to the crimson columbine! 

— Elaine Goodalb 

To enjoy the exquisite airy beauty of this lovely flower, 
we must seek it in its own haunts — for there is a touch of 
wildness in its nature that will not be subdued; nor will it sub- 
mit to being handled or ruthlessly transported from its own 
sylvan retreat. 

Fringing the stream, peering over the bank, as if to see its 
own loveliness reflected there, or hiding in the greenest re- 
cesses of the woodland, it is always a welcome blossom, and 
the eye brightens and the pulse quickens upon beholding it. 

This species is at home throughout our borders; but there 
is another form which is said to be found occasionally in our 
very high mountains — A. coerulea^ James. This is plentiful in 
the Rocky Mountains, and is the State flower of Colorado. Its 
blossoms, which are blue or white, are large and magnificent, 
with slender spurs an inch and a half or two inches long. 





Pentstemon cordifolius^ Benth. Figwort Family. 

Woody at base, with long, slender branches, which climb over other 
shrubs. Leaves. — Cordate or ovate; an inch or less long. Calyx. — 
Campanulate; five-parted. Corolla, — Bright scarlet; eighteen lines 
long. Sterile stamen bearded down one side. (See Pentstemon.) 
HcS). — From Santa Barbara to San Diego. 

In spring we notice in the borders of southern woodlands 
and along the roadsides certain long, wandlike branches with 
beautiful heart-shaped leaves, which are suggestive of those of 
the garden Fuchsia. Our curiosity is naturally aroused and 
we wonder what blossom is destined to grace this elegant foli- 
age. Early summer solves the mystery by hanging the tips 
of these wands with brilliant scarlet blossoms, in every way- 
satisfying the earlier promise. 

These flowers often look down at us in a sort of mocking, 
Mephistophelian manner, as they hang amid the rich greens of 
other shrubs and trees. Seen with a glass, they are quite 
glandular. The fifth stamen looks like a very cunning little 
golden hearth-brush. 


Audiberiia grandiflora^ Benth. Mint Family. 

Coarse plants, with woolly stems; one to three feet high. Leaves, 
— Opposite; wrinkly; white-woolly beneath; crenate; the lower three 
to eight inches long; hastate-lanceolate; on margined petioles; upper 
sessile; pointed. Inflorescence. — 0\&c a foot long, with many large, 
widely separated whorls of crimson flowers. Corollas. — Eighteen 
lines long. Stamens and style much exserted. Flower-bracts. — Ovate; 
sharp-pointed; often crimson-tinged. (Otherwise as A. stachyoides.) 
Hab. — The Coast Ranges, from San Mateo southward. 

This, the largest-flowered of all our Audihertias^ becomes 
especially conspicuous by April and May in southern wood- 
lands, where its large, dark flower- clusters may be seen in 
little companies amid the shadows. The leaves and bracts are 
quite viscid, and have a rather rank, unpleasant odor; but the 
flowers are not without a certain comeliness. The long, crim- 
son trumpets are arranged in whorls about the stems, projecting 


CLIMBING PENT^T EKOM —PfKlsiimoH cordtfeli. 

Ironi nian\' clonsoly crowded bracts. Tier after tier of these 
intriTuptrd whorls, sometimes as many as nine, mount the 
slrn^v The hracis and stems are usually of a rich bronze, 
>K h\c\\ h^rmoniTos tinoly with the color of the flowers. The 
\i\u\\ in Tlic filamom i?^ quite conspicuous in this spedes. 

'Ml nnuuiiHr-lw^s th^t i\i\n in the sun like green and golden arrows ' ' 

?<r»rn^ to Iv^ J he sole Ivnetiv'iaries of the abundant nectar in 

, ;j ;\. v>»« •/; 4^ V A ■. i« r -•; . , : ; v )i tVfck . ami Ato. Sweci Smib Family. 

,N> »,%v x.\ to T>»\ *'\ tr-i^t h;^r., .T^/airtci. — CK'ate id ohJan|j- 
iin,\NViT, ii\'\N u >K.\ in, h,-v l,^n^: 4V.'v xfTeen: Tonpiiish. Fumtcrs^ — 
\\ .i'»,-^\\«,\r,N, >^M-.v :.!n,^ \. :v.v . 'iv'iu:/* — : t^-f inrties or so acossi. 
A 'i -v 'v . -iv -s-N ^ '-v n^ :r,". r;r,'.r;. nassmi: imo eacfc other; aS 
^'«v-%^\ u N ,^^v \x\*^ rv ,%; •^ j<^i^^^v-\-:;;rit an wn{»e inner SEC^re 

h\ :vj-, , TN ,^ ,v'%' ;: vv. * s"^--..-::. :;:'i>v^ v.-n^??- samt imJe 
I >* - v\ - \^-. . ', X •• ->, s.'- . * ^"^ :r;. t**.:":^^ ¥:;ist cmsht-d. 

»■*« ^ 

^ >. 




Silene Californica, Durand. Pink Family. 


Root. — Deep. Stems. — Several; procumbent or sub-erect; leafy. 
Leaves.- Ovate-elliptic or lanceolate; eighteen lines to four inches 
long. Flowers. — Brilliant scarlet; over an inch across. Ca/y^.— Five- 
toothed. Petals. — Five; long-clawed; the blades variously cleft, and 
with two erect toothlike appendages at the throat. Stamens. — ^Ten; 
exserted with the three filiform styles. Ovary. — One-celled. Hob. — 
Widely distributed. 

The Indian pink is one of the most beautiful of Qur flowers, 
and it appeals to the aesthetic sense in a way few flowers do. 
Its brilliant scarlet blossoms brighten the soft browns of our 
roadsides in early summer, and gleam amid the green of 
thickets like bits of fire. Its corolla is elegantly slashed, and 
it is altogether a much finer flower than the southern form, 
^. laciniata. Its rather broad leaves are often quite viscid to 
the touch, in which respect it shares in the character from 
which the genus was named — in allusion to Silenus, the com- 
panion of Bacchus, who is described as covered with foam. 

S. laciniata, Cav., is a similar species found from Central 
California southward. It is usually a taller plant, with many 
stems and narrow leaves. It is also quite viscid, and many 
small insects, mostly ants, are almost always to be seen en- 
snared upon its stems. We are at a loss to account for this 
until we remember what Sir John Lubbock says in this connec- 
tion. He suggests that ants are not very desirable visitors for 
promoting cross-fertilization among plants, as their progress is 
slow, and they cannot visit many plants far apart. On the 
other hand, winged insects, such as bees, butterflies, and moths, 
making long excursions through the air, are admirably adapted 
for bringing pollen from distant plants. Hence plants spread 
their attractions for such insects, while they often contrive all 
sorts of ingenious devices for keeping undesirable ones, like 
ants, away from their flowers. 

The Spanish-Californians call this plant *' Verba del Indio," 
and make it into a tea which they esteem as a remedy for all 


INDIAN FINK— ^l/fHf Ca/i/om 


irom many densely crowded bracts. Tier after tier of these 
interrupted whorls, sometimes as many as nine, momit the 
stems. The bracts and stems are usually of a rich bronze, 
which harmonizes finely with the color of the flowers. The 
joint in the filament is quite conspicuous in this species. 

'* Humming-birds that dart in the sun like green and golden arrows ' * 

seem to be the sole beneficiaries of the abundant nectar in these 
deep tubes. 



Calycanthus occidentalism Hook, and Am. Sweet Shrub Family. 

Shrubs. — Six to twelve feet high. Leaves. — Ovate to oblong- 
lanceolate; three to six inches long; dark green; roughish. Flowers. — 
Wine-colored (sometimes white); solitary; two inches or so across. 
Sepals^ petals, and stamens indefinite, passing into each other; aJl 
coalescent below into the cuplike calyx-tube, on whose inner surface 
are borne the numerous carpels. Petals. — Linear-spatulate, usually 
tawny-tipped. Carpels becoming akenes. Hab. — From the lower 
Sacramento River northward. 

This is one of our most beautiful shrubs. Upon the banks 
of streams, or often upon a shaded hillside where some little 
rill trickles out from a hidden source, it spreads its branches 
and lifts its canopy of ample leaves. There is a pleasant 
fiagrance about the whole shrub, and the leaves, when crushed, 
are agreeably bitter. From April to November the charming 
flowers, like small wine-colored chrysanthemums, are produced; 
and these are followed by the prettily veined, urn-shaped seed- 
vessels, which remain upon the bushes until after the next sea- 
son's flowers appear, by which time they are almost black It 
is fi*om these cuplike seed-vessels that the genus takes its 
name, which is derived trom two Greek words, meaning y?!c?w^r 
and cup. 




Pentstetnon centranthifolius^ Benth. Figwort Family. 

Very glaucous and smooth. Stem. — One to three feet high. 
Leaves. — Ovate-lanceolate; mostly sessile; the upper cordate-clasping; 
thick. Panicles. — Narrow; a foot or two long. Corolla. — Bright 
scarlet; an inch or more long; hardly bilabiate. (See Pentstetnon.) 
Hab. — From Monterey to Los Angeles. 

The tall spires of the scarlet bugler are such familiar sights 
along southern roadsides and sandy washes that people almost 
forget the enthusiastic admiration their bright beauty first 
elicited. It is said that acres of mountain lands are sometimes 
a solid mass of vermilion during the blooming season of this 
lovely plant. 

The panicle is often two feet long, with its string of scarlet 
horns. The individual flowers bear quite a likeness to those 
of the honeysuckle, common in Eastern gardens, and by those 
who encounter the plant for the first time, it is usually spoken 
of as ** honeysuckle.'* The blossoms are sometimes yellow 
near San Bernardino. 

P, Bridgesiiy Gray, met more frequently in the Yosemite 
than elsewhere, though it occurs in the Sierras from the Yo- 
semite southward, is a very similar plant to the above. But it 
differs in having its corolla quite distinctly bilabiate, though of 
the same general tubular, funnel-form shape. 


Vicia gig ant ea. Hook. Pea Family. 

Climbing. Stems. — Five to fifteen feet long. Leaves. — Alternate; 

g innate; terminated by a tendril. Leaflets. — Ten to thirteen pairs; 
near-oblong; obtuse; mucronulate; one or two inches long. Stipules. 
— An inch long; semi-sagittate. Racemes. — Dense; one-sided; five to 
eighteen -flowered. Flowers. — Dull red. Corolla. — Papilionaceous. 
Petals not spreading. Stamens. — Nine united; one free. Style. —^ 
Hairy all around under the stigma. Pod. — An inch or so long. (See 
Leguminosce.) Hab. — From San Francisco Bay northward to Sitka. 

This vine is usually found in moist places. Its blossoms are 
never attractive — for they have a faded, worn-out look, even 
when they are fresh. The pods are black when ripe, and the 
seeds are said to be edible. 


SCARLET BUGLER -yrBd/nnoH cenlranlhifoliu 



Gilia aggregata^ Spreng. Phlox or Polemonium Family. 

Stems, — One to three feet high. Leaves. — Pinnately parted into 

; \ seven to thirteen linear, pointed divisions. Upper leaves more simple. 

Flowers. — In a loose panicle. Calyx. — Deeply five-cleft; glandidar. 

/ Corolla. — Scarlet, pink, or rarely even white; with funnel-form tube, 

one inch long; and rotately spreading five-lobed border. Lobes three 

to six lines long. (See Giha.) Hab. — Throughout the Sierras. 

The scarlet Gilia is a familiar flower in the Sierras in late 
summer, growing everywhere in dry places. It may be easily 
recognized by its rich, glossy, flat, green leaves, pinnately 
divided into linear divisions, its tall, loosely branching habit, 
and its bright, delicate scarlet flowers, standing out horizontally 
from the stem. The corolla-lobes are often flesh -pink or yel- 
lowish within, splashed or streaked with scarlet. The whole 
plant is quite viscid. 


Mimulus cardinalis, Dougl. Figwort Family. 

