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Foothill Sunburst (Pseudobahia heermannii) flowers

Foothill Sunburst (Pseudobahia heermannii)

Family:  Sunflower (Asteraceae)

Aliases:  Foothill Pseudobahia, Heermann's Golden Sunburst

The flowers of Foothill Sunburst and Goldfields look virtually identical and often share territory; to tell them apart, look at the leaves. Goldfields leaves are simple, straight-line units, while Foothill Sunburst leaves branch and meander like the veins in Mick Jagger's eyes at six in the morning. Goldfields leaves also grow neatly in opposite pairs while Foothill Sunburst leaves are alternate and more erratic in pattern.

Blooms:  March - May

Lifespan:  Annual

Origins:  Endemic to California (see distribution map)

Pseudobahia heermannii etymology:  Pseudobahia means "false bahia," and refers to the plant's resemblance to bahia, a genus of flowering plants found in the southwestern United States. Heermannii is homage to American naturalist Dr. Adolphus L. Heermann (1818 - 1865). Heermann has not yet, apparently, accomplished enough to merit a Wikipedia entry, but this PDF, containing a 1907 biography, is worth downloading just for the cover photo, which is a Reddit meme waiting to happen. Heermann is a strong candidate for history's most dashing ornithologist.

This Photo:  Along the Hite Cove trail, mid April

Other Resources:   CalFlora  ·  CalPhotos  ·  USDA  ·  eFloras.org

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