Botanizing the Serpentines in SW Oregon

Here’s a photo essay of some great botany from Oregon’s Illinois Valley in Josephine County.  We recently had the opportunity to conduct field work in a socially-distant way to monitor populations of Cook’s desert-parsley (Lomatium cookii) and check for seedlings in seed-based population reintroductions in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management.  Along the way we worked in three Areas of Critical Environmental Concern managed by the BLM: French Flat, Waldo-Takilma and Woodcock Bog.  Here are some scenes from those rich and seldom visited places.

Grassland habitat for Cook’s desert-parsley in the Waldo-Takilma ACEC. Nadav Mouallem scanning for seedlings in a population reintroduction plot.

Pond with floating watershield in the Waldo-Takilma ACEC.

Cook’s desert-parsley (Lomatium cookii), an endangered plant species of SW Oregon. Note the three-banded longhorn moth.

First year seedlings of Cook’s desert-parsley in a seeded plot at the Waldo-Takilma ACEC.

Siskiyou iris (Iris bracteata) — a local endemic wonder with a very short floral tube. Most plants had tiny ants tending the base of the flowers.

Frosted paintbrush (Castilleja pruinosa) on serpentines. The tiny hairs are forked at the tip.

Cobra lily (Darlingtonia californica), a carnivorous plant of serpentine fens in the region.

French Flat ACEC in Josephine, Co., Oregon. Note the area on the right where invading shrubs have been removed to expand habitat for Cook’s desert-parsley.

Cobra lily in flower in a massive fen at the Woodcock Bog ACEC.

California ladyslipper orchid (Cypripedium californicum) at Woodcock Bog.

Showy phlox (Phlox speciosa) growing in very stony ground.

Primrose-leaved violet (Viola primulifolia ssp occidentalis), a plant of serpentine fens, in Woodcock Bog.

California butterwort (Pinguicula macroceras), a fen plant with carnivorous leaves (see next photo).

Carnivorous leaves of California butterwort. The leaves are densely glandular and capture small flies and beetles to enrich the nitrogen supply of the plants.

Tolmie’s mariposa lily (Calochortus tolmiei) on serpentine soils. Beetles love these flowers.

Puccoon (Lithospermum californicum) on serpentines, a local floristic treat.

Socially distant field biologists getting the job done while staying safe.

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