Stout; viscid; hairy. Stems. — One to five feet high. Leaves. — 
Sessile; ovate to ovate-lanceolate; ragged-margined; several-nerved; 
two or three inches long. Peduncles. — Three inches long. Corolla. — 
Scarlet; two inches or more long. Upper lip erect; its two lobes 
turned back. Lower lip three-lobed; reflexed. Stamens. — Exserted. 
(See Mimulus.) Hab. — Throughout Oregon and California along 

One day in June, when riding* upon the shores of Bolinas 
Bay, I came upon a spot where a canon stream flowed out upon 
a little flat at tide-level, making a small fresh-water marsh, in 
which mint, bulrushes, and scarlet Mimulus were striving for 
the mastery. But the Mimulus was the most wonderful I ever 
saw. It stood four or five feet high — a patch of it — strong 
and vigorous, and covered with its handsome, large scarlet 
flowers, a sight to be remembered. This species is often culti- 
vated in gardens. 


SCARLET GILIA — ffiVio Aggrrgal, 



Sarcodes sanguinea. Ton*. Heath Family. 

Fleshy, glandular-pubescent plants; six inches to over a foot h^h; 
bright red; without green foliage; having, in place of leaves, fleshy 
scsdes, with glandular -ciliate margins, /^toze/^rj.— Short -pediceled. 
Sepals, — Five. Corolla, — Six lines long; campanulate; with five-lobed 
limb. Stamens. — Ten. Anthers two-celled; opening terminally. 
Ovary, — Five-celled; globose. Style stout. Stigma capitate. Hob, — 
Throughout the Sierras, from four to nine thousand feet elevation. 

I shall never forget finding my first snow-plant It was 
upon a perfect August day in the Sierras. Following the 
course of a little rill which wound among mosses and ferns 
through the open forest where noble fir shafts rose on every 
hand, I came unexpectedly upon this scarlet miracle, standing 
in the rich, black mold in a sheltered nook in the wood. A 
single ray of strong sunlight shone upon it, leaving the wood 
around it dark, so that it stood out like a single figure in a 
tableau vivanL There was something so personal, so glowing, 
and so lifelike about it, that I almost fancied I could see the 
warm life-blood pulsing and quivering through it I knelt to 
examine it. In lieu of leaves, the plant was supplied with 
many overlapping scalelike bracts of a flesh-tint These were 
quite rigid below and closely appressed to the stem, but above 
they became looser and curled gracefully about among the 
vivid red bells. 

I had heard that the plant was a root parasite; so it was 
with much interest and great care I dug about it with my 
trowel. But I failed to find its root connected with any other. 
I have since learned that it is now considered one of those 
plants akin to the fungi, which in some mysterious way draw 
their nourishment from decaying or decomposing matter. 

I carried my prize home, where it retained its beauty for a 
number of days. I afterward found many of them. They 
gradually follow the receding snows up the heights; so that late 
in the season one must climb for them. 

The name ** snow-plant*' is very misleading, because fi*om 
it one naturally expects to find the plant growing upon the 


snow. But this is rarely or never the case, for it is after the 
melting of the snow that it pushes its way aboveground. 

Late in the season the plant usually has one or more well- 
formed young plants underground at its base. These are all 
ready to come forth the next season at the first intimation that 
the snow has gone, which easily accounts for its marvelously 
rapid growth. By the end of August, the seed-vessels are 
well developed, and as large as a small marble, but flattened; 
and by that time the plants have lost their brilliant coloring, 
and become dull and faded. 

It is said that the stems have been boiled and eaten, an^ 
found quite palatable; but this would seem to the lover of the 
beautiful like eating the showbread from the ark of Nature's 


Delphinium cardinale, Hook. Buttercup or Crowfoot Family. 

Stems, — Three to ten feet tall. Leaves. — Large; five- to seven- 
lobed nearly to the base, the lobes three- to five-cleft, with long-pointed 
segments. Flowers, — Large. Sepals. — Lanceolate; eight lines or 
more long; rotately spreading; the spur an inch or more long; pointed. 
Upper petals. — Orange, tipped with red; pointed; standing promi- 
nently forward. (Otherwise as Z>. ««fl?i^fl«/^.) Hob, — The mountains, 
from Ventura County to San Diego. 

During all the long springtime. Nature has been quietly 
making her preparations for a graad floral denouement to take 
place about mid-June. If we go out into the mountains of the 
south at that season, we shall be confronted with a blaze of 
glory, the like of which we have probably never witnessed 
before. This is due to the brilliant spires of the scarlet lark- 
spur, which sometimes rise to a height often feet! 

One writer likens the appearance of these blossoms, as they 
grow in dense masses, to a hill on fire; and Mr. Sturtevant 
writes: **To come upon a large group of these plants in full 
bloom for the first time, is an event never to be forgotten. I 
first saw a mass of them in the distance from the top of a hill. 
Descending, I came upon them in such a position that the rays 



of the setting sun intensified the brilliancy of their fiery orange- 
scarlet color. I gathered a large armful of stalks, from three 
to seven feet high, and placed them in water. They continued 
to expand for several weeks in water." 

There is a general resemblance between this and the north- 
em scarlet larkspur, but the clusters of this are far larger and 
denser, and the individual flowers are finer. The half-opened 
buds more resemble the open flowers of D, nudicaule; but the 
fully expanded flowers have the form of some of the finest of 
the blue larkspurs. 

The plants affect a i>andy soil or one of decomposed granite. 


Lobelia splendens^ Willd. Lobelia Family. 

Stems. — Two to four feet tall; slender, smooth or nearly so. 
Leaves. — Alternate; mostly sessile; lanceolate or almost linear; glan- 
dular-denticulate. Flowers. — In an elongated, wandlike raceme; car- 
dinal red. Calyx. — Five-cleft. Corolla. — With straight tube, over an 
inch long and split down the upper side; border two-Tipped; upper lip 
with two rather erect lobes; lower spreading and three-cleft, with lobes 
three to six lines long. Stamens. — Five; united into a tube above. 
Anthers somewhat hairy. (9z/ary.— Two-celled. Style simple. Stigma 
two-lobed. Hab. — San Diego, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles 
Counties, and eastward to Texas. 

The Western cardinal-flower quite closely resembles L, car- 
dinalis of the East, differing from it in a few minor points only. 
I have never been fortunate enough to see it; but I am told that 
it is a magnificent plant, and that from July to September many 
a wet spot in our southern mountain cafions is made gay with 
its brilliant blossoms. 

Of the Eastern plant Mr. Burroughs writes: "But when 
vivid color is wanted, what can surpass or equal our cardinal- 
flower? There is a glow about this flower, as if color emanated 
from it as from a live coal. The eye is baffled and does not 
seem to reach the surface of the petal; it does not see the tex- 
ture or material part as it does in other flowers, but rests in a 
steady, still radiance. It is not so much something colored as 
it is color itself. And then the moist, cool, shady places it 



affects usually, where it has no rivals, and where the large, 
dark shadows need just such a dab of fire! Often, too, we see 
it double, its reflected image in some dark pool heightening its 


Zauschneria Californica, Presl. Evening-Primrose Family. 

Woody plants, more or less villous. Stems. — Much branched; 
ascending or decumbent; one to three feet long. Leaves^ — Mostly 
alternate; sessile; narrowly lanceolate to ovate; six to e^hteen lines 
long. Flowers. — Bright scarlet; in a loose spike; funnel-form; tvi'enty 
lines long. Calyx. — Scarlet; four-cleft. Petals. — Four; obcordate; 
borne on the calyx-tube. Stamens. — Eight. Filaments and style 
more or less exserted. Ovary: — Four-celled; inferior. Sligma four- 
lobed. Hab. — From Plumas County to Mexico; and the Rocky Moun- 
tains east of the Great Basin. 

In late summer and through the autumn, the brilliant blos- 
soms of the California Fuchsia brighten the sombre tones of our 
dry, open hill-slopes. Its aspect is one of gay insouciance, 
which would drive away melancholy despite oneself, and 
though other plants have been put to rout, one by one, by 
the sun's fierce glare, nothing daunted, it puts on its brightest 
hues, like a true apostle of cheerfulness. It has been culti- 
vated for some time, and is highly prized in Eastern gardens, 
where it has earned for itself the pretty title of * * humming- 
bird' s trumpet." It is not confined to our limits, but extends 
southward into Mexico, and eastward to Wyoming. We have 
seen it flourishing in the Sierras, where it is particularly beau- 

It is called **balsamea" by the Spanish -Californians, who 
use a wash of it as a remedy for cuts and bruises. 

It varies greatly in the size and hairiness of its leaves, in 
the form of its flowers, which are broadly or narrowly funnel- 
form, and in the exsertion of the stamens and style. The var, 
microphylla has a woolly pubescence, linear leaves often very 
small, three or four lines long, and other small leaves crowded 
in their axils. This is found in the south. 


CALIFORNIA FUCHSIA— ZaiijcAifrin Califon 

There is no glory in star or blossom 
Till looked upon by a loving eye; 

There is no fragrance in April breezes 

Till breathed with joy as they wander by. 




Muilla marilima, Benth. Lily Family. 
Root. — A small membranous-coated corm. Leaves, — Radical; 
linear; equaling the slender scape. &a^j.— Three to twelve inches 
• high, bearine an umbel of small greenish- while flowers, subtended by 
several small lanceolate to linear bracts. Pedicels. — Five to fifteen; 
two to twelve lines long. Perianth. — Almost rotate; of six seRmenti; 
two or three lines lone. Stamens.— ^vii. Ovary. — Globose; three- 
celled. Hab.—T\\^ Coast, from Marin County to Monterey; also 

The generic name of this little plant is Allium reversed. 

Though it has a coated bulb like the onion, it has none of 
its garlic flavor. It differs from the other umbellate- flowered 
genera of the Lily family in not having its flowers jointed upon 
their pedicels. It thus seems to be a link between the onion, 
on the one hand, and the beautiful Brodiisas and Bloomerias, 
on the other. It is not at all an attractive plant, though its 
blossoms are pleasantly fragrant. 

It is found on the borders of salt marshes and in subsaline 
soils in the interior, as well as upon high hills in stony soils. 

Another species — M. serotina, Greene — common upon 
inland hills m the south, is quite a delicate, pretty flower. Its 
greenish- white blossoms, with dainty Nile-green anthers, arc 
nearly an mch across, and each segment has a pale-green mid- 
nerve. The plant has a number of very long, slender lea\'es, 
and its flower-stems are sometimes two feet tall and veiy 




Garrya elliptica^ Dougl. Dogwood Family. 

Shrubs five to eight feet high. Leaves, — Leathery; white-wooUy 
beneath; wavy-margined. Flowers. — Of two kinds on separate shrubs; 
in solitary or dustered catkins; and without petals. Staminate catkins, 
— ^Two to ten inches long, consisting of a flexile chain of funnel-form 
bracts, depending one from another; each having six flowers like clap- 
Ijers. These flowers with four hairy sepals and four stamens with dis- 
tinct filaments. Pistillate catkins. — Of similar structure but stouter, 
more rigid. Their flowers without floral envelopes; pistils two; fleshy 
and hairy; stigmas filiform; dark. Hob. — Near the Coast from Mon- 
terey County to Washington. 

This shrub might easily be mistaken for one of our young 
live-oaks, with its leathery leaves and gray bark; but the leaves 
are opposite, and not alternate, as with the oaks. The bark 
and leaves have an intensely bitter principle, similar to quinine' 
and equally efficacious. 

Early in February, after the first spell of balmy weather, 
the bushes put forth their flowers, and then they are exceed- 
ingly beautiful. The long pale-green chains at the ends of all 
the branches hang limp and flexile, shaken with every breath 
of wind, or, falling over other branches, drape and festoon the 
whole shrub exquisitely. The catkins of the female shrub are 
stouter and more rigid than those of the male; but when the 
fruit is mature, they lengthen out into beautifully tinted clusters 
of little papery-coated grapes, which are quite attractive in 
themselves. This is cultivated as an ornamental shrub in 

G, Fremont^ Torn, another species, is distinguished by 
having its leaves pointed at both ends, not wavy-margined, and 
not permanently woolly; and also by its solitary catkins. This 
is the shrub usually spoken of as ' * quinine-bush, " ' * fever-bush, * ' 
etc., and whose leaves were used as a substitute for quinine in 
the early days among the miners. It is said that its roots, left 
in the ground after the cutting of the shrub, become marbled 
with green, and are then very beautiful for inlaying in orna- 
mental woodwork. 





