I"ve been an amateur (and I mean that in every sense of the word) "botanist" since circa 1997 with a special interest in California native plants. An incidental yet corollary passion of mine is birding and, like many fellow birders, I keep a Life List of all the bird species that I've observed in my lifetime, so I thought, why not also create a life list for my observations of plants in the field? I try my best to make proper IDs, but I always welcome corrections from those who know better.
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, 5--25 cm, generally +- tomentose.
Stem: 1--several from base.
Leaf: simple, basal and cauline, alternate or +- opposite, mostly clustered in proximal 1/2 of pl, 1--3(5) cm, sessile or tapered to a short, winged petiole; blade oblanceolate to spoon-shaped or ovate, acute, sharply dentate or shallowly lobed, densely tomentose, resin-dotted.
Inflorescence: head discoid or radiant, 1; peduncle 3--11 cm, slender, bractless, glandular-puberulent; involucre 6--12 mm diam, hemispheric or bell-shaped, often appearing +- rotate when pressed; phyllaries in 2 +- equal series, free, 5--7 mm, linear-elliptic, acute; receptacle rounded, epaleate.
Flower:30--100+; corolla 4--7 mm, yellow (pink), outermost sometimes enlarged and +- bilateral; style-branches truncate. Fruit: 2--3 mm, obpyramidal, glabrous to densely strigose; pappus of 5 scales, each 3--5 mm, dissected into many bristles.
Ecology: Dry slopes, plains, creosote-bush scrub;
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional Distribution: D;
Distribution Outside California: southern Nevada, southwestern Arizona, northern Baja California.
Flower: open evening; calyx 7--8 mm, membrane wider than lobes; corolla funnel-shaped, tube 5--6 mm, white, throat yellow, lobes 3--5 mm, white or cream-yellow, with light purple shading on abaxial margins; stamens included.
Fruit: < calyx, cylindric.
Seed: 9--28, not gelatinous when wet.
Ecology: Sandy flats, washes;
Elevation: < 900 m.
Bioregional Distribution: D;
Distribution Outside California: Arizona, Baja California.
Flowering Time: Mar--May
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert Patterson & J. Mark Porter
Stem: prostrate, often mat-forming, generally branched from base, 0.3--5 dm.
Leaf: irregularly pinnate; stipules gland-like, black; leaflets 4--9, 3--10 mm, oblanceolate to obovate; axis flat, +- blade-like.
Inflorescence: 1--2-flowered, peduncle 3--25 mm, generally bracted.
Flower: calyx 3--5.5 mm, lobes < tube, +- strigose; corolla 5--10 mm, opening or not, yellow, orange or +- red in age, wings generally > keel; stigma glabrous or puberulent.
Fruit: dehiscent, erect or spreading, 1--3.5 cm, linear, generally curved near tip, generally flat, margin not wavy; beak curved, 0.5--1.5 mm.
Ecology: Coastal scrub, chaparral, foothills, deserts, roadsides, other disturbed areas;
Elevation: < 2300 m.
Bioregional Distribution: GV, CW, SW, D;
Distribution Outside California: Arizona, Mexico.
Note: Several variants often recognized (see Isely, pp. 193--198); plants in CA-FP generally +- strigose, with narrow leaflets; plants in D fleshy, generally canescent, with wide leaflets. Conspicuous in spring.
Synonyms: Lotus strigosus (Nutt.) Greene; Lotus strigosus var. hirtellus (Greene) Ottley; Lotus strigosus var. tomentellus (Greene) Isely; Lotus tomentellus Greene; Acmispon strigosus (Nutt.) D.D.Sokoloff var. hirtellus (Greene) D.W. Taylor
Stem: decumbent to +- ascending, green to brown, spreading-bristly, branches +- many, from base.
Leaf: spreading, green, coarse-hairy to bristly.
Flower: calyx lobes 5, +- equal, not fused above base; corolla 4--7 mm, tube +- exserted, tube 10-veined near base, limb 1--3 mm diam, yellow to orange-yellow, generally spotted; stamens attached above middle of tube, anthers generally appressed to stigma; style to throat.
Fruit: 2--3.5 mm, +- sharp-tubercled, occasionally ridged.
Ecology: Shade-tolerant, open, disturbed areas at forest/woodland edges;
Elevation: < 1700 m.
Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, MP;
Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Idaho; naturalized in central and eastern United States; also in South America.
Flowering Time: May--Jul Note: Homostylous.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley & Fred R. Ganders