Sierra Plants Project
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Plants of the Sierra Foothills--Part 1
On the east side of California's Central Valley gentle undulations form the beginning of a great range of mountains. Here and there are seasonal ponds, called vernal pools, unique ecosystems in their own right, structured by the yearly cycle of wet winters and summer drought.
As spring turns into early summer, the pond changes,and the blooms of meadowfoam (Limnanthes sp.) reach their peak.
Limnanthes alba, or meadowfoam, closeup:
Dowingia cuspidata is another flower that thrives in drying vernal pools.
Allium obtusum, a wild onion, growing on top of Table Mountain near Oroville.
Lupinus sp. in the foothills near the South Yuba River.
Clarkia gracilis subsp. gracilis. There are a number of species of this genus in the Sierra foothills.