Umbellularia Californica^ Nutt. Laurel Family. 

Shrubs or trees, ten to one hundred feet high. Leaves. — Alternate; 
short-petioled; lanceolate-oblong; two to four inches long; smooth, 
shining green; very aromatic. Flowers.— \xv clusters. Sepals. — Six; 
greenish-white; two and a half lines long. /V/a^.— None. Stamens. 
— Nine; in three rows; the filaments of the inner row having on either 
side, at base, a stalked orange-colored gland. ^«/A^r5.— Four-celled; 
the cells opening by uplifting lids. Ovary.— On^-ceWed. Style stout 
Stigma lobed. Fruit. — Olive-like; an inch long; becoming purple. 
Hab. — From Oregon to San Diego. 

Early in February we usually have some of our loveliest 
days. Life is then pulsing and throbbing everywhere at full tide. 
The dear sunshine, the murmur of streams, the odor of the 
freshly turned sod, the caroling of larks — all are eloquent of 
the springtime. The whole air is filled with a strange, spicy 
fragrance which makes it a delight to breathe. The California 
laurel is shaking out a delicious, penetrating odor from its 
countless blossoms. 

Mr. Sargent refers to this tree as one of the stateliest and 
most beautiful inhabitants of the North American forests, and 
one of the most striking features of the California landscape. 

In France it is now much appreciated and cultivated in 
parks and gardens. 

In Southern California it is only a shrub; but in the central 
and nortliern counties it becomes a magnificent tree, a hundred 
feet in height and from four to six feet in diameter. It thrives 
best in the rich soil along stream-banks, though it grows also 
upon hillsides. It would be impossible to mistake this tree for 
any other; for its leaves, when crushed, give out a peculiar pun- 
gent odor which, if inhaled too much, will cause headache. 
The odor is something like that of bay-rum. The Indians, as 
well as our own people, acting upon the homeopathic principle, 
use them as a remedy for headache. The oil is also used 
effectively in toothache, earache, etc. , and enters into the com- 
position of certain patent medicines. 

The wood of the laurel is one of the most beautiful employed 
by the cabinet-maker, and it is largely used in the manufacture 



of choice furniture. The olive-like fruit is ripe by July, and 
would remain upon the tree until the next year were not the 
squirrels so fond of it 

This tree is known in different localities by a variety of 
names, such as ** spice-bush,'* **balm of heaven,'* ** sassafras 
laurel," **cajeput,'' '^California bay-tree,'' *Xalifomia olive," 
** mountain laurel," and ** California laurel." But the last of 
these is the one prevalent where its finest forms are found. 


Cercocarpus parvifoHus^ Nutt. Rose Family. 

Shrubs two to twenty feet high; branching from a thick base. 
Leaves, — Alternate; short-petioled; cuneate; serrate across the sum- 
mit; more or less silky above; densely hoary-tomentose beneath; six 
to eighteen lines long. Mowers. — Mostly solitary; axillary. Calyx, — 
Nanowly tubular, with a deciduous campanulate five-lobed limb. 
Petals. — None. Stamens. — Fifteen to twenty-five; on the calyx. 
Ovary. — One- (rarely two-) celled. Style simple. Frutt. — An akene 
with a silky tail, at length becoming three or four inches long. Hob, — 
The Coast Ranges fi-om Lake County to Southern California. 

The mountain mahogany is a common shrub upon the 
interior hills of the Coast Ranges; and when one has once 
made its acquaintance, it is always easily recognized by its 
wedge-shaped, dark-green leaves, prominentiy veined and 
notched at the summit. Its flowers, having no petals, are 
green and inconspicuous; but the long, solitary plumes of its 
little fruit are very noticeable and pretty. Its wood is the 
heaviest and hardest we have. 

Mr. Greene says that its leafy twigs have a sweet, birchy 
flavor, rendering them excellent food for cattle in late summer. 




Aristolochia Californica^ Torr. Birthwort Family. 

Stem, — Woody; climbing. Leaves. — Alternate; short - petioled; 
large; ovate-cordate, two to four inches long. Flowers. — Greenish, 
veined with purple. Perianth, — Pipe-shaped; the lobes of the lip 
leather-colored within. Anthers. — Six; sessile; adnate in pairs to the 
thick style under the broad lobes of the stigma; vertical. Stigma. — 
Three -lobed. Ovary. — Inferior; six -angled; six-celled. Fruit. — ^A 
large, leathery pod two inches long. Hab. — The Coast Ranges, from 
Monterey to Marin County. 

This odd flower is found rather sparingly in our middle 
Coast Ranges from February to April, and in some parts of 
the Sierra foothills, reaching even to the Yosemite. As it 
flowers before the large leaves come out, and the blossoms are 
much like dead leaves in color, it requires keen eyes to find it. 
It usually grows on low ground, in a tangle .of shrubs under 
the trees, often festooning gracefully from branch to branch. 
Before the flowers are fully open, the buds resemble ugly little 
brown ducks hanging from the vine. 

The common blue-black butterfly is often seen hovering 
over this vine, and it is said that its caterpillar is so fond of the 
fruit that it rarely permits one to ripen. 

Later in the season, the large cordate leaves are quite con- 
spicuous, and cause people to wonder what may have been the 
flower of so fine a vine. 


Echinocactus viridescens^ Nutt Cactus Family. 

Depressed, hemispherical, fleshy, leafless plants, with from thirteen 
to twenty-one prominent, vertical ribs, bearing groups of rigid spines; 
usually less than a foot in diameter. Spines. — Straight or recurved; 
stout; reddish; transversely ribbed or ringed. Flowers. — Sessile; 
borne about the depressed woolly center; yellowish-green; about 
eighteen lines long. Sepals. — Many; closely imbricated; merging into 
the numerous, oblong, scarious petals; sometimes nerved with red. 
Stamens. — Very many. (9z/<iry. — One-celled. Stigmas twelve to fif- 
teen; linear. &erry. — Pulpy; green; scaly. Hab. — From San Diego 

The Turk's-head cactus looks very much like the end of a 
watermelon protruding from the ground, if one could imagine 


DUTCHMAN'S ViPE—Arislohchia Califon 


a watermelon deeply furrowed and furnished with very formid- 
able spines. 

This plant is abundant near San Diego, growing all over the 
mesas; and it is marvelous that horses and cattie are not more 
often injured by stepping upon these disagreeable, horrent 
globes; but long experience has doubtless taught them the 
instinct of caution. 

The plant is really beautiful when crowned with its circle of 
gauzy, yellow-green flowers, which are more like some exquisite 
artificial fabrication than real flowers. The fruit of this cactus 
is slightly acid and rather pleasant. 

The plant is cultivated in Europe under the name of Echi- 
nocactus Califoriiicus, 


Prosartes Hookeri^ Terr. Lily Family. 

Rootstock. — Creeping; spreading. Stem.—K foot or two high', 
branching horizontally. Leaves. — ^Alternate; ovate; cordate; acute; 
several-nerved; two or three inches long. Flowers, — Greenish; one 
to six; six lines long; pendulous under the ends of the branches. Peri- 
anth. — Spreading-campanulate. Segments. — Six; lanceolate; arched 
at the base. Stamens. — Six; equaling or exceeding the perianth. 
Ovary, — Three-celled. Style slender; entire. Fruit. — An obovate, 
somewhat pubescent berry; golden, ripening to scarlet. Syn. — Dispo- 
rum Hookeri, Britt. Hao. — The Coast Ranges from Marin County to 
Santa Cruz; in shady woods, but not by the water. 

In our walks through the April woods, we often notice a 
fine plant with branching stems, whose handsomely veined 
leaves are set obliquely to the stem and all lie in nearly the 
same horizontal plane. In our subsequent meetings with the 
plant it seems to change but little, and we begin to grow im- 
patient for the coming of the flower, which, however, seems to 
show no disposition to appear. Some day, when bending over 
a bit of moss or a fern-frond, or peering into the silk-lined hole 
of a ground-spider, we suddenly catch a glimmer of something 
under the broad leaves of our hitherto disappointing plant, and 
hastening to examine it, we find to our amazement one or 
more exquisitely formed little green bells hanging from the tip 



of each branch. Later these are often succeeded by small ber- 
ries, at first golden, and afterward scarlet. 

The generic name, Prosaries, comes irom a Greek word 
signifying to hang froniy and is in allusion to the pendulous 
flowers. By some authorities this plant is called Disporum 
HookerL The common name, ** drops of gold," applies to the 

Another species — P, Menziesii^ Don.— is found growing 

along stream-banks in the Coast Ranges Irom Marin County 

northward. This differs from the above in its longer, more 

cylindrical, milk-white flowers, and its salmon-colored berries. 

It usually blossoms a little later than the other species, lasting 

till June. 


Artemisia vulgaris, var, Cali/ornica, Bess. Composite Family. 

Stems. — Rather simple; a foot or two high. Leaves. — Ample; 
slashed downward into long acute lobes; green above; cottony- woolly 
beneath; bitter; strong-scented; the upper often entire, linear or lance- 
olate. Flower-heads. — Minute; two lines high, one broad; composed 
of tubular disk-flowers only; greenish, in long, slender, crowded pani- 
cles. Hab. — Near the Coast, from San Francisco northward. 

This is a common weed along our roadsides, and is easily 
known by its slashed leaves with silvery under surfaces. These 
leaves are very bitter. This is closely allied to the wormwood, 
and by many people is called ** wormwood.'* 


Artemisia Calif ornica, Less. Composite Family. 

Stems. — Shrubby; four or five feet high; with many slender 
branches. Leaves. — Alternate; pinnately parted into three- to seven- 
filiform divisions; or entire and filiform; an inch or so long; strong- 
scented. Flower-heads.— Vory smd\\\ two lines or less across; numer- 
ous, in narrow panicles; greenish; composed of tubular disk-flowers 
only. Hab. — Marin County to San Bernardino. 

The Artemisia, or, as it is more commonly called, ** sage- 
brush,'' is an old friend that we always expect to meet in our 
walks on rocky hill-slopes. Its leaves have a clean, bitter 
fragrance, similar to that of the mugwort, but sweeter, and when 
crushed in the hand they emit a strong odor of turpentine. 



Dr. Behr tells me that in the early days the minors laid 
sprays of it in their beds to drive away the fleas. 

The Spanish -Californians regard it as a panacea for all ills, 
and use it in the form of a strong wash to bathe wounds and 
swellings, with excellent results. 

Another species — A, tridentata^ Nutt. — is the shrubby 
form, growing so abundantly all over the alkali plains of the 
Great Basin, where it holds undisputed possession with the 
prairie-dog and the coyote. It has narrow, wedge-shaped 
leaves, which are three-toothed at the apex; and the whole 
plant has a strong odor of turpentine. 

This is highly esteemed by the Indians as a medicinal plant. 


Rumex hymenosepalusy Ton*. Buckwheat Family. 

Root, — A cluster of Dahlia-like tubers. Stems, — About two feet 
high. Leaves, — Narrowly oblong or lanceolate; afoot long or less; 
acute; undulate; narrowea into a short, very thick petiole, r lowers, — 
Light raisin-color; in a large panicle a foot or so long. Perianth. — Of 
six sepals; the outer minute; the inner about five lines long, appressed 
to the ovary. Stamens. — Six. Ovary, — ^Three-angled; one -celled. 
Styles three; short. Stigmas tufted. I/ad. — Dry y sandy plains of 
Southern California. 

The wild pie-plant is closely related to the garden rhubarb, 
and also to the dock and the sorrel. In early days in both 
Utah and Southern California housewives used its stems as a 
substitute for the cultivated pie-plant, finding them quite accept- 
able. The Indians have long used the root in the tanning of 
buckskins, and they have also found in it a bright mahogany- 
brown dye, with which to paint their bodies. 

