Chaparral Paintbrush, AV1 011

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    Thank you to Mark Egger for correcting the ID.

    Breeze530 and rjadams55 added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Mark Egger 61 months ago | reply

      Castilleja foliolosa

    2. Anita363 61 months ago | reply

      Thanks very much for your help! Paintbrushes are a nightmare -- or a challenge, depending on how you look at it. :-) But I think i'm going to throw in the towel on 'difficult' taxa. I had been trying to use the Jepson Manual distributions, as a starting point for process of elimination, but it's often missing positive regions.

    3. Mark Egger 61 months ago | reply

      Don't feel bad -- you'd be surprised how many professional botanists mess these up! And even having studied them for years, I still find pressed specimens and photos I can't ID with certainty. The key in Jepson is so-so, but, in their defense, it is VERY difficult, probably impossible, to write a foolproof key to this genus -- there is just too much variation within species. That being said, once you learn the species in the area around you, you will begin to notice patterns & begin to recognize the differences when you find new onces. The best suggestion is to try to ID a population, or at least several plants within the population, rather than looking for, say, the shape of the calyx lobes on one plant. So, if 95% of the plants have acute calyx lobes but a few have rounded lobes, that's just variation within the species. The key may say "calyx lobes acute", but you may have only seen one of the odd ones, so the key reaches a dead end. This is why botanists often use phrases like, "calyx lobes usually acute to sometimes rounded". This can be very frustrating to the person using the key, but it reflects reality. Anyway, you can always send the photos to me for a double check! Your photos are very nice & had enough detail for me to ID them... Have fun in the field!

    4. Anita363 60 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the offer; I'll take you up on it! (I'm living back East now, tho, so may not have too much call.)

      Dichotomous keys don't seem to work real well unless you have specimens in the hand -- and specimens from all stages of the life cycle, at that. I used one of the newfangled, computerized multi-criteria keys at Jepson, though -- that was pretty cool.

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