Castilleja rupicola at Castle Rock

Today I went to Castle Rock. Things are a little later than last year, the Lathyrus lanszwertii is just coming into bloom. I did some exploring down below the south-facing rocks (down and right before the last switchback to the top). I was looking for better Claytonia rubra to photograph (found lots). I also found, just about to start blooming, a large patch of white Phacelia linearis. It is also white on Buckhead, Cloverpatch, Mt. Salem, and Youngs Rock. The only westside ones that I’ve seen that are the usual eastside purple are at Horse Rock Ridge. Also, I was really surprised I’d never seen them before, there were 3 blooming plants of Castilleja rupicola right over the north-facing cliff that can only be seen by climbing down below the top. They were blooming near the Saxifraga caespitosa and some pretty Valeriana scouleri (yes, got to change that on this list as well). It’s not so surprising it’s there considering it is on nearby Horsepasture, Lowder, and Tidbits. There may be more plants, but so little of those cliffs are safely visible. I’ve definitely been watching that cliff face for a few years now. Maybe they didn’t bloom last year because of the dry winter or some other fickleness.

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