Of late this plant has been attracting much notice under the 
name * * canaigre, ' ' and it is hoped that it will prove a valuable 
substitute for tanbark. If it does, we shall hail it with delight 
as the savior of our beautiful oak forests. Tannin exists in 
large quantities in the thick roots; but it is yet a question 
whether it will prove remunerative to the farmer as a crop. At 
Rialto a company has been formed, which employs many men 




to gather and prepare the roots, and there will soon be thou- 
sands of acres of it under cultivation. The tops of the plants, 
with the small upper portions of the roots, which have all the 
eyes upon them, are cut off and replanted for the next year's 
crop, while the remainder of the root is sliced, dried, pul- 
verized, and leached to extract the tannin, which is then ready 
for use. 

The plant is a very noticeable one, with its red leaf-stems 
and veins and its large, dense cluster of small raisin-colored 
flowers, and it is often seen upon our southern plains. But I 
am told that over the border in Lower California it grows in 
great abundance, covering the ground for miles. It would 
seem as though its cultivation might be carried on with best 
results where nature produces it so freely. 


Gomphocarpus tomentosuSy Gray. Milkweed Family. 

Densely white-woolly plants, with milky juice. Stems. — One to 
three feet high. Leaves. — Two to four inches long. Flowers. — Sev- 
eral, in a pendulous cluster on yamlike pedicels; lateral upon the stem 
between the leaves. Gz/y^.— Five-parted; inconspicuous. Corolla. — 
Deeply five-parted; greenish without, pinkish within. Stamens. — Five; 
sunk in the column and alternating with the five hoods. Hoods, — ^Two 
lines across; saccate; open down the outer face. Ovaries. — ^Two; 
pointed; capped by a flat stigma. Fruit. — A pair of follicles; with 
many silken-tufted seeds. Hub. — Dry hills from San Diego to Monte 

In the south by late spring the very woolly stems and foliage 
of this milkweed become quite noticeable before any hint of 
blossoms appears. The thick, gray leaves look as though they 
might have been cut out of heavy flannel. By May the flower- 
clusters begin to take definite form, and at last the buds open 
and reveal a most interesting flower, whose structure is quite 
complicated. The center of the blossom is occupied by a 
fleshy column, in which are sunk the anthers, and upon which 
are borne certain round, dark wine-colored bodies called the 
** hoods,*' which are in reality nectaries, holding honey for 
insect visitors. All the pollen in each anther-cell consists of a 




waxy mass, and the adjacent masses of different anthers are 
bound together by a gummy, elastic band, suspended upon 
the rim of the stigma. The stigma occupies the top of the 
fleshy column, and forms a cap, hiding from view the two tubes, 
or styles, leading down into the ovaries. 

The milkweeds of California are divided between two genera 
— Asclepias and GomphocarpuSy — the difference between them 
lying in the presence of a horn or crest rising out of the hoods 
in Asclepias, 

Bees visiting the. blossoms of the milkweeds are said to be 
frequently disabled by the pollen-masses, which adhere to 
them in such numbers and weigh them down so heavily that 
they cannot climb upon their combs, but fall down and perish. 


Cypripediiim montanum, Dougl. Orchis Family. 

Stems. — Stout; a foot or two high; leafy. Leaves, — Four to six 
inches long; pointed. Flowers, — One to three; short-pediceled. Sepals 
and petals, — Brownish; eighteen to thirty lines long; the two lower 
sepals united nearly to the apex. Sac, — An inch long; dull white, 
veined with purple. Anthers.— Tv:o fertile (one on either side of the 
column); one sterile, four or five lines long, yellow, with purple spots 
longer than the stigma. Hab, — ^The mountains from Central California 
to the Columbia River. 

The mountain lady's slipper is a rare plant with us, which 
affects cool, secluded spots in our mountain forests. The 
plants, of which two or three usually grow from a creeping 
rootstock, generally stand where some moisture seeps out. 
The leaves are ample and shapely, and the quaint flowers quiet 
and elegant in coloring. 

The long, twisted sepals and petals and the oval sac give 
these blossoms the aspect of some floral daddy-long-legs or 
some weird brownie of the wood. We feel that we have fallen 
upon a rare day when we are fortunate enough to find these 
flowers, and we are reminded of Mr. Burroughs' lines: **How 
fastidious and exclusive is the Cypripediinn / , , , It does 
not go in herds, like the commoner plants, but aff*ects privacy 




and solitude. When I come upon it in my walks, I seem to 
be intruding upon some very private and exclusive company." 

In our Coast Ranges we may look for these blossoms in 

We have but two or three species of Cypripedium, C Call- 
fomicum^ Gray, is similar to C montanum, but its blossoms 
have comparatively short greenish-yellow sepals and petals, and 
the sac is from white to pale rose-color. They have a more 
compact look, and lack the careless grace of those of the 
mountain lady's slipper. Their haunts are swamps in open 
woodlands in the northern part of the State, where they bloom 
in August and September, and are often found in the company 
of the California pitcher-plant. 


Hahenaria elegans, Bolander. Orchis Family. 

Root. — An oblong tuber. Stem. — Rather slender; a foot or two 
high. Leaves. — Two; radical; oblong; three to six inches long; eight- 
een lines to two inches wide. Flowers. — Small; light ereen; in a 
dense but slender spike. Sepals and petals about equd; two lines 
long; obtuse. Lip. — Similar, with a filiform spur three to five lines 
long. (Otherwise like H. leucostachys.) Hub. — Near the coast, from 
Monterey to Vancouver Island. 

In early summer the fragrant spikes of the rein-orchis stand 
half- concealed under the trees and along the banks bordering 
wooded mountain roads. The little greenish flowers are incon- 
spicuous, and reveal themselves only to those who have the 
habit of observation. Early in the spring the rather large 
lily-like leaves were far more noticeable and handsome; but 
they seemed to weary of waiting for the tardy arrival of the 
blossoms, and faded away long since. The little flowers are 
very deliberate about unfolding themselves; and I have some- 
times watched them when they seemed for weeks at a stand- 
still before yielding to the summer's invitation to come forth. 

They are arranged in a three-sided spike, on two sides of 
which the long spurs interlace and cross one another in quite a 
warlike manner. 


REIN-ORCHIS— //a*«BO no tiegan 



Dipsacus FuUomum, L. Teasel Family. 

The teasel is not an imoommon sight along our roadades, 
having spread considerably since its introduction from £un^)ey 
some years ago. The strong stems are tall and slender, and 
bear at summit the bu^e brisdy cones, surrounded by rigid, 
erect bracts. These cones are the inflorescence d[ the plant, 
and each downward-pointing litde hook is a bract beneath a 
flower. Before the flowers come out, the buds show their 
round, green heads, packed away down among the brisdes. 
Then for a time the cones are ringed or covered by the deli- 
cate flesh-colored flowers; whidi stand out from the brisdes, 
giving the cone a soft, flufiy look. After these have passed 
away, the cavities in which they were stored give the cone a 
pitted appearance. These burs are exquisitely symmetrical, 
and have long been in use by the fuller to 'tease," or raise a 
nap upon doth, whence the name, "teasel." They are cut in 
halves or quarters, and these are set in frames which are 
worked by machinery. Many vain attempts have been made 
to manufacture an instrument to take the place of the teasel; 
but it is difficult to find anything that is strong enough to do 
the work that at the same time will not injiu-e the doth. 

This is enumerated among the plants which are supposed 
to foretell the weather. Mr. Dyer quotes the following: — 
. . . **tezils, or fuller's thisde, being gathered and hanged 
up in the house where the air may come freely to it, upon the 
alteration of cold and windy weather will grow smoother, and 
against rain will close up its prickles." 




Salicornia amhigua^ Michx. Goosefoot Family. 
Hab, — ^The Coast, from San Francisco to Oregon. 

Ye marshes, how candid and simple, and nothing withholding and free, 

Ye publish yourselves to the sky, and offer yourselves to the sea; 

Tolerant plains that suffer the sea and the rains and the sun. 

Ye spread and span, like the catholic man who hath mightily won 

God out of knowledge, and good out of infinite pain. 

And sight out of blindness, and purity out of a stain. 

— Sidney Lanier. 

Though a humble enough plant in itself, the samphire, or 
glasswort, is the source of a wonderful glory in our marshes in 
the autumn. Great stretches of tide-land not already pre-empted 
by the tule are covered by it, showing the most gorgeous 
blendings of crimson, purple, olives, and bronzes, which, seen 
with all the added charm of shifting and changing atmospheric 
effects, far outrival any Oriental rug that could be conceived of. 

This plant is easily known by its succulent branching, leaf- 
less stems and from the fact that it does not grow outside of 
the salt marshes. Its flowering is obscure, and all that can be 
seen is a few small stamens just protruding from the surface of 
the fleshy spike, which appears much like any of the other 
branches, the flowers being sunk in it. 

The generic name is derived from two Latin words — sal^ 
salt, and cornu^ a horn — and conveys the idea of saline plants 
with hornlike branches. The English name, ** samphire,'* is of 
French derivation, and comes originally from the old **rherbe 
de Saint Pierre," formerly having been written **sampetra'* 
and "sampire." In Great Britain this plant is usually desig- 
nated as ^^ marsh samphire,** to distinguish it from the ordinary 
samphire, which is a plant of the genus Crithmum, 

This plant is much relished by cattle, and in England it is 
made into a pickle, while on the continent it is used as a pot- 
herb. Formerly, in Europe, it was burned in large quantities 
for the soda contained in its ashes. 




Epipactis gigantea, DougL Orchis Famfly. 

Rooistock. — Creeping. Stems. — Leafy; one to four feet high. 
Leaves. — ^Alternate; sessile; clasping; ovate below; lanceolate above; 
three to eight inches long. Flowers.— T\ixe)t to ten; in terminal 
racemes; greenish, veined with purple. Sepals. — ^Three; petadoid; 
l^iceolate; an inch or less long. Petals. — ^The two upper about equal- 
in|^ the sepals. The lip concave; saccate; eared at base; with a 
jomted, pendulous tip. Anther. — One; sessile upon the top of the 
column. Ovary. — One-celled. Hab. — ^Throughout California. 

The casual observer usually alludes to this plant as a 
"lady's slipper," and he is not so very far wrong, for it is 
closely related to the Cypripediuniy and resembles it much in 
habit, in the aspect of its leafy stems, and in the general form 
of its blossom. But instead of having its lip in the form of 
a sac, it is open and curiously jointed, the lower portion swing- 
ing freely, as upon a hinge. When this lid is raised, one can 
fancy some winged seraph or angel enshrined within, but when 
lowered the semblance is more to a monk bowed in meditation. 

These beautiful plants will be found abundandy fringing our 
streams in June and July, and the disciples of dear old Isaac 
Walton who then pass down the stream with rod and line are 
usually attracted by their quietly elegant colors. Dull purples 
and greens predominate, though the lip is tinged with orange 
or yellow. 

In Northern California and Oregon is occasionally found a 
rare and curious plant — the "phantom orchis,*' Cephalanthera 
Oregana, Richenb.f. This plant is white and ghosdike 
throughout, has stems a foot or two high, but no leaves — 
only three to five scarious sheathing bracts. Its blossoms are 
very similar in size and shape to those of Epipa£tis gigantea, 

I have never had the pleasure of finding this floral oddity 
myself; but one season a friend sent me the only plant which 
was found in a thicket near a pretty camp upon the Sacramento 
River, in the Shasta region. 




Darlingtonia Califamica, Torr. Pitcher-plant Family. 

Bog i^ants, with loi^ horizontal rootstocks. Leaves. ~T\i\x\aj'^ 
hooded and appendaged above; eighteen to thirty-four inches h^h. 
Scape. — Eighteen inches or more high, with green bracts crowded near 
the solitary nodding flower. Flower parts in fives. Sepals.— Greexi', 
twenty lines loi^. /V/a/s.— Purplish; shorter than the sepals; con- 
stricted above into a terminal lobe. Stamens.—Tw^Xve to fifteen in 
a circle around the ovary. 0»ttry.— Top-shaped; truncate; five-lobed; 
five-ceUed Style five-lobed. Stigmas thickish. Zfe^.— The Sierras, 
fi'om Truckee Pass into Oregon. 

Our pitcher-plant is one of the most wonderful and inter- 
esting of all the forms that grow, linking, as it were, the vege- 
table world with the animal, by its unnatural carnivorous 
habits. If you would like to visit it, this warm July day, we 
will take a mountain trail, leading around under lofty yellow 
pines, Douglas spruces, and incense- cedars, making our way 
through the undergrowth until we come to a swamp lying 
upon a hillside yonder. While still some distance away, we 
can discern the yellowish -green of the myriad hoods as they 
lift themselves in the sunlight like spotted snakes. 

