A few more views from the ‘front country’, the broad swath of foothills between the Cascade-Sierra ranges and the Central Valley. Here is Lasthenia californica, or goldfields. Singularly rather unimpressive little asters a few inches high, collectively they carpet the woodland with dustings of canary yellow. As with all members of the plant family Asteraceae, each ‘flower’ is in fact a composite of dozens of tiny little florets. Some of these have a single, showy petal (a ray flower), and others in the center of the composite flowerhead are reduced to just the essentials: some stamens, an ovary, rudimentary petals, and bristle- or scale-like sepals.
- Species: Lasthenia californica (goldfields)
- Plant Family: Asteraceae
- Where I saw it: oak woodlands, Finley Lake, Tehama County
- Look also: Central Valley vernal pools and swales