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Treasure Hunt: Fire-Following Flowers You Might Find in the North Bay

by Lech Naumovich on March 30, 2018

After a fire, seeds that have been lying dormant in the soil, sometimes for decades or even a century, awaken. Botanist Lech Naumovich describes the complex post-fire ecology of the North Bay in the April 2018 Bay Nature. This rare plant list gives an idea of some of the individual species that botanists might find in the coming years.

The following plants are not all obligate fire followers, but likely need similar environmental conditions as species that follow fire. An explanation of the CNPS rarity lists can be found here.

twining snapdragon

Antirrhinum kelloggi. (Photo by jpgalvan / iNaturalist – CC-BY-NC)

Kellogg’s snapdragonAntirrhinum kelloggii – At its northern range limit, recently rediscovered in the Mt. Diablo area after the Morgan Fire.

Brewer's calindrinia

Calandrinia breweri. (Photo by Don Loarie / iNaturalist, CC-BY)

Brewer’s calandriniaCalandrinia breweri – CNPS List 4; rare clarkia.

Rincon ridge ceanothus

Ceanothus confusus. (Photo by icosahedron / iNaturalist, CC-BY)

Rincon Ridge ceanothusCeanothus confusus – CNPS List 1B; North Bay endemic.

Calistoga ceanothus

Ceanothus divergens. (Photo by Peter Warner / iNaturalist, CC-BY)

Calistoga ceanothusCeanothus divergens – CNPS List 1B; local endemic centralized around the mountains near Calistoga.

clarkia breweri

Clarkia breweri. (Photo by Ken-ichi Ueda / iNaturalist, CC-BY-NC)

Brewer’s clarkiaClarkia breweri – CNPS List 4; at its northern range limit, very limited in Napa.

Whispering bells

Emmenanthe penduliflora. (Photo by Donna Pomeroy / iNaturalist, CC-BY-NC)

Whispering bellsEmmenanthe penduliflora – Common after fires but disappears within three years.

San Benito poppy

Eschsolzia hypecoides. (Photo by Curtis Clark / Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.5)

Leafy-stemmed poppyEschscholzia hypecoides – CNPS List 4; not seen in Napa for more than 20 years.

Harmonia nutans

Harmonia nutans. (Photo by Don Loarie / iNaturalist, CC-BY)

Nodding harmoniaHarmonia nutans – CNPS List 1B; entire species distribution centered in Napa.

Hesperolinon breweri

Hesperolinon breweri. (Photo by Tony Iwane / iNaturalist, CC-BY-NC)

Brewer’s dwarf flaxHesperolinon breweri – CNPS List 1B; entire species distribution centered in Napa.

Calistoga pincushion plant

Navarretia heterodoxa. (Photo by Kevin Hintsa / iNaturalist, CC-BY-NC)

Calistoga pincushion plantNavarretia heterodoxa – A plant that typically thrives in bare, rocky, and often serpentine soils in the coastal Bay Area.

fire poppy

Papaver californicum. (Photo by Heath Bartosh)

Fire poppyPapaver californicum – Fire poppy that usually is seen only following fires.

Ribes victoris

Ribes victoris. (Photo by c michael hogan / iNaturalist, CC-BY-NC-SA)

Victor’s gooseberryRibes victoris – CNPS List 4; species predominantly restricted to the Bay Area, mainly in the North Bay.

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Lech Naumovich on April 13th, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Please let us know if you’ve found any of the treasure hunt plants! Post via comment and link to an online photo/iNaturalist/CalFlora account please :)
I’ll do the same!!! – Lech

Jorgen Gulliksen on June 5th, 2018 at 10:18 am

Land Trust of Napa County discovers fire poppies amid Mt. George regrowth. https://www.napalandtrust.org/land-trust-discovers-rare-fire-poppy-amid-mt-george-regrowth/

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