If you have never seen the plant before, you will be in a 
fever of excitement till you can reach the spot and actually 
take one of the strange pitchers in your hand to examine it. 
Nothing could be cleverer than the nicely arranged wiles of 
this uncanny plant for the capturing of the innocent — yes, and 
of the more knowing ones — of the insect world who come 
within its enchantment. No ogre in his castle has ever gone 
to work more deliberately or fiendishly to entrap his victims 
while offering them hospitality, than does this plant-ogre. 
Attracted by the bizarre yellowish hoods or the tall nodding 
flowers, the foolish insect alights upon the former and com- 
mences his exploration of the fascinating region. He soon 
comes upon the wing, which often being smeared with a trail 
of sweets, acts as a guide to lure him on to the dangerous 
entrance to the hoodlike dome. Once within this hall of 
pleasure, he roams about, enjoying the hospitality spread for 
him. But at last, when he has partaken to satiety and would 



fain depart, he turns to retrace his steps. In the dazzlement 
of the translucent windows of the dome above, he loses sight 
of the darkened door in the floor by which he entered and flies 
forcibly upward, bumping his head in his eagerness to escape. 
He is stunned by the blow and plunged downward into the 
tube below. Here he struggles to rise, but countless down- 
ward-pointing, bristly hairs urge him to his fate. He sinks 
lower and lower in this **well of death*' until he reaches the 
fatal waters in the bottom, where he is at length ingulfed, add- 
ing one more to the already numerous victims of this diabol- 
ical plant. 

The fluid at the bottom of the well is secreted by the plant, 
and seems to have somewhat the action of a gastric juice in 
disintegrating the insects submerged in it. Many species of 
ants, flies, bees, hornets, grasshoppers, butterflies, moths, 
dragon-flies, beetles, etc., are to be found in the tube, some- 
times filling it to a depth of two or three inches. 

The disagreeableness of the vicinity of these plants can be 
imagined upon a hot day when the sun is shining * * upon this 
sad abode of death ' ' and all the air is tainted with their sick- 
ening odor. 

The mountaineers call the plant **calf's-head," because of 
the large yellowish domes of the pitchers. 



[To assist in the pronunciation of the Latin names, the accented syllable in each 

word is indicated by an accent mark. If this syllable ends in a vowel, the vowel has the 
long sound ; but if it ends in a consonant, the vowel has a short sound. Either the 
English or the Continental sounds may be given the vowels, though the former are 
more generally authorized.] 


Abro'nia latifolia 146 Aristolo'chiaCalifor'nica 374 

marit'ima 292 Artemis'ia Califor'nica 377 

umbella'ta 292 tridenta'ta 378 

villo'sa 292 vulga'ris 377 

Achille'a Millefolium 97 As'arum cauda'tum 310 

Aconi'tum Columbia'num ... 328 Hartwe'gi .310 

Fisch'eri 328 Ascle'pias Mexica'na 312 

Adenos'toma fascicula'tuni ... 60 As'ter Chamisso'nis 332 

sparsifo'lium 60 salsugino'sus 332 

-^s'culus Califor'nica 69 Astragfalus xxxv 

Amelan'chier alnifo'lia 88 leucop'sis 40 

Amor'pha Califor'nica 315 Audiber'tia grandiflo'ra 350 

Amsinck'ia 128 stachyoi'des 294 

Anagallis arven'sis 126 niv'ea 296 

Anaph'alis Margarita'cea 102 

Anemo'ne nemoro'sa 18 Bac'charis Douglas'ii 106 

quinquefolia 18 pilula'ris 104 

Anemop'sis Califor'nica 76 Bae'ria gra'cilis 124 

Antenna'ria 102 Ber'beris Aquifo'lium 122 

Antirrhi'num Coulteria'num . . 46 nervo'sa 118 

glandulo'sum 320 re'pens 118 

Orcuttia'num 46 Bloome'ria au'rea 154 

va'gans 320 Clevelan'di 156 

Apoc'ynum androsaemifo'lium 236 Boykin'ia occidentals 81 

cannab'inum 238 Bras'sica ni'gra 140 

Aquile'gia coeru'lea 348 Brevoor'tia coccin'ea 238 

trunca'ta 348 Brodiae'a capita'ta 262 

Ar'abis blepharophylla 196 coccin'ea 238 

Ara'lia Califor'nica 76 conges'ta 264 

Ar'butus Menzie'sii 37 grandiflo'ra 318 

Arctostaph'ylos bi'color 14 ixioi'des 156 

glau'ca 14 lac'tea 156 

manzani'ta 12 lax'a 302 

pun'gens 12 multiflo'ra 262 

Argemo'ne platy'ceras 74 terres'tris 318 



Brodiae'a volu'bilis 232 Convol'vulus lute'olus 40 

Brunella vulga'ris 322 occidentalis 40 

Bryan'thus Brew'eri 246 Soldanella 2 to 

villo'sus 42 

Calandrin'ia caules'cens 212 Corallorhi'za Bigelo'vii ... 272 

Calochor'tus xl multiflo'ra 272 

al'bus 54 Cor'nus Nuttal'lii 94 

Ben'thami 130 Cot'ula coronopifo'lia 151 

Catali'nae 306 Cotyle'don Califor'nicum .... 142 

clava'tus 150 ed'ulis 142 

lu'teus 174 lanceola'ta 141 

lu'teus ocula'tus 81 pulverulen'ta 142 

macrocar'pus 268 Cucur'bita foetidis'sima 117 

Mawea'nus 278 peren'nis 117 

pulchellus : 144 Cus'cuta 160 

splen'dens 306 sali'na 161 

umbella'tus 278 Cynoglos'sum gran'de 258 

uniflo'rus 278 Cypripe'dium Califor'nicum . . 384 

venus'tus 78 monta'num 382 

Weed'ii 150 

Calycan'thus occidenta'lis 352 rk«^i;«^^/«;« r^^i;<x^'«,v^ ^^^ 

Calyp'so borea'lis 2I0 Da^lrngto ma Califor nica ... 390 

Camas'sia esculen'ta 292 ^^'"c^'^^^lSi^^" ^ 

Campan'ula prenanthoi'des . . 322 f^avToTns ^ 

Cardam'ine paucisec'ta 4 T^^\^^fw\^r^ ^nk 

Cea^;!^^^•.V.•.V....•.•..xx^ . ^^^^ I 

Hivanra'tiK; ocR SCOpulo rum 330 

\ZT3^.;^ «. Dendrome'con rig'idum ii8 

^rnSrl W it Denta'ria Califor'nica 4 

R'^^^^'j^f,, 326 Dicen'tra chrysan'tha 162 

thyrsiflorus 274 formo'sa 242 

CephalanTeraOrega'na. .W'. i^ {^L&^^i^Kri te. 

