Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract: Native Blue Fiesta Flowers

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 13, 2009. Blue Fiesta Flowers (Pholistoma auritum) cover the ground in low bushes, up to 3-feet tall, on the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Native Blue Fiesta Flowers (Pholistoma auritum) thrive in the native Coast Live Oak and California Black Walnut Woodland of the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract. The flowers are really more purple than blue.

This plant could be the model for Velcro. Profuse spiky filaments cover every part of this plant, including the seeds. If you walk through this plant once it's dry, it will attach itself to your boots, socks and pant legs, as well as any animal walking through it.

Blue Fiesta Flowers do not grow on the more arid Red Car Property. It is likely due to the extremely moist conditions in on the Semi Tropic slopes. In the coming days, we'll show you a variety of plants you don't see on the Red Car Property.

The Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract has very steep slopes with limited sun during the rainy season. The topography, combined with the native black walnut and oak woodland, allow the soil to retain moisture longer. Dew was still covering the slopes when I shot photos around 10 AM, last Friday. Rubber rain boots are the best choice of footwear for exploring the Semi Tropic wilderness.

This month, we're taking a close-up view of the natural beauty of our neighborhood. All Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract photographs published on the Corralitas Red Car Property Blog, in March 2009, are of plants growing on the 3 large lots destined for destruction, if a developer gains final approval of his proposed subdivision.