• Corn lilies of Beasore Meadow

    by  • May 30, 2016 • Field Trip, Native plants

    Pinterest

    Corn lily or Skunk cabbage?  I find out…

    A wildflower walk yields a new name and an interesting plant to photograph up in the high country near Jones’s Store in Beasore Meadow.

    Corn lily or skunk cabbage (7)

    Corn lily or skunk cabbage (7)

    Travel from Bass Lake, California, up Beasore Road, opposite the Pines Village, and you’ll be in the high country within 40 minutes. Cattle are still driven up to Beasore Meadow in the spring to feed on the grass in the meadow in summer. Set like a rustic jewel at the edge of the meadow is the Jones’s Store, a real old-time store that has a 100 year old history with the cattle ranchers here in the Sierra.

     

    Corn lily or skunk cabbage (3)

    Each summer we travel up this road to have lunch with the motorcyclists that gather here for a lunch stop on their scenic ride.   After my burger,…I left the group this time and wandered down the road to the west toward a little cabin and a group of wildflowers in the shade.

    What is this?

    I thought, wow, a whole colony of skunk cabbage!  Skunk cabbage is a nickname and the Latin is Veratrum californicum.  Another common name is False Helebore or California Corn Lily.
    Note: There’s a true Skunk cabbage called Symplocarpus foetidus.

    Cabbage is truly a misnomer, because the plant is highly toxic.  Oh, oh, how wonderful when you’re a photographer!

     

    Corn lily or skunk cabbage (6)

    Corn lilies are found in moist, open areas above 5,000 feet.  Beasore Meadow is about 7,000 ft.  They grow six to eight feet tall and have flower stalks that dim compared to the large, decoratively pleated leaves. The yellow in front here is California Goldenrod, Solidago velutina ssp. californica.

     

    Don't these look like corn stalks?

    Don’t these look like corn stalks?

     

    The flower stalk of greenish white flowers

    The flower stalk of greenish white flowers

     

    A close=up of the one inch sized flowers

    A close=up of the one inch sized flowers

     

    A photographers fascination

    Corn lily or skunk cabbage (9)

    Though Corn Lilies grow flower clusters on six-foot-high stalks, it’s the football-sized leaves that tend to be the attraction of photographers, especially when several plants gather in a tight bunch like these.  Here is my fun that day,…in photographs.

     

    Corn lily or skunk cabbage (8)

    I had great fun, crouching down with my camera deep into the leafiness. The swirl of leaves around the center stalks made for endless patterns and interesting design in nature.

     

    Corn lily or skunk cabbage (12)

     

    Corn lily or skunk cabbage (11)

     

    Corn lily or skunk cabbage (1)

    Corn lilies stream through the meadow in a wavy, wandering line through the sunny, idyllic meadow.

     

    Corn lily or skunk cabbage (5)

    Back to the Jones’s Store…through the Skunk Cabbage….

    Share and Enjoy

    Pinterest

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.