Cephalan'thus occidenta'lis... 98 Eod^ecXS C^^^^^^^^^ 2^ 

Cer'cis occidenta'lis 198 ^^^mLh! rJ^'ni o^ 

Cercocar'pus parvifo'lius 373 ^^^.^dia 2CI 

""'l^^T^^^l'^^^t, ^^ Downin'giaeregans::::.::.^^ 

Cheiran'thus as'per 132 pulchella 314 

Chimaph'ila Menzie'sii 104 

umbella'ta 104 Echinocac'tus virides'cens . . . 374 

Chlorog'alum pomeridia'num . 82 Echinocys'tis faba'cea 26 

Chorizan'the staticoi'des 218 macrocar'pa 26 

Cicho'rium In'tybus 312 Echinosperm'um floribun'dum 334 

Clar^ia concin'na 236 Ellis'ia chrysanthemifolia 36 

el'egans 228 Emmenan'the penduliflo'ra . . . 130 

Clayto'nia perfolia'ta 16 Ence'lia Califor'nica 128 

Clem'atis lasian'tha 91 Epilo'bium angustifolium 244 

ligusticifo'Iia 91 obcorda'tum 254 

Clinto'nia Andrewsia'na 202 panicula'tum 244 

Collin'sia bi'color 294 spica'tum 244 

Collo'mia grandiflo'ra 178 Epipac'tis gigante'a 38S 

^.onvol'vulus arven'sis 42 Erig'eron Coul'teri 106 



Erig'eron elau'cus 304 Gode'tia xxxvi 

Philaderphicus 216 Bot'tae 240 

salsugino'sus 332 grandiflo'ra 240 

Eriodic'tyon glutino'sum 56 vimine'a 240 

tomento'sum 58' Gomphocar'pus tomento'sus . 380 

Eriog'onum fascicula'tum 34 Gooaye'ra Menzie'sii 98 

nu'dum 34 Grindelia cuneifolia 176 

umbella'tum 178 hirsu'tula 178 

ursi'num 178 robus'ta 176 

Eriophynum caespito'sum 182 

confertiflo'rum 180 Habena'ria el'egans 384 

Eritrich'ium 30 leucosta'chys 94 

Ero'dium Bo'trys 194 Helian'thus an'nuus 185 

cicuta'rium 194 Califor'nicus 186 

moscha'tum 194 Heliotro'pium Curassa'vicum . 47 

Erys'imum as'perum 132 Hemizo'nia luzulaefo'lia 188 

grandiflo'rum 132 Heterome'les arbutifo'lia 90 

Erythrae'a venus'ta 218 Heu'chera micran'tha 58 

Erythro'nium gigante'um 136 Hosack'ia bi'color 165 

grandiflo'rum 138 crassifo'lia 166 

Eschschol'tzia Califor'nica 114 gla'bra 152 

Eucharid'ium concin'num 236 gra'cilis 166 

Purshia'na 252 

Floer'kia Douglas'ii 126 Tor'reyi 165 

Fraga'ria Califor'nica 10 Hyper'icum anagalloi'des 172 

Chilen'sis 10 concin'num 162 

Fremon'tia Califor'nica 158 ,, . , 

Fritilla'ria biflo'ra 266 I "s longipet'ala 280 

coccin'ea 346 macrosi'phon 280 

lanceola'ta 264 Iso'mens arbo'rea 144 

lilia'cea 267 

pluriflo'ra 266 Krynitz'kia 30 

pu'dica 267 

recur'va 346 Lar'rea Mexica'na 191 

Lath'yrus splen'dens 212 

Galium Apari'ne 28 Tor'reyi 25 

angustifo'lium 29 vesti'tus 25 

Gar'rya ellip'tica 370 Lava'tera assurgentiflo'ra 226 

Fremon'ti 370 Lay'ia glandulo'sa 28 

Gaulthe'ria Shal'lon 75 platyglos'sa 148 

Gentia'na calyco'sa 330 Le'dum glandulo'sum 103 

Gil'ia xxxvii Lepto'syne Douglas'ii 148 

achilleaefo'lia 296 marit'ima 146 

aggrega'ta 360 Lessin'gia Germano'rum 252 

androsa'cea 222 lepto'clada 252 

Califor'nica 206 Lewis'ia redivi'va 224 

capita'ta 296 Lil'ium Humbold'tii 185 

Chamisso'nis 296 marit'imum 356 

dianthoi'des 216 pardali'num 182 

dicho'toma 50 par'vum 180 

grandiflo'ra 178 rubes'cens 72 

tri'color 288 Limnan'thes Douglas'ii 126 

Gnaphalium decur'rens 68 Lina'ria Canaden'sis 304 

Sprengelii 68 Lobelia splen'dens 365 



Lonic'era hispid'ula 226 

involucra'ta 122 

Lupi'nus xxxiv 

arbifrons 161 

arbo'reus 161 

bi'color 300 

densiflo'rus 85 

Sti'veri 161 

Lysichi'ton Camtschatcen'sis . 166 

Ma'dia d'egans 182 

sati'va 182 

Maho'nia Aquifo'lium 122 

Malaco'thrix Califor'nica 151 

saxat'ilis 75 

tenuifo'lia 75 

Malvas'trum Thur'beri 220 

Mamilla'ria Goodridg'ii 24 

Marru'bium vulga're 47 

Meconop'sis heterophyria .... 129 

Medica'go denticula'ta 132 

sati'va 326 

Megarrhi'za Califor'nica 26 

Melilo'tus al'ba 156 

parviflo'ra 156 

Mentze'lia laevicau'lis 168 

Lindleyi 168 

Mesembryan'themum aequila- 

tera'le 220 

crystalli'num 51 

Micram'pelis 26 

Microme'ria Douglas'ii 62 

Mim'ulus xxxviii 

brev'ipes 134 

cardinalis 360 

Douglas'ii 222 

glutino'sus 138 

Lewis'ii 248 

lu'teus 134 

moscha'tus 134 

Mirab'ilis Califor'nica 208 

Monardel'la lanceola'ta 324 

odoratis'sima 324 

villo'sa 324 

Mon'tia perfolia'ta 16 

Muilla marifima 369 

seroti'na 369 

Neillia opulifo'lia 85 

Nemoph ila atoma'ria 39 

auri'ta 278 

insig'nis 290 

interme'dia 284 

Nemoph'ila macula'ta 39 

Menzie'sii 284 

parviflo'ra 39 

Nicotia'na glau'ca 129 

Nu'phar polysep'alum 184 

Nuttallia cerasifor'mis 18 

CEnothe'ra xxxv 

bien'nis 175 

bistor'ta 136 

Califor'nica 48 

cheiranthifo'lia 136 

ova'ta no 

Opun'tia basila'ris 225 

Engelman'ni 170 

prolif'era 356 

serpenti'na 357 

Orthocar'pus xxxviii 

densiflo'rus , 228 

erian'thus .* . . . 151 

purpuras'cens 228 

versic'olor 52 

Ox'alis comicula'ta 196 

Orega'na 195 

Paeo'nia Brown'ii 340 

Papa'ver Califor'nicum 116 

Pedicula'ris attoHens 253 

densiflo'ra 336 

Groenlan'dica 253 

Pentachae'ta au'rea 126 

Penste'mon xxxix 

azu'reus 308 

Bridge'sii 358 

centranthifo'lius 358 

cordifolius 350 

heterophyl'lus 308 

Menzie'sii 250 

Phace'lia xxxvii 

Douglas'ii 282 

grandiflo'ra 267 

Par'ryi 288 

tanacetifo'lia 282 

vis'cida 267 

Whitla'via 288 

Phlox Douglas'ii 248 

Pickerin'gia monta'na 230 

Pipto'calyx 30 

Plagioboth'rys 30 

Platyste'mon Califor'nicus 112 

Polyg'ala Califor'nica 286 



Polyg'ala comu'ta 286 Se'dum spathulifolium 170 

cuculla'ta 286 Sidal'cea malvseflo'ra 198 

Potentilla Anseri'na 175 Sile'ne Califor'nica 354 

glandulo'sa 175 Gal'lica 246 

Primula suffrutes'cens 250 lacinia'ta 354 

Prosar'tes Hcx)k'eri 376 Sisyrin'chium beHum 284 

Menzie'sii 377 Califor'nicum 284 

Pru'nus demis'sa 36 Smilaci'na amplexicaulis 22 

ilicifolia 61 sessilifolia 22 

subcorda'ta 34 Sola'num Douglas'ii 80 

Pteros'pora andromede'a 186 ni'grum 80 

Pyr'ola aphyl'la ic» umbellif 'erum 268 

denta'ta ic» Xan'ti 268 

pic'ta 100 Solida'go Califor'nica 190 

rotundifolia 100 occidenta'lis 191 

Spha'cele calyci'na 42 

x>o«„«v„i.,c, r-oi:/x^'«;^.,o ^^^ Spirae'a betuhfolia 85 

Kanun cuius Caliior nicus .... no ^ ri.-oVrxi/^,. «p 

Rham'nus Califor'nica 67 fj^,^^ ol'n «f 

p . • / y^ Douglas 11 05 

du^^^^^^m™ r^^ij^^V'^i^.i^,' ^^M Spiran'thes Romanzoffia'num . 92 

T?»i„c oK^^J?;,^ ..A Sta'chys bulla'ta 230 

diversilo'ba 8 Symphoncar'pos racemo'sus . 225 

integrifolia 203 

laurPna 203 Telli'ma af'finis 32 

ova'ta 204 grandiflo'ra 342 

Ri'bes glutino'sum 214 Thermop'sis Califor'nica 148 

Menzie'sii 338 Trichoste'ma lana'tum 316 

sanguin'eum '..! ^ .!.!!!!! 214 . lanceola'tum 315 

specio'sum 338 Tnenta'lis Europae'a 202 

subves'titum 338 Trillium ova'tum 10 

Romanzof'fia Sitchen'sis 22 ses'sile 260 

Romne'ya Coul'teri 64 

Ro'sa Califor^nica 234 Umbellula'ria Califor'nica 372 

gymnocar'pa 236 

Ru'bus Nutka'nus 24 Vaccin'ium ova'tum 200 

spectab ilis 25 Vancouve'ria parviflo'ra 88 

Ru mex hymenosep alus 378 Venegas'ia carpesioi'des 171 

Vera'trum Califor'nicum 108 

Salicor'nia ambig'ua 387 fimbria'tum 108 

Sal'via cardua'cea 307 Verbas'cum Blatta'ria 190 

Columba'riae 298 Thap'sus 190 

Sambu'Ais glau'ca 45 Vic'ia gigante'a 358 

Sarco'des sanguin'ea 362 Vi'ola Becicwith'ii 29 

Saxif'raga Califor'nica 14 cani'na 307 

pelta'ta 242 ocella'ta 50 

Virginien'sis 14 sarmento'sa 140 

Scoli'opus Bigelo'vii 256 

Scrophula'ria Califor'nica 342 Whip'plea modes'ta 32 

Scutella'ria angustifo'lia 270 Whitla'via grandiflo'ra 288 

Califor'nica 270 Wye'thia angustifo'lia 157 

tubero'sa 270 gla'bra 157 



Wye'thia helenioi'des 157 Yuc'ca Mohaven'sis 20 

monis 157 Whip'plei 70 

Xerophyllum te'nax 51 2^uschne'ria Califor'nica 366 

Yuc'ca arbores'cens 44 Zygade'nus Fremon'ti 6 

bacca'ta 20 veneno'sus 6 





Aconite 328 Blue Forget-me-not 334 

Alfalfa 326 Blue Gentian 330 

Alfilerilla 194 Blue GUia 296 

Alpine Heather 246 Blue Larkspur 276 

Alpine Phlox 248 Blue-and-white Lupine 300 

Alpine Willow-Herb 254 Blue Milla 302 

Alum-Root 58 Blue Myrtle 274 

AmapK>la 116 Blue-vemed Nemophila 284 

American Barrenwort 88 Blueweed 328 

American Velvet-Plant 191 Big-Root 26 

Amole 82 Bird's-Eyes 288 

Angels* Trumpets 96 Bitter-Bark 68 

Apple of Peru 96 Bitter-Root 224 

August- Flower 176 Brass Buttons 151 

Azulea 284 Brodiaea 262 

Bronze-Bells { ^ 

Baby-Blue- Eyes 290 Brown Lily . ) ^ 

Baby-Eyes 284 Buck-Brush 152 

Ball-Sage 294 Bur-Clover 132 

Balm of Heaven 373 Butter-and-Eggs 151 

Balsamea 366 Butterfly Tulip 81 

Beach-Aster 304 Button-Bush . , { g 

Beach Morning-glory 210 Button- Willow ) ^ 

Beach Primrose 136 

Beach Strawberry 10 Cajeput 373 

Bearberry 12 Cailabazilla 117 

Bear-Clover 92 Calf 's-Head 390 

Bearwood 68 Califomian Azalea 86 

Beautiful Clarkia 236 California Bay-Tree 373 

Bed-Straw 28 Califomian Bee-Plant 342 

Bellflower 322 Califomian Bluebells 290 

Black Lily 266 Califomian Buckeye 69 

Black Sage 294, 316 Califomian Centaury 218 

Bladderpod 144 Califomia Coffee 67 

Blazing-Star 168 Califomian Compass-Plant. . . 157 

Bleeding-Heart 242 Califomian Dandelion 164 

Blood- Drop 129 Califomian False Hellebore. . 108 

Blue-Blossom 274 Califomian Figwort 342 

Blue-Curls 315 Califomian Fish-hook Cactus. 24 

Blue-eyed Grass 284 Califomian Four-o'clock 2oi 



California Fuchsia 366 Clocks 194 

Califomian Goldenrod 190 Cluster- Lily 262 

Califomian Hardback 85 Coast Lily 356 

Californian Harebell 322 Collinsia 294 

Califomian Holly 90 Columbine 348 

Califomian Horse-Chestnut . . 69 Common Aster 332 

California Laurel 372 Common Black 4^ustard 140 

Califomia Lilac 258, 274 Common Buttercup no 

Califomian Lobelia 314 Common Elder 45 

Califomian Milkwort 286 Common Evening Primrose. . 175 

Californian Olive 373 Common Fleabane 216 

Califomian Pitcher-Plant 390 Common Milkweed 312 

Califomia Poppy 114 Common Monkey- Flower . . . 134 

Califomian Rose-Bay 234 Common Muewort 377 

Californian Saxifrage 14 Common Nightshade 80 

Califomian Slippery- Elm. ... 158 Common Stramonium 96 

Califomian Spikenard 76 Common Sunflower 185 

Califor* n Sweet-scented Shi ub 352 Common White Lupine 85 

Califomian Trillium 260 Common Wild Pea 25 

Califomian Wild Currant 214 Common Wild Rose 234 

Calypso 210 Copa de Oro 114 

Camass 292 Coral-Root 272 

Canaigre 378 Coulter's Snapdragon 46 

Cancer-Root 172 Cowslips no 

Canchalagua 218 Cream-colored Wall- Flower. . 132 

Canker Lettuce 100 Cream-Cups 112 

Cascara Sagrada 67 Creeping Wood -Violet 140 

Catalina Mariposa Tulip 306 Creosote-Bush 191 

Cat's-Ears 278 Cudweed 68 

Chamisal 60 Cup of Gold 116 

Chamise Lily 136 

Chamiso 60 y-^ ^.u /-« , 

Chaparral Lily 72 Death Camass 6 

ChaparralPea 230 5^^?.^^^-: 152 

Chia 298 Devd'sApple 96 

Chicalote 74 S'^l?"^^ ^"^^"^ ^f' 

