Now Blooming: Mediterranean Lineseed

Bellardia trixago

(Updated)  This plant is now blooming in the northeast corner of the park amidst vetches and clovers.   This is the first time I’ve seen it, which doesn’t mean it’s new here, just that it’s kept itself tucked away rather well.  It’s capable of growing to almost two feet tall, but probably won’t here.  It makes life hard for pollinators, forcing them to wedge their whole body in between the lips of its flower to get to the nectar.  It fits right into this tough botanical neighborhood.  It rates a “limited” tag from the California Invasive Plant Council, and it has the parasitic power of being able to tap into the roots of other plants for nutrients.

Thanks to Jutta Burger for correcting the wrong initial ID of this plant when I posted it originally.

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