These three plants, well, you’ll notice a few similarities and a few differences. Two are California natives and one is new to me, and if you keep track of this blog, you know that I love finding new plants here on our place.
Everyone knows this one, ,…edible, annoying in lawns, tolerable to most.
Dandelions in the Sierra Foothills garden….edible?
Grand Mountain Dandelion
Grand Mountain Dandelion, Agoseris grandiflora, is a pretty dandelion-type plant and exceptional as well, for it is endemic (limited) to California and on the “rare, threatened, or endangered in CA and elsewhere” list kept by the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants.
Also called California Dandelion, it is a perennial and found in abundance right here on the property here. It has a stunning puffy white seed head, a bit larger than the size of a golf ball, which develops in early June on a 12 to 18″ stem. You can tell which variety this is by the very long, almost 2 inch long seed head, blooming now in June.
The leaves are different from common dandelions. Instead of the familiar wide, paper-thin green leaves, laying flat to the ground like a common dandelion has, the Grand Mountain Dandelion leaves are upright, thin, sword shaped with jagged edges.
Have you heard of this? At first I mistook this California native for the Grand Mountain dandelion, as I looked at the seed head, which is a puffball of about the same size. The leaves of Lindley’s Silverpuffs, Uropappus lindleyi are similar, upright, sword shaped and jagged, and the seedling may look the same but the leaves become a very dense and thick clump, instead of remaining sparse like the Grand Mountain. The yellow flowers grow a foot tall on long straight stems. Instead of thread-thin bits of fluff for seed heads, Blow wives have a spherical cluster of flowers, a bit like rice paper, best described as shiny white scales.
Some plant websites say this has a nondescript or nearly invisible, but perhaps it blooms for such a short time it is rarely seen. I kept an eye on this rather large plant, obviously happy in its spot, and watched for flowers to bloom. Here they are.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which of these when they’re in the seedling stage. Here are all three
Grand Mountain Dandelion
I would like to hear from any of you, if you have the Grand Mountain Dandelion? I just found out the correct name of the Silverpuffs, originally thinking they were Blow wives, a similar plant. See the next post, Not Blow wives, Silverpuffs