Chickweed-Wintergreen . . . : . 202 j<^„fl%^_lu\V.; V '^ 

Chicory ^12 Dog s-tooth Vioiet 136 

Chilean Clover 326 Dog-Violet 307 

Chili-Cqjote 117 Dormidera 116 

Chilicotfie 26 S''"^^^%^!1^^ 300 

Chittemwood 68 2''?P^ °^ 9^i^ 376 

Chocolate Lily 266 Dutchman s Pipe 374 

Choke-Cherry 36 

Cholla-Cactus 356 Echeveria 141 

Christmas-Berry 90 Elephants* Heads 252 

Christmas-Homs 346 EUisia 36 

Christmas-Rose 340 Escobita 228 

Cinquefoil 175 Espuela del Caballero 276 

Clarkia 228 Evening Snow 50 

Cleavers 28 Everlasting Flower 68 

Clematis 91 

Climbing Pentstemon 350 Fairy Bells 376 

Clintonia 202 False Alum-Root 342 



False Indigo 315 

False Lupine 148 

False Lady's Slipper 388 

False Mallow 220 

False Pimpernel 172 

False Solomon's Seal 22 

False Tidy-Tips 148 

Farewell to Spring 240 

Fawn-Lily 136 

Fetid Adaer*s-Tongue 256 

Fever-Bush 370 

Fig-Marigold 220 

Filaree 194 

Finger-Tips 142 

Firecracker Flower 238 

Fireweed 244 

Flaming Poppy 129 

Floriponda 96 

Fly-Flower 124 

Fragrant Sumach 152 

Friar's-Cap 328 

Fringed Gilia 216 

Fuller's Thistle 386 

Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry 338 

Giant Californian White Poppy 66 

Glasswort 387 

Gobernadora 191 

Godetia 240 

Golden Brodiaea 156 

Golden Butterfly-Tulip 150 

Golden Dicentra 162 

Golden Lily-Bell 144 

Golden Stars 154 

Golden Thread 160 

Golden Yarrow 180 

Golden-eyed Grass 284 

Goose-Grass 28 

Gourd 117 

Grass-Nuts 262 

Greasewood 60, 66 

Great Willow-Herb 244 

Green-banded Mariposa 268 

Green-stemmed Filaree 194 

Ground-Iris 280 

Ground-Pink 216 

Groundsel-Tree 104 

Gum-Plant 176 

Hag-Taper 191 

Hairbell 54 

Harvest Brodiaea 318 

Heal- All 322 

Heart's-Ease 50 

Hedge-Nettle 230 

Heliotrope 47 

Helmet-Flower 328 

Hen-and-Chickens 142 

Hideondo 191 

Hog-Onion 262 

Hog's Potato 8 

Holly-leaved Barberry 122 

Holly-leaved Cherry 61 

Honeysuckle 86 

Horehound 47 

Hound's-Tongue 258 

Huckleberry 200 

Humboldt's Lily 185 

Humming-bird's Sage 350 

Humming-bird's Trumpet . . . 367 

oe-Plant 51 

ncense-Shrub 214 

ndian Lettuce 16, 100 

ndian Paint-Brush 344 

ndian Pink 354 

ndian Plume 344 

ndian Rhubarb 242 

ndian Warrior 336 

ndian Wheat 157 

nnocence 294 

slay 61 

thuriel's Spear 302 

Jamestown- Weed 



oshua-Tree 44 

udas-Tree 198 

une-Berry 88 



Labrador Tea 103 

Lady's Tobacco 68 

Ladies' Tresses 92 

Lantern of the Fairies 54 

Large-flowered Brodiaea 318 

Large-flowered Datura 54 

Large-flowered Dogwood ... 94 

Large-flowered Phacelia 267 

Large Vetch 358 

Large White Mountain Daisy 106 

Large Yellow Lupine 16^ 

Lavender Mountain Daisy. . . 3 



Lemonade- Berry 




Leopard-Lily 182 Noona 268 

Lessingia 252 Northern Scarlet Larkspur . . . 346 

Lilac Sand- Verbena 292 

Little Alpine Lily iSo Oregon Grape nS, 122 

Llavina 24 Orpine 170 

Lobelia 6 Oso-Berry 18 

Loco-Weed 40 Our Lord's Candle 70 

Lucem ^26 ^^^^^y Everlasting Flower . . . 102 

^ Pennyroyal 324 

Mad-Apple 96 gentachgta- 126 

Madrone ) S^PPf^'^??^u. A 

Madroiio C 37 Phantom Orchis 388 

Mad Violets 204 Pjgeon-Berry 67 

Mahala Mats 326 gJ^'P?''"^^ "^ 

Mahogany 203 PF'S!?''^' ^H 

Mahonia". 118, 122 &T5^°P^ ' t^:, '^f 

Main-oph-weep 56 gi"^ Monkey-Flower 248 

Man-in-the-Ground 26 g!"^ Paint-Brush 228 

Manzanita 12 PjP^:V}ne 374 

Marianas 290 ^IP'^^*^^ ^°4 

Mariposa T^jTip 78, 81 g^^F^^^-^ap 42 

Matilija Poppy •• 64 S^i^^^'S?^. ^ 

Meadow-Foam 126 Po}son-Weed 157 

Meadow-Sweet 85 E^^^^w* * V\<j":u ' n^ ^24 

Mesembryanthemum 220 Poor-Man sWeather-Glass . . 126 

Milfoil... 97 Popcorn Flower.. 30 

MUkweed, Hornless Woolly. . 380 Prairie-Pointers 206 

MUk-white Rein-Orchis ..... 94 Sn^Hyg^f ^J? 

Miner's Lettuce i6 l^f^^F}^^']^- •.' ' Vf; ^06 

Mission-Bells 264 ^H^e of California The 212 

Mission Poppy 66 ^H^^ ?^;^^ Mountains 250 

Mist-Maidens 22 S™S^ Ir^'"^' Vm ^""i 

Mock-Orange 117 Purple Nemophda 278 

Monk's-Hood 328 Pussys-Ears 278 

Mosquito-Bills 206 ^"^^^ ^"^^^^ 7o 

Moth-Mullein 190 Quinine-Bush 370 

Mother's Heart 78 

Mottled Swamp-Orchis 388 Racine-Am^re 224 

Mountain Balm 56 Rattlesnake Plantain 98 

Mountain Birch 84 Rattle- Weed 40 

Mountain Heart's-Ease 29 Redbud 198 

Mountain Lady's Slipper 382 Red-stemmed Filaree 194 

Mountain Laurel 373 Redwood Lily 72 

Mountain Mahogany 373 Redwood Sorrel 196 

Mountain Misery 92 Rein-Orchis 384 

Muilla 369 Resin- Weed 176 

Musky Filaree 194 Rice-Root 264 

Rock-Cress 196 

Naked Broom-Rape 172 Rock-Fringe 254 

Nievitas 30 Rock-Rose 208 

Nigger-Babies 284 Romero 316 

Nigger-Heads 340 Roosters'-Heads 206 i 

'e-Bark 85 Ruby Lily 72 




Sacred Bark 67 Sulphur-Flower 178 

Sage 298 Sun-Cups no 

Sagebrush 377 Sunflower 157 

Saitas 262 Sunshine 124 

Salal 75 

Samphire 387 Tall Mountain Larkspur 330 

Sassafras Laurel 373 Tarweed 92, 182, 188 

Satin-Bell 54 Teasel 386 

Sauco 45 Thimble-Berry 24 

Scarlet Bugler 358 Thistle-Poppy 74 

Scarlet Fritillary 346 Thistle-Sage 307 

Scarlet Gilia 360 Thom-Apple 96 

Scarlet Honeysuckle 350 Tidy-Tips 148 

Scarlet Monkey-Flower 360 Tiger-Lily 182, 185 

Scarlet Paint-Brush 344 Toad-Flax 304 

Sea-Dahlia 146 Tobacco-Root . 224 

Self-Heal 322 Tolguacha 54 

Service-Berry 88 Toothwort 4 

Shad-Bush 90 Torosa 114 

Shasta Lily 102 Toyon 90 

Shepherd's Purse 78 Tree-Mallow 226 

Shooting-Stars 204 Tree-Poppy 118 

Sierra Plum 34 Tree-Tobacco 129 

Sierra Primrose 250 Tree- Yucca 44 

Silk-Tassel Tree 370 Trefoil Sumach 152 

Silver-weed 175 Tuna 170 

Silkweed 312 Turban Cactus 374 

Si me quieres, no me quieres. 124 Turkey-Beard 51 

Skullcap 270 Turkish Rugging 218 

Skunk-Cabbage 108, 166 Turk' s-head Cactus 374 

Snow- Berry 225 Twin-Berry 122 

Snow-Plant 362 Twining Hyacinth 232 

Snowy Lily-Bell 54 

Soap- Bush 84, 258 Umbrella- Plant 242 

Soap-Plant 6, 82 

Sour-Grass 51 Velvet Cactus 357 

Southern Scarlet Larkspur. . . 364 Venegasia 171 

Spanish Bayonet 20, 70 Vervenia 282 

Spanish Lily 262 Villela 284 

Spat'lum 224 Violet Beard-Tongue 308 

Spice-Bush 373 Violet Nightshade 268 

Spineless Tuna 225 Violet Snapdragon 320 

Spreading Dogbane 236 Virgin's Bower 91 

Spring-Blossom 4 

Squaw-Berry 152 Wahoo 68 

Squaw-Grass 51 Wake-Robin 10 

Squaw's Carpet 326 Washington Lily 102 

Star- Flower 202 Water-Holly 118 

3tickseed 334 Water-Lily 6 

Sticky Monkey- Flower 138 Western Boykinia 81 

St. John's-Wort 162 Western Cardinal-Flower 365 

Stonecrop 170 Western Goldenrod 191 

Strawberry Cactus 24 Western Spice- Bush 352 

Succory 312 Western Wall-Flower 132 



Whipplea 32 Wild Pie-Plant 378 

Whispering Bells 130 Wild Plum 34 

White Brodiaea 156 Wild Portulaca 212 

White Daisy 28 Wild White Lilac 39 

White Evening Primrose 48 Wind- Flower 18 

White Forget-me-not 30 Wind-Poppy 129 

White Fritillary 267 Wintergreen 75 

White Globe-Tulip 54 Wood Anemone 18 

White Layia 28 Wood-Balm 42 

White Nemophila 39 Woodland Star of Bethlehem 32 

White Owl's Clover 52 Wood Strawberry 10 

White Sage. . ; 66 Woolly Blue-Curls 316 

White Sweet Clover 156 Woolly Breeches 128 

White Tea-Tree 84 

White-veined Shinleaf 100 Yarrow 97 

Wild Bachelor's Button 312 Yellow-Boy 67 

Wild Bouvardia 178 Yellow Daisy 148 

Wild Bridal -Wreath 85 Yellow Forget-me-not 128 

Wild Broom 152 Yellow Globe-Tulip 144 

Wild Buckwheat 34 Yellow Mariposa Tulip 374 

Wild Canterbury-Bell 288 Yellow Pansy 120 

Wild Cherry 36 Yellow Pond-Lily 184 

Wild Coreopsis 182 Yellow-Root • 67 

Wild Cucumber 26 Yellow Sand- Verbena 146 

Wild Cyclamen 204 Yellow Star Tulip 130 

Wild Date 20 Yellow Sweet Clover 156 

Wild Ginger 310 Yerba Buena 62 

Wild Gooseberry 338 Yerba de Chivato 91 

Wild Heliotrope 282 Yerba del Indio 354 

Wild Hollyhock 198 Yerba del Pasmo 61 

Wild Honeysuckle 226 Yerba Mansa 76 

Wild Hyacinth 262, 292 Yerba Santa 56 

Wild Lantana 292 Yucca-Palm 44 

Wild Morning-glory 40 

Wild Peony 340 Zygadene 6 



k -^j ^. 



Aggregate fruit . . . xxx 

Akene xxx 

Ament xxviii 

Anther xxix 

Axil xxii 

Berry xxx 

Blade xxiii 

Bract xxvii 

Bulb xxiii 

Calyx xxviii 

Capsule xxx 

Catkin xxviii 

Complete flower xxviii 
Compound leaf. . xxiv 

Corm xxiii 

Corolla xxviii 

Corymb xxvii 

Cyme xxviii 

Drupe xxx 

Essential organs xxviii 

Female flower. . .xxix 

Filament xxix 

Flower-cluster . . xxvii 
Flower-head . . . xxviii 

Follicle xxx 

Foot-stalk xxiii 

Fruit xxix 


Gourd xxx 

Imperfect flower, xxix 
Inflorescence . . . xxvii 

Internodes xxii 

Involucre xxvii 

Leaflet xxiv 

Leaves xxiii 

Legume xxx 

Male flower xxix 

Neutral flower . . . xxix 
Nodes xxii 

Ovary xxix 

Palmate leaf xxiv 

Panicle xxviii 

Pedicel xxvii 

Peduncle xxvii 

Pepo xxx 

Perianth xxviii 

Perfect flower . . . xxix 

Pericarp xxix 

Petals xxviii 

Petiole xxiii 

Pinnate leaf xxiv 

Pistil xxix 


Pistillate flower . . xxix 

Pollen xxix 

Pome xxx 

Raceme xxvii 

Rhizome xxiii 

Root xxii 

Rootstock xxiii 

Samara xxx 

Scape xxvii 

Sepals xxviii 

Simple leaf xxiv 

Solitary flower. . xxvii 

Spadix xxviii 

Spathe xxviii 

Spike xxviii 

Stamen xxix 

Staminate flower, xxix 

Staminodia xxix 

Stem xxii 

Stigma xxix 

Stipules xxiii 

Style xxix 

Tuber xxiii 

Umbel xxvii 

Veinlets xxiv 




Abortive, defective or barren. 

