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Serpentine Linanthus

 

Leptosiphon ambiguus (Serpentine Linanthus); Photo by Kathy Korbholz

Scientific Name: Leptosiphon ambiguusLepto means slender; siphon means tube.  Linanthus comes from linon, meaning flax, and anthos, meaning flower.

Family Name: Polemoniaceae (Phlox)

Description:  Linanthus is an annual that grows upright up to 20 cm (8 in) tall. Linanthus flowers are long and tube-like, with five petals that range in color from blue to purple to pink. For more, see Jepson’s eFlora description.

Finding it at Edgewood:  Linanthus is an obligate serpentine endemic – it will only grow on serpentine soil.  Look for it at the junction of the Clarkia Trail and the lower Serpentine Loop, or on the Edgewood Trail between Canada Road and I-280.  It blooms from March to June.  See map below.

Leptosiphon ambiguus distribution at Edgewood

Links:
Edgewood photos
Jepson Flora Project

References:
Corelli, T. Flowering Plants of Edgewood Natural Preserve. Half Moon Bay, CA: Monocot Press, 2004.
http://www.rareplants.cnps.org/detail/1717.html
http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=8945
http://cnps.site.aplus.net/cgi-bin/inv/inventory.cgi/Go?_id=leptosiphon_ambiguus&sort=DEFAULT
http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-in/get_cpn.pl?31036&cn=SERPENTINE%20LINANTHUS
http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch?mode=Scientific+Name&keywordquery=Linanthus+ambiguus

Information compiled by Diana Quon and Anna Lee