1 de junio de 2023



"Artemisia rigida is restricted to the Columbia Plateau scablands with shallow, poorly drained, lithic soil over fractured basalt that is often saturated in winter, but typically dries out completely to bedrock by midsummer. "

The area can't be bounded by one rectangle, but this view is for mostly scabland around Whiskey Dick ridge:

Scablands (as used here) are common in Kittitas and Yakima Counties, and there are more localized patches to the east and northeast in Douglas and Grant Counties on the other side of the Columbia River. The easily recognized Pediocactus nigrispinus is a good indicator in many areas, but it is not always present or may be sparse and hard to find. With a little experience Artemisia rigida is easy to pick out and it is present in all but the rockiest patches. If you see a sizeable area with rocky soil and sparse vegetation but lots of a low Sagebrush (no more than 3 feet tall) it is very likely Artemisia rigida. The scabland supports a remarkable diversity of plants, but they are rarely very densely spaced and often early plants have died back before later plants flower, so they look rather sparsely vegetated. By midsummer all but the Artemisia rigida and a few of the subshrubs and the cacti have died back, so they look even more barren. For a few precious weeks in early to mid spring the are a lot of flowers. April and early May are peak flower times, but there are Lomatiums in flower in March as well, and a few plants still in flower through mid June.

Common associates in Kittitas County scablands (associates in Yakima County are probably very similar but I have not visited them as much):
Astragalus purshii
Antennaria dimorpha
Balsamorhiza hookeri
Castilleja thompsonii
Delphinium nuttallianum
Eremogone franklinii
Erigeron linearis
Erigeron poliospermus
Eriogonum douglasii
Eriogonum thymoides
Lewisia rediviva
Lomatium canbyi
Lomatium macrocarpum
Lomatium quintuplex
Lupinus sp. (probably L. saxosus)
Neoholmgrenia hilgardii
Nestotus stenophyllus
Nothocalais troximoides
Pediocactus nigrispinus
Penstemon gairdneri
Phacelia linearis
Phlox douglasii
Phlox hoodii
Phlox longifolia
Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides
Poa secunda
Trifolium macrocephalum
Viola trinervata

There are less common associates, and be aware that this list does not include plants of deeper soils adjacent to many of the scabland expanses, which support a rather different plant community (associated with Big Sagebrush). For scabland, look for areas that are rather barren looking and with obviously rocky soil, lacking any tall shrubs, and usually lots of the low rather scraggly looking Artemisia rigida (which is also deciduous if you are there from about November to March). Often the Big Sagebrush will be in lower areas, including shallow valleys, with the scabland mostly on ridges and slopes (low rounded ridges, don't expect mountains). There may be interspersed talus slopes or rocky ridge tops, which tend to support even fewer plants.

The delineation between scabland and Big Sagebrush is often rather abrupt but sometimes they are intergraded or occur in interspersed patches.

Publicado el 1 de junio de 2023 15:51 por jhorthos jhorthos | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

30 de mayo de 2023

Phlox douglasii

Publicado el 30 de mayo de 2023 16:27 por jhorthos jhorthos | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario


E. elatum - late flowering, large ovate to arrowhead shaped basal leaves on petioles about leaf-length, very tall flower stems, usually highly branched, leafless, giving a rather sparse open look with small flowers.

E. heracleoides - usually with large leafy mid-stem bract (often missing in certain areas), largish plant, flowers cream to pink infused

E. sphaerocephalum - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/163335630

E. thymoides - easy to recognized from small neat rounded habit and thymelike leaves. sometimes old plants sprawl and have a larger woody base but the growing parts still have the neat habit. This and E. douglasii are usually found in very rocky shallow soil (scabland).

E. umbellatum - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/120446928

E. niveum and E. strictum are similar but differentiated by the leafy bract below the flower branches in E. niveum. Some E. strictum may not have single flower clusters, not secondary umbels?

Burke: "The leafy bracts below the flowers throughout the inflorescence separates E. niveum from the similar E. strictum, which has no leafy bracts." JHT adds - the bract leaves are smaller than the basal leaves but similarly hairy and silver in tone.

Comments and links on iNat:

From jdjohnson:
"Dimorphic tepals means that three tepals are wide and three tepals are narrow. If you find a close-up photo of Eriogonum ovalifolium flowers, you can see the difference."

E. ovalifolium: apparent with a good close up of individual flowers that are well opened, and then dimorphic tepals are very clear, e.g. photo 3 of https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44852252), with the inner whorl much narrower than the outer.

Publicado el 30 de mayo de 2023 15:09 por jhorthos jhorthos | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de mayo de 2023

Ankeny Flats

The flat area near Ankeny Camp Area, just north of Dry Falls.

Main comments at https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/160466117

Revisit to more fully map patterns. Especially closer to lake side where I haven't recorded as much, and after early May to catch the later flowering plants. Also visit in very early spring 2024 (~early April) to get the early flowering plants, which I missed in 2023.

Graphical species list should be gotten with:

Publicado el 16 de mayo de 2023 19:10 por jhorthos jhorthos | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de abril de 2023

Primulas of Columbia Plateau

Most common and widespread are P. conjugens and P. pauciflora.

One distinguishing trait is the way the flower tube join near their top:
smoothly connected, appearing almost merged into a cylinder is P. pauciflora
clearly separated with deep clefts between them is P. conjugens, which is also less common and never on the west side (which sounds opposite, presumably conjugens doesn't refer to the tube joins)

Publicado el 23 de abril de 2023 22:42 por jhorthos jhorthos | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

5 de abril de 2023

Balsamorhiza identification

B. hookeri - common, foxtail leaves, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/115263062
B. sagittata - large, very common, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/152379363

Publicado el 5 de abril de 2023 16:13 por jhorthos jhorthos | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

3 de abril de 2023

Lomatium identification


By molecular studies, Lomatium and Cymopteris (and a few Tauschia and others) are extensively interdigitated, which appears not to have fully penetrated to formal naming. George et al 2014 Phylogenetic Analysis Reveals Multiple Cases of Morphological Parallelism and Taxonomic Polyphyly in Lomatium .

