Youngs Rock Report

We had a lovely day Wednesday (June 8) on the Youngs Rock trail, although Kim might be a little sore after we [I] dragged her around and up onto the backside of the Rock. A tough climb when you’re forced to stay behind a desk most of the time.

Western tiger swallowtail

Western tiger swallowtail on larkspur

Each meadow was a little different and most had some show of color. The first had a nice patch of Camas, one had a great patch of Delphinium menziesii serving as lunch for an Anise swallowtail, another had a gorgeous swath of blue—mostly Collinsia grandiflora, there was a big patch of Balsamroot at the bottom of a steep ridge meadow and gorgeous rosy plectritis on the ridge just south of the Rock. But the main show of color was a Madia with large (1”) showy flowers like M. elegans. There were patches of it blooming in almost every meadow and much more to come. The Checklist says M. elegans is not a Western Cascades species, but the other problem is almost all of the thousands of plants were below 8” tall (Hitchcock says it should be 2-8dm).

The Phacelia verna had started up on the ridge and we also found white Phacelia linearis on rocky areas at the lower ends of some of the meadows. The Castilleja rupicola was in bloom on the Rock, maybe 2 dozen plants, but it is hard to tell since there are probably many hiding behind rocks or not in bloom at all. The Saxifraga caespitosa was also blooming, though not putting on much of a show. It seems to like to interweave with Saxifraga bronchialis making it much easier to see the difference. As Kim mentioned, Sabine spotted the Lathyrus on the bank below the north side of the rock, which we quickly decided looked an awful lot like the Castle Rock one (and not like L. nevadensis or L. polyphyllus). While it wasn’t blooming, we’re planning to go back in a few weeks as lots more things hadn’t started and we have many more mysteries still to solve. Kim is still working on some things like several composites of the Agoseris type, one with lobes, one without. And I have to get to the bottom of the red-veined Coleus-like plant I’ve been seeing for years in these lower elevation rocky meadows.

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