Acuminate^ ending in a tapering 

AdnatCy growing to; or said of an 
anther whose cells are borne 
upon the sides of the apex of 
the filament. 

Appendage, any superadded part. 

Appressed, lying flat against or to- 
gether for the whole length. 

Arborescent, treelike; approaching 
the size of a tree. 

Attenuate, slenderly tapering to a 

Auricle, a small earlike lobe at the 
base of a leaf. 

Awn, a brisde-shaped appendage. 

Barb, a sharply reflexed point upon 
an awn, etc. , like the barb of a 

Basifixed, attached by the base or 
lower end. 

Beak, a narrow or prolonged tip. 

Bifid, two-cleft to the middle or 

Bilabiate, two-lipped. 

Blade, the expanded portion of a 
leaf, petal, etc. 

Bract, one of the leaves of a flower- 

Bracteate, furnished with bracts. 

Bractlet, a bract of the ultimate 
^rade; as one inserted on a ped- 
icel or ultimate flower-stalk in- 
stead of under it. 

Bracteolate, having bractlets. 
Bulbiferous, bearing bulbs. 

Caducous, dropping off very early. 

Campanulate, bell-shaped. 

Capitate, headlike, or collected in 
a head. 

Carina, a salient longitudinal pro- 
jection on the center of the lower 
face of an organ. 

Carinate, furnished with a carina, 
or keel. 

Carpel, a simple pistil, or one of the 
several parts of a compound one. 

Ciliate, marginally fringed with 

Clavate, club-shaped. 

Claw, the narrowed base, or stalk, 
which some petals, etc., pos- 

Coalescing, cohering; used prop- 
erly in respect to similar parts. 

Column, a body formed by the 
union of filaments (stamineal); 
or (in orchids) of the stamens and 

Confluent, blended, or running to- 

Connate, growing together; united 
in one. 

Connective, the portion of the fila- 
ment which connects or sepa- 
rates the cells of an anther. 

Connivent, coming into contact or 

Cordate^ heart-shaped. 




Coriaceous, leathery. Equitant, astride ; as of leaves- 

Corymb, a flat-topped inflorescence folding over each other in two 

flowering from the margin in- ranks; as m the ins. 

ward. Erose, gnawed. 

Corymbose, in corymbs, of in the i^jrj^r/^^, projecting beyond an en- 
form of a corymb. velop; as stamens from a corolla. 

Cruciferous, of four somewhat Extrorse, facing outward; said of 

similar petals, spreading in the the anther, 
form of a cross. 

(Tywoj^, in cymes. (See cw^, in Falcate, scythe -shaped; sickle - 

Explanation of Terms, p. xxviii. ) shaped. 

Fascicled, in a close cluster or bun- 

Deciduous, falling at the end of the die; said of flowers, stalks, roots, 

season. and leaves. 

Declined, bent or curved down- Fertile, capable of producing fruit;. 

ward or forward. as a pistillate flower; applied 

Decumbent, reclining, but with also to a pollen-bearing stamen. 

summit ascending. Fibrous, composed of or of the 

Decurrent, running down the nature of fibres. 

stem; applied to a leaf with Filiform, threadlike. 

blade prolonged below its inser- FUxuous, zigzag; bent alternately 

^*^"* in opposite directions. 

Deflexed, bent or turned abruptly poliaceous, leaflike in structure or 

downward. appearance; leafy. 

Dehiscing opening by valves, slits, poliolate, having leaflets; the num- 

or regular lines; as a capsule or ^^ indicated by the Latin pre- 

an anther. Axes, H-, tri-, etc. 

Deltoid, having the shape of the pollicle, a pod formed from a 

Greek letter delta; broadly trian- gingle pistU, dehiscing along the 

S"*^^- ventral suture only. 

Denticulate, minutely toothed. p^^^^ ^^^ growing to other organs. 

Depauperate, impoverished in size Fugacious, falling very eariy. 

by unfavorable surroundings. „ i r . Z \ \. ^ j 

„ . %. . - , . 11. Funnel-form, tubular, but expand- 

Dtchotomous, forking regulariy by j^^ ^adually from the harrow 

P^^'^^* base to the spreading border or 

Dioecious, with stamens and pistils limb; e, g, the Morning-glory 

in different flowers on different flower, 

Dissected, deeply cut, or divided Galea, a helmet; applied to the 

into numerous segments. helmet-shaped upper lip of the 

Divaricate, extremely divergent. corolla in Labiates, etc. ; also in 

Divided, lobed or cut dear to the some Scrophularinecs, though 

]tj^gg not so shaped. 

Glabrous, without any kind of 

Emarginaie, notched at the ex- hairiness, 

tremity. Gland, any secreting stnicture, de- 

Entire, with the margin uiiinter- pression or prominence, on any 

rupted; without teeth or divisions part of a plant, or any structure: 

of any sort having such an appearance^ 



Glandular^ bearing glands, or Linear^ narrow and elongated, 

glandlike. with parallel margins. 

G^/tf«r£>«j, covered or whitened with Lip^ either of the two divisions of 

a bloom like that on a cabbage- a bilabiate corolla or calyx; in 

leaf. orchids the upper petal (often, 

apparently, the lower) usually 

Hahity the general form or mode very different from the others, 

of growth of a plant. Lobe, any division of a leaf, corolla, 

Herbaceous y having the character etc., especially if rounded, 
of an herb; not woody or Lunate, crescent-shaped, or half- 
shrubby, moon-shaped. 

//W/7V, beset with rigid or bristly Lyrate, lyre -shaped; pinnatifid 

hairs, or with bristles. ^vith the terminal lobe large and 

, , . , . ,., ,. rounded, and one or more of the 

Imbrtcaie, overlapping, hke shin- lower pairs small, 
gles on a roof. 

/wrw^flf, cut irregularly and sharply. Membranaceous, thin; rather soft 

Ificluded, inclosed by the surround- and translucent, like membrane. 

ing organs; not exserted. Monoecious , with stamens and pis- 

Indigenous, native to the country. tils in separate blossoms on the 

Inferior, said of the ovary when ^f""^^ Pf "^- . ^ 

the calyx, corolla, or stamens are Mucronate, with a short, abrupt, 

borne upon its summit or sides. small tip. 

Inflorescence i^^?io^^xm^^r\:xon ^^^^ ^^^ sv^^ex:ysh secretion of 

of a plant, and especially the ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ 

mode of Its arrangement. ^^^^ ^^^^^ 

Innate, said of an anther when it ^^,^^^y the place or gland in 

IS a continuation of the filament. ^^ich nectar is secreted 

Introrse, facing inward, or toward ^ ^ ^^^^ unbranched vein 

the axis, as an anther. ^^ ^{^^^^^ ^^^ 

Involucrate, having an involucre. j^^rved, furnished with a nerve or 

Involucre, a circle of bracts sub- nerves, 
tending a flower-cluster. 

Involute, rolled inward. Ob-, used as a prefix meaning in- 

Keel, (See carina. ) Obtuse, blunt or rounded at the end. 

Keeled, furnished with a keel, or Odd-pinnate, pinnate, with an odd 

carina. leaflet at the end. 

Lacerate, torn ; irregulariy and Palate, a protrusion at or near the 

deeply cleft. throat of a two-lipped corolla. 

Laciniate, cut into narrow, slender Panicle, a loose, irregulariy branch- 
teeth, or lobes. ing inflorescence. 

Liliaceous, lily-like. Papilionaceous, butterfly-like; ap- 

Limb, the dilated and usually plied to the peculiar irregular 

spreading portion of a perianth flower common in Leguminosce. 

or petal as distinct from the tu- PapiUce, minute, thick, nipple- 

bular part, or claw. shaped, or somewhht elongated 

Line, the twefth part of inch. projections. 




Parasitic^ growing upon and de- 
riving nourishment from another 

Parted, cleft nearly, but not quite, 
to the base. 

Perfoliate, said of leaves connate 
about the stem. 

Persistent, not falling off; said ot 
leaves continuing through the 

Petaloid, petal-like. 

Petiolate, having a petiole. 

Petiole, the foot-stalk of a leaf. 

Petiolulate, having a petiolule. 

Petiolule, the foot-stalk of a leaflet. 

Pinnate, having its parts arranged 
in pairs along a common rachis. 

Pinnatifid, pinnately cleft. 

Pistillate, having a pistil or pistils, 
and no stamens. 

Puherulent, minutely pubescent. 

Pubescent, covered with hairs, usu- 
ally soft and short. 

Rachis, the axis (backbone) of a 
spike, or of a compound leaf. 

Radiate, diverging from a common 
center, or hearing ray-flowers; 
said of flower-heads of compos- 
ite plants. 

Radical, belonging to or proceed- 
ing from the root, or trom the 
base of the stem. 

Ray, one of the radiating branches 
of an umbel; the marginal flow- 
ers, as distinct from those of the 
disk, in CompositcB, etc. 

Receptacle, a more or less expand- 
ed surface, forming a support for 
a cluster of organs (in a flower) 
or a cluster of flowers (in a head), 

Recurved, curved backward or 

Reflexed, abruptly bent or turned 
backward or downward. 

Regular, symmetrical in form; uni- 
form in shape or structure. 

Retrorse, directed backward or 

Revolute, roUed backward from 
the margins or apex. 

'Rhomboidal, quadrangular, with 
the lateral angles obtuse. 

Rudiment, an imperfectly devel- 
oped and functionally useless 

Rugose, wrinkled; ridged. 

Saccate, sac-shaped; baggy. 

Sagittate, shaped like an arrow- 
head; triangular, with basal lobes 
prolonged downward. 

Salver 'form, narrowly tubular, with 
limb abruptly or flatly expanded. 

Scabrous, rough to the touch. 

Scape, a naked peduncle rising 
from the .ground. 

Scarious, thin, dry, membrana- 
ceous, and not green. 

Scorpioid, incurved like the tail of 
a scorpion; said of an inflores- 

Segment, one of the parts of a leaf 
or other organ that is cut or 

Serrate, having teeth directed for- 
ward, like the teeth of a saw. 

Serrulate, minutely serrate. 

Sessile, stemless. 

Sinus, a recess or re-entering angle. 

Sheathing, infolding like a sheath. 

Spathe, a large bract or pair of 
bracts (often colored) inclosing 
a flower-cluster. 

Spinescent, ending in a spine or 
rigid point. 

Spinulose, with diminutive spines. 

Spur, a usually slender tubular 
process, from some part of a 
flower, often honey-bearing. 

Staminate, having stamens, but 
no pisjtils. 

* Staminodium, a sterile stamen, or 
something taking the place of a 



Stellate^ star-shaped. 

Sterile^ barren; incapable of pro- 
ducing seed; a sterile stamen is 
one not producing pollen. 

Striate, marked with fine longitu- 
dinal lines. 

Subtended, supported or surround- 
ed; as a pedicel by a bract, or a 
flower-cluster by an involucre. 

Subulate, awl-shaped. 

Succulent, fleshy and juicy. 

Superior, growing above; a supe- 
rior ovary is one wholly above 
and free from the calyx. 

Terete, cylindrical. 

Ternate, in threes. 

Thyrse, a contracted or ovate pan- 

Thyrsoid, thyrselike. • 

Tomentum, dense, matted, woolly 

Trifoliolate, having three leaflets. 

Tubular^ tube-shaped. 

Undulate^ wavy. 

Unisexual, of one sex; said of 
flowers having stamens only, or 
pistils only. 

Urceolate, cylindrical or ovoid, but 
contracted at or below the open 
orifice, like an urn or a pitcher. 

Valve, the several parts of a de- 
hiscent pericarp; the doorlike 
lid by which some anthers open. 

Ventricose, swelling unequally, or 
inflated on one side. 

Versatile, swinging; turning freely 
on its support. 

Villous, bearing long and soft, 
straight or straightish hairs. 

Virgate, wandlike. 

Viscid, glutinous; sticky. 

Whorl, an arrangement of leaves, 
flowers, etc., in a circle about the 
stem, or axis. 





< <, 


• i 



QK 149 ^Wiy CJ2 

TtM wM floiMfS of CflNfomis 
Stmford UnJv^iil^ Ubf triw 

3 6105 041 618 534 




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28D JiM0 W 

28D ^^"^1994 




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