What Follows a Fire? A Mount Diablo Botany Quiz

by on May 12, 2014

 
 

 

 

After a fire, botanists hustle out to burned areas to identify surviving and regenerating species. They’ve often got only a few leaves to go on, some from species that haven’t been seen for decades. So it’s tough.

Want to test your skills against those of the botanists? The following plants were photographed in a patch of burned chaparral on Mount Diablo on April 6, 2014. How many can you name? Click on a photo to take a closer look — answers below!

Answers:

1. Baccharis, coyote brush.
2. Adenostoma fasciculatum, chamise, the dominant chaparral plant on Mount Diablo, sprouting from seed.
3. Emmenanthe penduliflora, whispering bells, a “fire following” plant that germinates after fires.
4. Mostly Emmenanthe penduliflora, whispering bells, and a few Adenostoma fasciculatum, chamise.
5. Phacelia phacelioides, Mount Diablo phacelia, common in chaparral after fires.
6. Acmispon brachycarpus, lotus.
7. Eriodictyon californicum, yerba santa, frequent on chaparral burns.
8. Ehrendorferia chrysantha (center, formerly called Dicentra chrysantha), golden eardrops, another “fire-following” plant that germinates after fires; and Adenostoma fasciculatum, chamise.
9. Scutellaria tuberosa, blue skullcap.
10. Mostly Emmenanthe penduliflora, whispering bells; a few Adenostoma fasciculatum, chamise; and Mentzelia sp.

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