Rogue River Preserve 4-21-23

Photos by Kay

Ashland Hiking Home

Seventeen wildflower enthusiasts showed up - several from Elisabeth's and Kay's Friday group - to visit the special place that is the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy (SOLC) Rogue River Preserve.  The  preserve was lovely, but our cooler, wetter Spring has not been conducive to wildflower display as yet.  We did however, find some pretty cool, tiny vernal flowers, because this year has been great for those ephemeral ponds.  We were happy to be there and so were the Western meadowlarks, who serenaded us along the trail.

With the tiny vernal pool flowers, you have to get on hand and knees, and even lower to check them out.  We identified Shining pepperweed, a cute little guy that shows a red leaf face to the sun, but if you turn it over, has a bright green back. We also saw Vernal draba, and a cool mystery flower that Nanci subsequently tracked down as the Vernal water-starwort. It's grassy leaves grow under water; a threadlike stem makes its way to the water surface where the tiny 4-petal flower blooms. Another miniature version of a more common Popcorn flower, Greene's popcorn flower grew on the margins.

On the dry hillside and river bench trail, we also spotted Hall's desert parsley/California lomatiun, Splitleaf fillaree/cranesbill, Western buttercup, Grassland saxifrage, Rosy plectritis/Sea blush, Common/Rusty popcorn flower, and Q-tips/Slender cottonweed.  Along the forest trail we saw Woodland strawberry, Miners lettuce, Shooting star, and Pioneer violet.  Lots of other plants are in evidence, they are just not in flower yet.  

Thanks to all of you who helped spot flowers and shared your stories, which I gratefully used the next day for the public Open Lands Day wildflower walk.

Respectfully submitted, Your Flower Floozy Liz