Monday, August 1, 2011

A Beautiful Mystery

This is a clump of Santa Ana River Woolly Eriastrum, or Woolly Star. I've never seen it up here before. The bright blue color caught my eye as I was driving on Highway 173 just past Papoose Lake. I love the dark blue pin stripes on the flowers. The flowers are little, each one about one quarter of an inch wide. (Left click on the photos, they will enlarge).

When I was searching for information on this flower, I found out it only grows in areas that are frequently flooded by the Santa Ana River. The river originates high (above 9,000 feet) up on the north flank of Mount San Gorgonio near the tiny, cold streams of Coon Creek and Heart Bar Creek, then flows down through the San Bernardino Valley and on through Riverside County and Orange County, eventually entering the Pacific Ocean. This plant flourishes in the sand left behind by the floods down in the flat lands, so I have no idea how it got up here. It was growing on a dry, sandy hillside that I know has never been flooded. It's a mystery...a beautiful mystery.


  1. What a beautiful flower. When I get flowers coming up in my garden that I know I didn't plant, I figure a bird must have dropped the seed. Maybe that's what happened there.

  2. I hadn't thought of that, OC, I bet you're right.


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