Crush some leaves and smell them! Hmm they all seem to smell of cedar and turpentine roughly.

Cymopterus terebinthinus - hmm except when fruiting looks a lot like a medium to big yellow Lomatium.

L. ambiguum - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/156334613
L. brandegeei - montane, medium to largish, deeply divided leaves, medium to narrow width leaflets, yellow flowers, common in serpentine Wenatchees and more widely in Cascades despite being listed as vulnerable. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/127119593
L. canbyi - small early flowering white with fairly distinctive leaflets, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/154148039
L. columbianum - large and bushy rose flowers, unmistakable when in flower and even after, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/149290580 and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/149326711
L. cuspidatum - serpentine, distinctive leaves, https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/jhorthos/68301-lomatium-cuspidatum-non-technical
L. dissectum (Fernleaf) - large bushy, dark red or yellow flowers, wider leaflets than L. multifidum, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/153198930
L. farinosum - see L. triternatum
L. geyeri - small, white flowers with fairly narrow leaflets, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/150448123
L. gormanii - tiny white flowered, very early flowering, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/149332671
L. hallii - small to medium, yellow flowers, found in Oregon including Siskiyous, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/152053418
L. howellii - uncommon, distinctive wide toothed leaflets, mostly on Klamath serpentine, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/122515620
L. klickitatense - large puffy finely dissected, leaflets longer than L. papilioniferm, yellow flowers, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/149327085 and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/149328613
L. laevigatum - very narrow range mostly Columbia Transect, large yellow with long leaflets, involucre nearly absent, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/154127684
L. macrocarpum - medium sized, ground hugging, green-white flowers, hairy floral stalks and bracts, cusped leaflet tips, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/153200598
L. martindalei - montane, small, usually prostrate, wide leaflets, yellow flowers, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/128448751
L. multifidum (Carrotleaf) large bushy highly dissected leaf, dark red or yellow flowers, very similar to L. dissectum but narrower leaf segments, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/155156511
L. nudicaule - sometimes montane, medium to large, broad-leaved, yellow flowers, large swollen base where umbels branch, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/117401560
L. papilioniferum - large showy yellow flowered, distinctive highly dissected leaves with short terminal leaflets, one of few on rock cliffs, extremely common in Columbia transect, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/154112604
L. quintuplex - small yellow flowered with highly dissected leaves and cusped nearly cylindrical leaflets, in marginal rocky sites. (convergent on or related to cuspidatum?) - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/158648966
L. roneurum - distinctive leaves, narrow range on Chumstick and adjacent gneiss rocks, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/155090697
L. triternatum - small to medium, long narrow leaflets, dense short hairs on rachis, sometimes disorganized looking leaves, yellow flowers, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/154127265
L. tuberosum - rare adorable plant, very distinctive foliage, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/154108537, fruits at https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/115128062
L. utriculatum - small lowland coastal, yellow flowers, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/152889731

Publicado el 3 de abril de 2023 17:35 por jhorthos jhorthos | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

8 de marzo de 2023

Cystopteris fragilis vs Woodsia oregana

Only Cystopteris fragilis has prominent branching dark green veins visible from both sides of leaf, extending to the edge of the leaf.

Only Woodsia oregana has short glandular hairs on distal part of stem and the leaves (use hand lens, very small). If the hairs are longer it is W. scopulina.

There are differences in the young indusium but they are transient and subtle to my eye.

Quoted "yeah, exactly -- short hairs with glandular tips. Cystopteris will have basically no indument on the leaves, and have a characteristic-but-hard-to-describe look--mainly the leaves are thin, and you can see that the veins extend right to the leaf margin. If you can see the veins in Woodsia, you can see that they stop just short of the leaf margin in an expanded depression (hydathode). It can certainly be subtle..."

Publicado el 8 de marzo de 2023 15:49 por jhorthos jhorthos | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

3 de marzo de 2023


L. glabrum has more rounded hypanthium (the basal part of the floral bract), where L. parviflorum has a distinct longer conical hypanthium that sometimes flares again at the rounded part (and is larger flowered despite the name parvi meaning small).

Plus L. glabrum flowers earlier in early spring (adamschneider) and the petals in L. glabrum are more deeply divided (sometimes almost looking like several petals for each of the five petals).

Number of petal lobes, number of flowers, leaf shape, and depth of petal division (deeper being L. glabrum) are helpful when the hypanthium is more elongate.

Publicado el 3 de marzo de 2023 19:01 por jhorthos jhorthos | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de febrero de 2023

Epilobium on serpentine

Mostly from drew_meyer:

E. rigidum vs. E. siskiyouense:

E. siskiyouense has smaller, more lanceolate leaves, with the broadest part of the leaf closer to the base and sessile (no petiole, tending to clasp stem with leaf base). E. rigidum has larger, more ovate leaves with the broadest part right in the middle and short but clear petioles.

There are other differences too, such as the leaf color/texture (E. siskiyouense is generally less glaucous). It also seems like E. siskiyouense has a distribution more to the southeast while E. rigidum is associated with the Josephine Ophiolite (coastal most part of Klamath).

E. rigidum has darker rose to red calyx. E. rigidum is larger in all respects but hard to tell unless photo has ruler.

Similar Epilobium obcordatum has sessile leaves and a wider range and is not found on serpentine (0/266 iNat observations).

Publicado el 28 de febrero de 2023 14:37 por jhorthos jhorthos | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario